190 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
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...
Published on April 30, 2001 by Alaria
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but no Harry Potter
I read this book in all of three hours one lazy afternoon. It was exciting and kept my interest. I felt it did not deserve the truly negative reviews in the New York Times Review of Books and Newsweek (or Time). I enjoyed it. I did find the characters interesting, if rather stock and cliched in some regards. I imagine my older children may enjoy it. However, if you're...
Published on May 12, 2001
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190 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic,
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. Where the "Goblet of Fire" was quite frightening, Artemis Fowl is full of humour and the typical fairy magic is replaced with action and wit.
I think that this book would be less appealing to younger children in the way that Harry Potter managed to be, but older kids, teenagers and adults alike should enjoy the mix of fantasy, humour and adventure. Overall: five stars, and I will definitely be reading it again. This is no copy of Harry Potter; Artemis Fowl is a completely original work but is still deserving of all the hype. I am sure I will be buying any future books in the series.
162 of 179 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could write this title in code.,
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This review is from: Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1) (Paperback)
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
67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new age of fantasy,
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.
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the hype!,
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!
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but no Harry Potter,
By A Customer
I read this book in all of three hours one lazy afternoon. It was exciting and kept my interest. I felt it did not deserve the truly negative reviews in the New York Times Review of Books and Newsweek (or Time). I enjoyed it. I did find the characters interesting, if rather stock and cliched in some regards. I imagine my older children may enjoy it. However, if you're looking for the next Harry Potter, this is NOT it. While funny, it lacks the wholehearted humor of the Potter books and its plot was not as compelling. It's use of magic is limited, with the elves being more technologically advanced than humans. It felt more like a kid's sci-fi novel than a fantasy one. Still,it had some nifty concepts and an exciting finish, and I recommend it, as long as you're not looking for a Harry Potter clone.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The comparison to Harry Potter is misleading,
This book is not another Harry Potter wanne-be. It's written in a much more aggressive, entertaining style. The emphasis is on action and suspense, and the characters are quite edgy. I especially liked Holly. She's an officer with LEPRecon, the modern version of leprecaun police (I have to say Colfer's updated mythology references are very cute). Holly's a great female protagonist, very independent but with a kind streak she can't ignore. All the other "underworld" characters are also well-developed with their own personalities. There's Foaly, a wise-cracking Centaur tech expert, Root the amusing head officer with a bad temper, Mulch a tunneling pockpocket (with interesting bodily functions), and some very scary trolls.
The above-world characters are not so much fun, but set the stage for a really great story. Artemis is as believable as a criminal mastermind boy-genius type can be. I get the sense that this character will develop more in future installations. The interactions between him and the fairies is written very well. In a way, he is protagonist and antagonist at the same time, which makes for very good reading as you are rooting for all the characters to come out ahead. There is a bit of violence, but definitely no more than most toys and books aimed at pre-teens. It's was a fun read and I would pass on the recommendation to most anybody who likes the fantasy/magic fiction genre.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read all Around,
I have yet to read any of the Harry Potter books, to which many are inevitably comparing this too, so I can't judge on that. By the books own merits alone, I can honestly say that it was a terriffic read, extremely enjoyable. I picked it up right before a flight and devoured the thing before days end. "Die Hard with Fairies" is an excellent description. I definitely smell a sequel. Artemis himself was pretty interesting and original for a children's book "anti-hero". I'm not sure if I want my children to emulate his ethics, but you have to admire his intelligence, determination, and confidence. And Butler, by the way, is THE MAN. Anybody who can go toe to toe with a troll in unarmed single combat is one bad mutha... I have to give it 5 stars. I don't think Artemis will topple the literary giant Harry Potter has become, but he does have a lot of promise. "Artemis Fowl" is well written, well crafted, and a lot of fun. I hope that Mr. Colfer writes another one, I know I'll buy it.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good fun, not much more,
There are other reviewers who have said everything I would say, so I will make this brief.... Just wanted to make clear to parents who are reading here: there is quite a bit of "fowl" language <ark> and violence in this book, including some fairly graphic gore. We read it aloud, so it was easy to edit out, but I was surprised in a book aimed at this age group at the amount there was to edit. If your kids watch PG-13 movies (our oldest does), it won't be anything they haven't heard or seen, but I admit I was a bit offended to find it in a book aimed at this age group. Maybe because it seems so out of place when reading out loud as a family. And also because you could so easily leave it out without ruining a kid's enjoyment of the story.
For the most part, we enjoyed this book. It was boring at times, which seemed odd for a book billed as a suspense novel. I would have liked it a lot more without the epilogue--the ending redeems Artemis a bit, but then the epilogue takes it all back (I can't say more without ruining the ending, which imo was the best part of the book). It's a fun read, but we were all definitely ready to move on to the next book by the time we were done--unlike some other books, which we were sorry to have end.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings,
I had big expectations about this book - expectations that were, ultimately, unfulfilled. Partly it was the hype - as a big Harry fan, I was led to this as a "fill the void" book. But, as others have pointed out, this isn't Harry Potter and comparisons are futile.
So, instead, you get a 34 year old man reading a kid's book, enjoying it somewhat but not getting any benefit from being 34! If I was 10 again, I think I would have absolutely loved it, probably given it five stars and the world would be right.
Anyway, back to the book. Our hero Artemis Fowl is a very very naughty boy (as the Monty Python team might describe him). Unfortunately, for the world at large, he is also extremely clever and resourceful. Amazingly dedicated for a twelve year old he spends a lot of time, energy and gold searching for the secrets to the fairies. At last he finds a washed-up fairy who he tricks into giving the Booke and uses this to try and get a big stash of gold.
The book is very humorous - but it is more of a child's humor than something that will also get adults chortling. It's kind of Terry Pratchett lite! It's a very easy read and I will go ahead and read the rest of them - I'll just have a better idea what I'm going to get.
In summary - if you are a child, you'll probably love this book; if you are a child at heart, you might not love it quite so much.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Potter, but not bad.,
Having read this book as a continuation of my love for fantasy and having throughly enjoyed the Potter series I found Colfer's world to be one which was entertaining, well thought out, and a great deal of fun. Don't read this book if you want another Harry Potter book, read it on it's own merits! The characters are unique, and Fowl is not supposed to be another Potter. He is supposed to be an EVIL 12 year old. In the end the book focused more on Root's quest to regain Holly, one of the LEPrecon's recruits and dealt more with an introduction to Colfer's fantasy world than it did on the trials of a media-frenzied genius wizard at boarding school. Fowl isn't meant to be the role model, but another character for children to enjoy reading. The book was easy to follow and even contained a puzzle for added entertainment. Buy this book and prepare to be entranced into a world of magic, science, and the explosive confrontation when they meet in the 21st century.
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Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (Paperback - June 23, 2009)