Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius--and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories--they're dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.
Okay, let's get this out of the way. Why is the main character names Artemis? Every time this 12-year-old evil prodigy was in a scene, I had to mentally stop myself from picturing a Greek goddess. But whatever. Maybe by the tenth book I'll have it down.
Because even though this book didn't knock my socks off, I am positive that I will read the entire series at some point. Colfer's underground society of fairies was so cool! LEPrecons who used to wear buckles and breeches because that was their police uniform? Awesome! Dwarves that unhinge their jaw to tunnel and then expel dirt and gas that magically seals up behind them? Gross, but hilarious! Sprites who have wings and a massive superiority complex? Makes sense! And a paranoid centaur who cracks witty jokes while playing with the highest of technology? I'm thinking Topher Brink.
What I love most about Colfer's magical world, however, are the rules. I love stories that have limitations to magic, and consequences when that magic is used out of turn. Colfer uses different characters to explore whether or magic is worth the rules surrouding it, and I was fascinated.
What didn't get me crazy excited was the plot. Which might seem like a big deal, but it really...wasn't? I didn't care much about Artemis kidnapping Holly, and while parts of the rescue operation were pretty cool, others fell flat. (Part of the problem might have been my inability to understand how the time-stop works.) However, from hints that were given of future stories, I think I will grow to love the characters more in future installments, and I have hopes that the plots will be taken up a notch now that the world has been established.
Three out of five horrific dwarf farts.
Release Date: April 2001
Reading Level: Grade 3+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: YPL COL
Don't believe me? Check out these reviews of Artemis Fowl:
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