Thursday, October 06, 2011
Book Review: Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer (Hyperion, 2002)
When Artemis Fowl was published almost ten years ago, it was hailed as the next Harry Potter type series in terms of kids' blockbusters. There have been seven novels, plus graphic novels, since, and while it hasn't reached the Harry Potter level of mania with readers young and old, it is a strong series that has managed to remain on the shelves over the past decade - not something many books can claim these days.
Artemis Fowl the Second is a boy genius and the son of a missing crime lord. To find his father restore his family's reputation, he needs some help. In this case, "help" means getting a copy of the Rule Book from the Fairy World - because in this world, they are real and they don't want us to know it - and finding out their secrets to use against them. But now he's got the attention of the LEPrecon (the Lower Elements Police), and dealing with magic is never predictable.
It took a while for me to warm up to this book. I did not like Artemis, for starters. He is supposed to be an anti-hero, but there was not enough of him to give me a connection; I only thought of him as an annoying kid too smart for his own good for about 3/4 of the book. The LEP characters were somewhat more engaging but they needed some time to hit their stride; when they first appear on the scene, they almost seemed like caricatures in the exaggerated speech and description.
There is a prevalent subplot about how we humans, the Mud People, are destroying the planet. Colfer makes it abundantly clear that The People find humans beneath them and hold them in contempt.
There are plenty of Artemis Fowl websites, incluiding the US and UK websites that provide information about the books, book trailers, and games for visitors. Author Eoin Colfer's website offers links to author information, information about all of his books, and a message board.