Artemis Fowl and The Eternity Code (#3) by Eoin Colfer

Published: April 27 2003
Goodreads badgePublisher: Puffin Books
Pages: 329
Format: Book
Genre: Junior Fiction/Young Adult Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

Artemis Fowl has constructed a super-computer from stolen fairy technology. In the wrong hands it could be fatal for humans and fairies alike. But no need to worry. Artemis has brilliant plan. He’s not going to use it; he’s just going to show it to ruthless American businessman with Mafia connections. His bodyguard, Butler, will be with him.
What could possibly go wrong…?

The more I read of Mr Fowl and his antics the more I enjoy them; and by enjoy I mean adore and have messed up thinking and a headache trying to figure out what is happening or about to happen. It is glorious! We begin with Artemis trying one last hurrah before going straight and as soon as soon as he begins, chaos ensues. Taking us slightly back to book one we see more fairy technology being adapted for Artemis’ use as he tries to sell modified technology. This, of course, unintentionally attracts the attention of the LEP and as things begin to go wrong, the old gang arrives to join the adventure. Is it really an Artemis book without them really? There is clearly a developing connection between Holly and Artemis, their friendship has been growing as we saw previously, but this time we see how far it has come.

What was great about this book was that we see a couple of Artemis’ failings. I think I mentioned in the Arctic Incident review that it was good to see his unnatural calm and control shaken, but this time it was less shaken than suddenly outsmarted and seemingly beaten, though by his exterior it is hard to tell how this affects him, which is why Colfer lets actions do the talking. This act of being outsmarted naturally never lasts long for Artemis and new plans are formed, but those brief moments where he is on the back foot are always a small delight.

There is added drama and suspense in this book for more direct and personal reasons than before, but naturally nothing Artemis can’t deal with. The LEP assistance is always great with the wit and sarcasm it brings, and you often wonder what would happen if there weren’t there, but as we saw from book one, Artemis makes thing happen when he wants something and he would easily adjust.

There are so many great intricacies in this book that I would love to rave about but alas, spoilers, and anything I want to mention I fear has a chance of ruining something. I will say this: what Artemis knows, and what Artemis thinks of, I am fairly certain he has already thought about before we have even had time to register the initial cause of why he is thinking it. There are times I think he knows them before Colfer sometimes as well, but if Colfer is let in on the plans, he hides them ridiculously well, always eager to just spring something on us.

Based on the events in this book I am eager to see what the next book deals with. I think more LEP exploration based on the conclusion of this, but I am sure our dear Artemis, who is growing older and more clever and charming and adorable by each book, will not be far away for long.

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Artemis Fowl and The Arctic Incident (#2) by Eoin Colfer

Published: May 6 2002
Goodreads badgePublisher: Puffin Books
Pages: 288
Format: Book
Genre: Junior Fiction/Young Adult Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Someone has been supplying Class A illegal human power sources to the goblins. Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit is sure that the person responsible is her arch-enemy, thirteen-year-old Artemis Fowl. But is he? Artemis has his own problems to deal with: his father is being held to ransom and only a miracle will save him. Maybe this time a brilliant plan just won’t be enough. Maybe this time Artemis needs help…

After Artemis’ attempts to restore his family fortunes using ransom and blackmail, his focus shifts to finding his father. Held up in a prominent boarding school Artemis, now thirteen, devises a plan to escape and  track down his missing father. Using the skill and sly wit we’ve come to know and love from Artemis he is soon on his way to rescuing his father with Butler ever present at his side.

In a different style to that of the previous book, Artemis has no interest in tracking down the People, however this does not mean they are not looking at him. There is something suspicious going on underground and with the events of the past still present in the LEP’s memory, the finger is pointed in Artemis’ direction. This suspicion brings Holly and Artemis together once more as she intercepts his travels and for the first time takes him down into her world where it is soon revealed that there is something a lot bigger and sinister going on than they first thought.

One of the things I really enjoyed in this story was that the underground world of the People was explored to a greater extent, and not just as a connection to Artemis’ story. As a civilization and a race Colfer weaves this wonderful image of their world and how it operates. We are invited into their world starting with the greater picture, we see their laws and issues, and their daily routines, and we get to see how they live as a society. With this extensive look and separate storyline we are also introduced to new characters such as the pixie Opal Koboi, more goblins and a sinister Frenchmen to name just a few. It is not all new faces however, with plenty of familiar faces both above and below ground; dwarf criminal Mulch Diggums, technology whiz centaur Foaly, and LEP Commander Root return with Holly, as do a few others, each with the humour, quirks, and unique personality that we grew fond of the first time around.

As these two worlds overlap to help each other solve their own mysteries, they do so with a growing trust and a cautious but more cooperative and friendly partnership than they had in the past. As much as I liked the humour and interactions between characters in the first book, I do think when both sides are cooperating and being friendlier it makes for very different comments, wit, and interactions; not necessarily better, but different. Either way it is really unfair to compare them side by side, they are a progression of a story rather than separate works really, both were really enjoyable reads. The great thing I’ve found about Colfer’s writing is you can enjoy reading about Artemis’ world on its own, you can enjoy reading about the People’s world on its own, and some how it still manages to get a little bit greater and more enjoyable when the two worlds collide, no matter whether it is friendly or not.

What I like most about these books, it isn’t just the wit and the irrepressible charm these characters have in their own individual way, and as much as I adore the writing style Colfer has, what I love most in these books is mainly Artemis. There is something about that boy that makes you love and be in awe of this kid and how he logically thinks things through, plans everything and knows everything that needs to be known at the time. Though we do get to see a new aspect of Artemis in this book, it is great watching him squirm ever so slightly in an environment he is not used to. He begins to grow as a person and we see this as he shows a more moral side, and he becomes less of an evil schemer as others take the reign; this works especially well since most of the action involved in this book is based around the LEP world. He has not changed completely mind you, there are some classic Artemis moments when he is in his element, but seeing the new side was a treat.

There are twists and turns as always in Colfer’s narrative and we get to see action from everyone’s point of view which is always a great thing. Colfer does not just switch between characters as the story progresses, he lets us experience the same event from everyone involved. This is a brilliant choice because each character offers so much, and is so complex in their own right that usually any time anything is happening it is the work of every one throwing something into it. Artemis’ brilliance and cunning excelled in this book. As I say, you get to see a different side of him, but not so much you can forget the calm, calculated thirteen year old who is so meticulous no matter what his circumstances. I do hope he stays this way through the remaining series. A brilliant read, as funny, action filled and cleverly created as the first, and it is certainly a great stepping stone into book number three.

Artemis Fowl (#1) by Eoin Colfer

Published: April 26 2001
Goodreads badgePublisher: Viking Press
Pages: 280
Format: Book
Genre: Junior Fiction/Young Adult Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

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. These fairies are dangerous. Artemid thinks he’s got them just where he wants them, but then they stop playing by the rules.

Having just finished number five in this series I feel we must start gushing about them on here so you can all enjoy them as well (or gush ahead along with my reviews on goodreads). What is interesting when I read this review again how tame and unsure I was, who would know how engrossed and, well, obsessed I’d become. I’d like to think a lot of it was mild shock about the narrative, I had never read anything like it before. The enjoyment I had whilst reading it, and afterwards, was certainly enough to keep me going, and I am definitely glad I did. I had this book referred to me by a friend and she was insistent on its greatness, so with her backing I dived in and I am very thankful. So, this was my first impression upon finishing Artemis Fowl, and if my simple little review doesn’t initially make you instantly add it to your TBR list, I assure you it is worth it, trust me.

When I first finished this book I had no idea what to say about it; I knew I enjoyed it, I knew it was different and well written but I could not find the words to review it. After having had the time to ponder I think I may have myself sorted out.

Artemis Fowl is a 12 year old boy of incredible genius whose sole purpose in this book is to try and regain the family fortune. What makes this book so great is the very nature of it – just simply a 12 year old and his bodyguard taking on the underworld of faeries with wit and an appealing arrogance from someone who does not act his age at all.

There are always books that try and claim that faeries are not the tiny winged creatures living under mushrooms we’ve always believed; instead there are pixies and faeries who are practically human with a deep magic within them. There is nothing wrong with that by any means, but what Colfer does it different again. What he does is make them a civilization that deals with its own issues and problems, has been repressed by humans and are fighting to keep their secrets safe.

Fowl’s interactions with the People (as they’re called), is fantastic. He rarely wavers in his air of self importance and own brilliance which makes him intriguing if not an odd sort of charming. What’s great is that there are no grand corporate plots, evil nemesis’ and no faery political struggle infringing on the human world. None of that, it is just a 12 year old who found a way to get the money he wants, and if it means dragging the magic world into his then so be it. Artemis’ thinking is perfectly sound and he will overcome any impracticality he faces with wit, quick thinking and trickery if need be.

This is only the first novel in a long series but it a great start, certainly one to get you involved and eager to keep going. Colfer changes perspective between the humans and the faeries, and within the faerie recon squad there are great characters that have just as many quirks, flaws and tempers as the best human characters. We are introduced not only to elves but also criminal dwarves, and amusing and terribly sarcastic centaurs, there really is something for everyone.

In all and many unexpected places this story is filled with humour, action, suspense and some really clever writing, not to mention imagination in this intricately constructed underground world. I look forward to continuing the series.

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