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Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 2, 2003
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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
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
I do wish there had been some formatting differences for the rather frequent point-of-view shifts. Sometimes there was no indicator, such as spacing, asterisks, a divider, etc. There was a lot of "gross-out" content. I really grew a little weary of the dwarf and his flapped trousers... For parents, there is a bit of light swearing consisting of mostly "damn" and "hell" (and a few made-up and implied explicitive phrases). Some may be concerned about the death of a rabbit at the hands of the flap-trousered dwarf.
Overall, this was an entertaining read. I will likely be "back" for book two, once I've cleared up some of my Kindle slush-pile. I don't regret re-purchasing this in Kindle format, at least, it filled a few sessions of light reading for a few days.
Artemis is a young genius who also happens to be the heir to a criminal dynasty that’s going broke. So Artemis decides to save the family business in the only way he can think of, which is ripping off the fairies that no one believes really exist.
I really liked Butler and Holly. The whole story was really cute, and if you don’t over think it, the little things shouldn’t get you down. I like the idea that the bad guy in this story is a little boy, but I must admit I kept hoping someone would stop to spank him at some point. (Oh no, wonder who I offended with that statement?)
In any case, I don’t think Artemis is a bad boy. I just think he’s a product of his environment, who happens to be desperate and willing to do whatever he thinks is necessary to save his way of life. The story is full of adventure, magic, and oddly enough a little sci-fi.
I recommend this to anyone willing to give it a try.
Since there already hundreds of reviews on this book, nobody may ever see this one. I do have some impressions to share. I really enjoyed reading this book despite my 70+ years. Great art, it ain't; a fun story it most definitely is. The characters are somewhat stereotyped, but the author's light touch actually making fun of that fact compensates. This is fantasy and you never lose track of that as you read.
An attempt to find a high moral message in this book would take longer than it takes to read it. The fairy Captain, Holly, exhibits the only sense of honor and she seems to do so reluctantly. Don't expect to have your life or philosophy altered by this story. But if you want a few hours of light, easy reading, you could do much worse. Don't worry about your kids reading it and getting ideas. If they can read, they are smart enough to know that nobody, including themselves, is really as smart as Master Artemis Fowl.
David F. Norman commenter at large and author of:
Shangri La: The Cleopatra's Needles Operation
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liked how the back stories helped to understand the characters better.Read more