Tag Archive | Artemis Fowl

The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl, #8)The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

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


The Time Paradox

The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, #6)The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even as he purred, Artemis winced at how ludicrous the situation had become. It was a typical Fowlesque melodrama. Two parties hunting for a lemur on the highest power lines in Ireland.

When Angeline Fowl falls deathly ill with a magical disease, Artemis enlists N01’s help, and together with Holly, travel back in time eight years to save a lemur from becoming extinct — at the hands of his own, 10-year-old self. His younger self proves to be one of the most formidable adversaries the pair have ever faced.

Of all of the Artemis Fowl books, this one is probably my favorite. Pitting the younger, more dastardly Artemis against his own older, more mature and selfless Artemis provides the opportunity for all kinds of clever jabs and one-liners, as well as accentuate just how far Artemis has come over the course of the series. And, of course, I’m always a sucker for time travel stories. Though this one definitely took a different direction, creating an actual paradox, which made for some interesting, mind-twisting situations, including a few surprisingly interesting lines by the younger Artemis at the very end.

A few things, though, that I wasn’t too fond of…
– A kiss. An unnecessary and awkward action that completely changes the dynamics that have been set up over the course of the series.
– The twins. They don’t really act like two-year-olds, but are too irritating for their supposed super-genius to really be impressive.
– A few inconsistencies. (highlight to view spoilers: If Mulch wasn’t mind-wiped, wouldn’t he have known Artemis in the first book of the series? If Opal really escaped LEP in the present-time, she wouldn’t be in the past to complete all her evil deeds from the previous books. Also, when he confronts the Extinctionists, the author describes Artemis’s blue eyes — he would have had one hazel!)
[If Mulch wasn’t mind-wiped, wouldn’t he have known Artemis in the first book of the series? If Opal really escaped LEP in the present-time, she wouldn’t be in the past to complete all her evil deeds from the previous books. Also, when he confronts the Extinctionists, the author describes Artemis’s blue eyes — he would have had one hazel! (hide spoiler)]

Heads up: More cartoon-like violence and fart jokes

Overall: A fun, exciting adventure back in time with our favorite teenage criminal mastermind-turned-teenage not-so-criminal mastermind.

The Lost Colony

The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, #5)The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl is finally putting his genius to use for good! While hacking the fairy’s network, he runs across some information on the lost colony of Hybras, where demons live in an alternate dimension. According to Artemis’ calculations, the demons are all in danger, as their time spell is unraveling, which will soon cause the destruction of their magical island and all those on it. When Artemis moves to act on his theory, however, he finds he isn’t the only one to have discovered the lapse — twelve-year-old Minerva, another child genius, has discovered the existence of the demons as well, and it’s up to Artemis and his friends to not only save the demons from their unstable time spell, but also from being put on display like zoo animals.

I do think of all the Artemis Fowl books, this is probably my least favorite. My love for the series, though, remains intact, because despite it’s shortcomings, this book still has a lot of the elements which make it a great book. I appreciate that Artemis is finally seeming to become a true protagonist, and a great friend to the other characters. His development in this book was true to his character, and showed his progress into a more noble Artemis that one can’t help but root for. This book also contained less technical mumbo-jumbo than some of the previous books, and it was nice to explore more of the magical/fairy world, rather than the technical and scientific aspects. Also, I’m a huge sucker for time travel books, and this one leaves few — if any — irritating time travel plot holes.

However, this one does introduce a number of new characters that are a bit lackluster — Doodah Day is a bit like a less-colorful Mulch; Minerva is less-exciting Artemis; and while No1 has his funny moments, there’s not really a whole lot that’s significantly unique about the demon species. The quips about Artemis going through puberty are a bit ridiculous, and the whole inclusion of Section Eight taking on not only Holly and Mulch, but also Foaly, was a little too neat and tidy, and turned out to be completely unnecessary at the end, when the situation at LEP changed anyways.

I think perhaps the author simply tried to get too much into one novel here, with the inclusion of three new allies, a new rival, at least two villains, and a whole new race of creatures. Regardless, if you can keep track of all that’s going on, it still works well with the series and is a very exciting read.

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The Opal Deception

The Opal Deception  (Artemis Fowl, #4)The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Holly Short’s arch-nemesis, Opal Kaboi, escapes from the mental institute, kills Commander Root, and frames her for the crime, there’s only one person who can help. Unfortunately, the LEP has erased all fairy-related memories from teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl’s brain, and Opal’s grand scheme for revenge includes him and his faithful bodyguard Butler as well. Now Holly and Artemis must not only outsmart the super-genius, ego-maniacal pixie, but they also must escape the clutches of hungry trolls, restore Artemis’s memory, and clear Holly’s name, all before Opal accomplishes her sinister scheme.

True to form, Colfer once again combines the mythical intrigue of fairy magic with fast-paced and high-tech action for an over-the-top adventure that is both intelligent and fun. This episode also has a lot of heart, as the characters deal with the loss of one of their own, and as Artemis continues to contemplate what to make of his life — whether to use his genius for positive or for profit.

It wouldn’t be an Artemis Fowl book without Mulch Diggum’s flatulence jabs, a touch of violence, and some advanced technical jargon — elements which not all readers might appreciate in YA fiction.

Overall, though, this was an exciting (albeit typical) Fowl adventure that is hard to put down!

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The Eternity Code

The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3)The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl plans one last underhanded venture, which backfires on him and costs him the life of someone very dear to him. He finds he must enlist the help of Captain Holly Short and the LEP (along with one reluctant dwarf) in order to right the wrong and steal back the fairy technology that he has inadvertently leaked into the hands of an even more dastardly criminal. As the high-tech and high-speed adventure unfolds, we’re introduced to a newer, more compassionate Artemis who may finally be on the track to leave his life of crime and put others before himself… or is he?

The twists and turns that this novel takes may be a bit predictable to readers of the first two books, but are fun and exciting nonetheless. The characters we were introduced to previously are further developed — particularly Artemis himself, Butler, Juliet, and Mulch, who receive a lot of attention in this book. Between the fun-loving antics and witty comebacks, this book explores deeper themes of loyalty, friendship, and responsibility.

As with previous books in the series, there is quite a bit of technical language and advanced vocabulary that may be intimidating to some young readers. As is always the case with Mulch the flatulent dwarf, there is also some potty humor that some parents may not appreciate. Overall, though, this book lives up to (or perhaps surpasses) the rest of the series as a smart, fun story.

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The Arctic Incident

The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, #2)The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The teenage criminal mastermind is at it again! This time, Artemis Fowl is being accused of helping plan and execute a goblin uprising and fairies Holly Short and Commander Root are determined to get to the bottom of it. Artemis, however, has been busy trying to rescue his father from the Russian mafia. If he isn’t the genius behind the uprising, who is?

The second book of the Artemis Fowl series is much more action-packed and fast-paced than the first. Whereas the first was part kidnapping, part siege, the second goes in guns blazing on a couple different fronts. As Artemis and the fairies are forced to work together, their characters grow and come to understand each other a bit more, each side becoming a bit less prejudiced and self-centered.

The technical vocabulary can be tricky, and the reading level is more difficult than many other YA books of this size; it would be a great series for a young overachiever who can handle the higher reading skill level, but still wants to have an exciting, daring fantasy with plenty of fun elements.

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Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Artemis Fowl series is one of my favorite YA series, and as I re-read this, I continued to enjoy the clever plot, unexpected twists, multi-faceted characters, and witty dialogue. It is the sci-fi/fantasy story of the young criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl, and how he plans to restore his family’s fortune by kidnapping, holding for ransom, and ultimately outwitting fairies.

Although this first book in the series is so essential, as it sets everything in motion, after this re-read, I’m fairly certain it’s not my favorite of the series. In this one, there is no clear hero, just two rather prejudiced sides fighting against one another, and the resolution is equally ambiguous — there seems to be no clear winner and loser. I was also a bit taken aback by the difficult vocabulary, much higher-level than I would expect from middle school students, to whom this book is geared.

Despite these flaws, Colfer sets the reader up for an adventurous ride in which modern technology meets mythical magic, resulting in an intelligent, high-intensity story that stretches the reader’s logic and imagination.

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