The Last Guardian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It was a bizarre situation to be in, even for a resurrected spirit occupying a human body.
I am chasing a plane being pushed down a runway by a troll-riding dwarf, she thought. Unbelievable.
This final installation of the Artemis Fowl series pits Fowl and friends up against his archnemesis, Opal, who, in a catch-22 plot, manages to not only free herself from prison, but also sets herself up as the powerful queen of a horde of Berserker zombies, who happen to be buried under Fowl Manor. Opal’s goal this time: to completely obliterate all human life.
If asked how I felt about this book, the best answer I could give would be conflicted. On the plus side, this book had all of the absurdity that Fowl fans have grown to love from Colfer’s characters. The crazy situations that the heroes find themselves in are imaginative, unpredictable, and full of all sorts of insane twists and turns. Also in this novel, Artemis completes his story arch, transitioning completely from the methodically evil criminal mastermind to become what could only be described as a true hero — honorable, self-sacrificing, and a true friend to man and fairy alike.
On the flip side, however, this book exhibited some weaknesses that — given the sheer awesomeness of the series as a whole — were unexpected, and a major letdown.
– Plot holes. The premise that if the past Opal were to die in the present, anything effected by Opal between the two timelines would explode is far too simplistic, and doesn’t really work with other facts of the novel. If not for “The Opal Deception,” Nopal wouldnt’ be in LEP possession, nor would the real Opal. The idea that the time paradox/nuclear fission wouldn’t effect those things is far too convenient and unlikely.
Also, wouldn’t Opal herself be destroyed if she destroyed all humans (thanks to her surgical human-ification?
– Discontinuity. In “The Opal Deception,” Holly and Artemis are able to evade the trolls because trolls don’t like water, but in this one, Gruff is a troll that swims to Ireland.
At one point, the author (through Holly’s thoughts) insinuates that Artemis is so confident of his genius that he rarely develops a Plan B, something we know to be false from so many of his other escapades.
– “Convenient” facts never previously mentioned. The Fowl estate had a magical past that no one ever noticed before or bothered to mention (which even effected the crickets there, though no one else seemed to have notice this?)? Holly’s gun could shoot protection runes (though, I guess, not at people who were already possessed?)? Mulch (and other dwarves) wear protection runes at all times?
– “Lost” story lines. Artemis’ Atlantis Complex? — cured within the first pages and never mentioned again.
– Uncharacteristic actions. Butler yelling at Artemis? Artemis being completely ignorant about a number of things (not completing his sentences? forgetting about Nopal? not knowing Mulch was stealing from him? not knowing military hand signals? huh?) It was as if the author was hinting that something else more significant was going on, but that proved false… Artemis was just forgetful.
The ending left me most conflicted. It seemed unresolved, leaving the door open for more Fowl escapades, and yet… maybe not?
Overall: Not my favorite book of the series by far, due to some major issues despite its epic storyline, but still a fun must-read for Fowl fans