Book Reviews

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

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List Price: £7.99


Paperback: 336 Pages.

Published: 06 April 2006 by Puffin

ISBN: 0141320648

EAN: 9780141320649

Twelve-year-old villain, Artemis Fowl, is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. His bold and daring plan is to hold a leprechaun to ransom. But he's taking on more than he bargained for when he kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance Unit). For a start, leprechaun technology is more advanced than our own. Add to that the fact that Holly is a true heroine and that her senior officer Commander Root will stop at nothing to get her back and you've got the mother of all sieges brewing!


3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Anne

More than slightly mad - better read by the target agegroup

This novel is written for the young teenage market - I would judge it as appropriate for ages 12 to 14. As I cannot by any stretch of the imagination be included in that target agegroup I am perhaps not the most appropriate person to be reviewing the book. I did, however, read it all the way through and enjoyed it but I don't think that it could be widely read by adults like "Twilight", "Harry Potter" and "The Hunger Games" - all of which I have also read and enjoyed.

Artemis Fowl is an Irish super-villain (aged 12) from a family dynasty with a history of super-villainy and with inherited family retainers. He decides to capture a fairy in order to obtain their pot of gold. When a fairy operative falls into his hands the whole of fairy-kind are after him to get her back and preserve their riches but Artemis has a number of weapons in his armoury and a detailed knowledge of the weaknesses of his smaller foes.

This book shows a remarkable imagination at play, with certain similarities to the Discworld and its characters. There are lots of quirky ideas and clever touches which I found very amusing and would entertain most readers. The author, however, does not forget good characterisation as part of the mix and Artemis and Holly are rounded people with family backgrounds, histories and plans. The adult reader will enjoy finding similarities with elements of this plot to other writers but the way in which the story is written and the worldview is created are unique.

Where the book loses its grip on the adult reader is in the simplicity of the plot and the inconsistencies in the storytelling. I was left with a lot of questions which probably are not appropriate to the target agegroup - What other evil things has Artemis done as there is no mention of them ? How does Artemis know so much about fairies ? How does a twelve year old accomplish so much ? How do the gadgets work ? etc. These arise because the story is based in the "real" world. To read and completely enjoy this book you need to be a young teenager or to throw away your adult critical faculties to a degree that I was unable to. Even if you can't, however, there is plenty to enjoy here.

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