Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review - Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl: Artemis Fowl Book 1 by Eoin Colfer
Published by: Miramax
Publication Date: April 2001
Format: Paperback, 277 Pages
Rating: ★★★
To Buy

Artemis Fowl is in a dire financial situation, his father is missing and his mother has suffered a mental breakdown, while the Fowl fortunes have dwindled making them (gasp) millionaires. But the conniving boy genius has thought of a fool proof plan to get the Fowls firmly ensconced back in the billionaires club. Artemis, along with Butler and Butler's wrestling loving younger sister, Juliet, are going to con the fae. Step one is easily accomplished, getting one of the fae's personal books that has all their cultural and magical knowledge. Step two takes some time, but it doesn't take long for a boy with a mind like Artemis' to crack the book's code using a little bit of imagination with a little Egyptian hieroglyphics and a lot of computer skills. The final step takes even longer, waiting for the right time and place...but eventually they find a fairy low on power and kidnap her to hold for ransom. Because Artemis' end goal is he just wants the Leprechaun's gold...and not that gold of legend, but the LEP squad's ransom fund. Because the fae have not been hiding underground wasting their time living in the past. Oh no! Shalali carrying and pot o'gold toting fairies are a thing of the past. They've got the newest in technology with everything from computers to strap on wings. They are techno fairies in the extreme, with Foaly, their centaur, as their one stop IT squad. The fairy that Artemis happens to capture is none other than Holly of the LEPrecon division of underground police. She's the squad's first female officer and she's got to do her best. So getting captured is not exactly something that will keep her employed for long, especially after that night's incident in Italy with the troll. Luckily her boss, Commander Root holds a soft spot for Holly and he and Foaly make it their goal to get her back safely. The stakes set, the two parties converge on Fowl manner outside Dublin. This is a simple hostage negotiation like any other, only with fairies. Each side tries to one up or out smart the other, but in the end can they both get what they want? Will they work together or back-stab each other? And can Artemis really do what has never been done by any mortal before?

As other reviewers have aptly stated, this is Die Hard with fairies. Take away all the magic and it's a very simple hostage plot. Now add back in the techno savy fairies and you have a book that took me a really long time to get into. My problem was I really like Artemis and his evil machinations, but the fairies just pissed me off. There is so much time spent on the minutiae of the fairies' gadgets that you don't really get to like or know the characters for a long time. Plus for a society that is so technologically advanced they spend way to much time harping on the destruction that the "Mud People," aka humans, wreak on the world. Isn't it all the cars and computers and electronics that cause this destruction...the same things the fairies are using IN ABUNDANCE under the Earth's crust? Hypocritical much? I think unless these are run differently than our gadgets then the fairies are just as much to blame...and please Eoin Colfer, do not take this as an invitation to explain in even more detail pointless fairy techobabble!

I picked this book up in anticipation of the new Hitchhiker's book that Colfer wrote. I was going to a signing of his (you can read all about how that went here), and I wanted to be mildly informed of his other works. Plus I really wanted to see what kind of writer he is and how his style might lend itself to Adams' writing style. I think it might work...I probably will pick up a few more books in this series down the road too, after I read And Another Thing. Because despite almost putting down this book several times, once the hostage standoff started I began to enjoy myself, which I didn't think I would. While the technojargon got to be too much, the characters did become interesting. The fairies kind of went from overly annoying to more just there, but the humans, fascinating! Artemis is so complex. He's such a wounded traumatized genius with parental issues. I kept thinking he was of a Joss Whedon ilk, the likes of Warren Meers or Fray's twin brother. I'm really interested to see how he matures and what kind of evil genius he becomes...extremely evil or Dr. Horrible evil? Plus the "files" indicate that his ways are not quickly mended. Bring on the evil!


I read this book sometime ago and while I enjoyed it, Artemis seemed a bit cold and it may have to do with his upbringing. He isn't a sympathetic characters, which is probably intentional.

It was probably the mood I was in, but I liked that he wasn't sympathetic.

This sounds like a fun book!

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home