Saturday, October 30, 2010

Elves and Dwarves and Fairies, Oh My! Artemis Fowl A Fun, Fantastical Adventure

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Artemis Fowl is everything you'd expect a criminal mastermind to be. He's smart, he's savvy, he's ruthless, he's cocky, and he's very, very determined. The one thing you'd never suspect? He's only 12. With his parents out of commission (his father's MIA while his mother is, well, missing in her own way), it's up to Artemis to lead the family of thieves. He's got his sights set on a treasure that will not only solidify his reputation, but also save the Fowl family from ruin: fairy gold. It's the stuff of legends, legends Artemis just happens to believe.

When Artemis manages to procure the mythological Book of the People, a handbook for fairyfolk, he has all the info he needs to hunt down the treasure. He knows it won't be simple to trick the creatures out of their money, but he's not called a boy genius for nothing. It's only when Artemis captures feisty Captain Holly Short of the elite LEPrecon unit, however, that he starts to get a taste of what he's really up against. Still, with his brains, his Herculean bodyguard, and his iron will, Artemis is sure to triumph. Isn't he?

In Artemis Fowl, the first book in Eoin Colfer's popular series, the Irish author introduces an entire world (underworld?) of fantastical creatures. Artemis is interesting in his own right, but then we have his adversaries: a cigar-chomping Elf commander; a stubborn fairy captain; a wise-cracking, tech-savvy centaur; a kleptomaniac, digestively-challenged dwarf; and a whole lot more. Their interactions with the Mud People (humans) make for a fun fantasy adventure that is action-packed and clever to boot. While I did get a little bored with the tale, my kids hung onto every word. They've been boring through the sequels with a tenacity that would make Mulch proud. Even though my own reaction to Artemis Fowl is more lukewarm than head-over-heels, I'm still excited to see where the story goes. As long as it keeps getting better, I'll tag along for the ride.

(Readalikes: Reminded me of Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series)

Grade: B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG because of intense action, very vague sexual innuendo and language (a handful of mild invectives)

To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of Artemis Fowl from the generous folks at Disney/Hyperion. Thank you!

6 comments:

  1. FYI: Foley is a centaur not a satyr. Otherwise, your thoughts on this book are spot on. I do think you will like this series eventually. The first book, Artemis isn't too easy to like, but with each book his "likeability" improves. Enjoy the series, it really is pretty fantastic!

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  2. Ack! You're right. Why was I thinking he was a satyr? Must have had Percy Jackson on the brain. Changed it in the review - Thanks :)

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  3. I've been listening to this series on audio for several years now. I think I like them more than you -- The snarkiness is appealing somehow.

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  4. Ok, update....How are you doing?!? Prognosis? Are you catching up with life? Are your kids Halloweened out?

    I love the variety in what you read. I can always count on you to pull me out of a reading-rut!

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  5. Beth F - I think I'm going to like the series better as it progresses. We'll see.

    Gaye - I'm doing okay - still really tired and kind of moving in slow motion, but I think I'll survive :)

    Halloween was fun, but I'm glad it's over. Not my favorite holiday.

    Yes, I'm getting very eclectic in my old age!

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  6. I liked the series okay, my son loved it. Some books I liked better than others but the quality peaks a few books in, the last one was pretty lame.

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