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Artemis Fowl Paperback – June 23, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,420 customer reviews
Book 1 of 8 in the Artemis Fowl Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Eoin Colfer describes his new book, Artemis Fowl, as "Die Hard with fairies." He's not far wrong.

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. With two trusty sidekicks in tow, he hatches a cunning plot to divest the fairyfolk of their pot of gold. Of course, he isn't foolish enough to believe in all that "gold at the end of the rainbow" nonsense. Rather, he knows that the only way to separate the little people from their stash is to kidnap one of them and wait for the ransom to arrive. But when the time comes to put his plan into action, he doesn't count on the appearance of the extrasmall, pointy-eared Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaisance) Unit--and her senior officer, Commander Root, a man (sorry, elf) who will stop at nothing to get her back.

Fantastic stuff from beginning to end, Artemis Fowl is a rip-roaring, 21st-century romp of the highest order. The author has let his imagination run riot by combining folklore, fantasy, and a fistful of high-tech funk in an outrageously devilish book that could well do for fairies what Harry Potter has done for wizardry. But be warned: this is no gentle frolic, so don't be fooled by the fairy subject matter. Instead, what we have here is well-written, sophisticated, rough 'n' tumble storytelling with enough high-octane attitude to make it a seriously cool read for anyone over the age of 10. --Susan Harrison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Colfer's (Benny and Omar) crime caper fantasy, the first in a series, starts off with a slam-bang premise: anti-hero Artemis Fowl is a boy-genius last in line of a legendary crime family teetering on the brink of destruction. With the assistance of his bodyguard, Butler, he masterminds his plan to regain the Fowls' former glory: capture a fairy and hold her ransom for the legendary fairy gold. However, his feisty mark, Holly, turns out to be a member of the "LEPrecon, an elite branch of the Lower Elements Police," so a wisecracking team of satyrs, trolls, dwarfs and fellow fairies set out to rescue her. Despite numerous clever gadgets and an innovative take on traditional fairy lore, the author falls short of the bar. The rapid-fire dialogue may work as a screenplay with the aid of visual effects (a film is due out from Talk/Miramax in 2002) but, on the page, it often falls flat. The narrative hops from character to character, so readers intrigued by Artemis's wily, autocratic personality have to kill a good deal of time with the relatively bland Holly and her cohorts [...]. Technology buffs may appreciate the imaginative fairy-world inventions and action-lovers will get some kicks, but the series is no classic in the making. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Series: Artemis Fowl (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reissue edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423124529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423124528
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,420 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alaria on April 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Artemis Fowl is a twelve-year-old boy who just happens to be both a genius and a criminal mastermind. In a desperate attempt to restore his family's fortune, Artemis comes up with a plan to steal gold from the fairies. Along with his trusty butler sidekick "Butler", he travels to Vietnam on a quest to find a volume of fairy commandments. Once this is achieved and the book deciphered, the next logical step would be to kidnap a fairy and wait for the ransom money to arrive. However, when Artemis kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon, it seems he's made a mistake. Because these aren't the cute little elves of bedtime stories. These fairies are armed, dangerous and ready to fight. And they will stop at nothing to get Holly back.
The book has often been claimed to be the "next Harry Potter", but while it shares the same fantastically imaginative storyline and colourful descriptions, this is far darker and more humorous than JK Rowling's books. The main characters are all unique and loveable, particularly Holly, Foaly and Root. Even the anti-hero, Artemis Fowl himself is strangely appealing, despite his more dubious characteristics. As the book goes on, you begin to see that he does indeed possess a conscience, he is just careful never to let it get in the way of his evil schemes.
Artemis Fowl is full of humour and action. The author has produced an imaginative, fast-paced adventure, which combines magic and technology. The style of narrative is fairly informal, making it easier and more enjoyable to read. Although the first chapter is quite slow, the action soon speeds up and never stops. The story was absorbing, exciting and I read it straight through in a couple of hours without stopping.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading this book in one sitting, I think I've finally discovered my true reading level. I may not be that young, but as I've been told repeatedly that I've yet to grow up, I think I can easily qualify as a "young" adult reader.

This is a book that I had a lot of fun reading. I even busted the code (believe me - not a hard task) and started deciphering the code at the bottom of each page. I'm sitting here with a soft pencil, decoding like a cub scout with a secret decoder ring.

Eoin Colfer is a genius, with a vivid imagination and a wonderfully wicked sense of humor. He has produced a well thought out novel, nicely bound and presented, somehow combining a brilliant 12 year old millionaire criminal mastermind, a loyal butler named Butler who just happens to be a killing machine, a dwarf with a mighty forceful tunneling action, a techie wise-cracking centaur who can give Ian Fleming's "Q" a run for his money, a tough military-type girl scout fairy and her old fashioned boss, a havoc wrecking troll, and a support cast of dozens.

It's got magic, intrigue, deception, kidnapping, blackmail, computers, weapons, code-breaking, violence, and projectile flatulence and can't be faulted for the sheer brilliance of the scheming.

As soon as I finish my decoding, I'm off to book 2, "The Arctic Incident". Your kids will love this one, and so will you.

Amanda Richards October 3, 2004
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Format: Hardcover
Undoubtedly this will be constantly compared to Harry Potter, but for crying out loud, just because a book might become as highly-liked as HP doesn't mean that the plot has to amble along the same lines. Irish author Eoin Colfer makes an amazing debut in the US with this book.
Artemis Fowl is an astonishing criminal mastermind (he's also twelve), the end of a line of criminals, who now plans to rob the fairies/elves of their gold. The way that he plans to do so is kidnapping of an elf and subsequent ransom. Enter Captain Holly Short, a member of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaisance--a cute touch that had me laughing out loud) and elvish Commander Root. And Holly is just perfect for the scheme.
Though there are folklore, fairies and fantasy, this is no ancient-themed tale -- but wholly of the 21st century, with a bit of high-tech stuff thrown in. Forget the usual wands, cauldrons and spells: There's a magical Book, but also powerful computers and a digital camera (dare you to find one of those in other modern juvenile fantasies...)
The characters -- especially peppery Holly and intelligent, wily Artemis -- are full of pizzazz and sparkle. The appearances of the otherworldly characters -- done to death in conventional fantasy -- were tempered by the 21st century nature of the setting, and the natures of their jobs and interactions. All are given a slightly twisted, smiling slant.
The pace is high-speed, with few lags in the plotline. Occasionally I lost track of what was going on, but a backtrack of a few pages fixed that. The writing style is a little too stark and undescriptive for my personal taste, but I suppose it would not be high-speed if there were a great deal of description.
Will Harry Potter fans like this? I truly cannot tell, they might not like the vast differences between the two -- but fans of quirky, imaginative fantasy will love it for sure.
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Format: Hardcover
Being an avid reader, I bought this book based on an initial article that I had read about it being the next big thing since Harry Potter. I was anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Potter series, so I decided to give it a try. I am glad that I did. I could not put the book down! My biggest letdown is that the book is over, and when I reread it, I know what will happen. The intermingling of magical elements into modern society was very believable. The contrast of technology and magic is an interesting tangent. The characters are believable and lovable, even the villians, and they all show their strengths and weaknesses. The book had action, warmth, and humor. It is a book that I will read and reread!
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