Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Disney-Hyperion, 2001. 978-0786808014
Synopsis: Artemis Fowl isn’t just a 12-year-old genius; he’s a criminal mastermind. And he’s hatched up a scheme to try and reinvent the family name…well, sort of. But when he kidnaps an elf – Captain Holly Short – for ransom, he finds that not only are elves definitely not like the fairy tales, he may have finally met his match.
Why I picked it up: This was one of my brother’s favorite series when he was in elementary school.
Why I finished it: This book has a little bit of everything – folklore, mythos, technology – and it intertwines the elements to create a book that is part action, part mystery. The story begins as an incident report, but evolves into a sweeping third-person narrative that hops from character to character as the plot moves along. It starts out somewhat slowly, but things begin to accelerate quickly once we get past some of the general set up in the first chapter. The bits of history and background about the Fowl family and their bodyguards is interesting and it’s important to helping flesh out the characters, but readers may still feel a little bit bogged down by the explanations. Artemis is billed as a sort of anti-hero, and he definitely fits the category: he’s a character that has less-than-scrupulous morals, yet, he still has a soft side that makes it appear as though he has some integrity. Holly acts as a foil for Artemis, balancing out his scheming and conniving with her stubbornness and determination. The assortment of dramatis personae creates for the reader a world that is simultaneously real and fantastic, utilizing elements of both fantasy and science fiction to draw us in. It is an intense and moving story that will keep readers on the edges of their seat trying to guess what sort of tricks Artemis has up his sleeve. Because, I mean, what twelve-year-old doesn’t dream of being a criminal mastermind that is pretending not to be a criminal mastermind?
Other related materials: The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, Book 2) by Eoin Colfer; The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, Book 3) by Eoin Colfer; The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, Book 4) by Eoin Colfer; The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, Book 5) by Eoin Colfer; The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, Book 6) by Eoin Colfer; The Atlantis Complex (Artemis Fowl, Book 7) by Eoin Colfer; The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl, Book 8) by Eoin Colfer; Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel adapted by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, art by Giovanni Rigano, colors by Paolo Lamanna; W.A.R.P. books by Eoin Colfer; The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer; The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud; H.I.V.E. series by Mark Walden; Inkheart by Cornelia Funke; Inkspell by Cornelia Funke; Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke