Book Review: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

I never thought I would fall in love with a criminal mastermind. Especially one who’s only 12.

Artemis Fowl intrigued me from the first page. He speaks like an adult and takes fiendish delight in toying with anyone he doesn’t consider his intellectual equal. He has no fear of brawn, either. But not because he’s an imposing figure. He doesn’t need to be. He has his heavily armed bodyguard, Butler, for that. Not that Butler needs weapons. He could kill a man a hundred different ways without using a weapon.

Do you see why boys like this book?

Artemis Fowl is full of gun fights, explosions, chases and double crosses. And did I mention the fairies? Yeah. But don’t look for any sweet creatures with diaphanous wings. These elves, gnomes, trolls and fairies carry weapons. And they aren’t afraid to use them.

The amazing underground worlds that Eoin Colfer has created with this series takes traditional lore and turns it on its ear. The best part, though, is the understated, smart a$$ character of Artemis. His ruthless words often contradict the thoughts running through his mind. Much as he wants to be seen as a tough guy, he has a soft spot for his mother. And though neither would admit it, he and Butler would be lost without each other.

The entire cast of characters make this book fun to read. There’s Holly, the elf that Artemis goes up against. She’s strong, she’s a trained LEP Recon officer and she’s got an attitude to match. Commander Root is the coolest, fungus cigar chomping fairy you’ll ever come across. Foaly the centaur, a tech wizard, loves to match wits against Artemis, even while keeping the fairies shielded from humans and developing cool new gadgets. Mulch Diggums, the kleptomaniac dwarf with an explosive back side, can’t seem to stay out jail. With more than one secret hidden in his beard, there’s more to this dwarf than just his killer farts.

Put all of these characters together, add a stolen book of gnomish, a lot of gold, a missing father, a fairy-napping, cool futuristic gadgets, and lots of explosions, and you’ll see why this has become a popular, long running series. I’m partial to the original covers, but my son thinks the new ones are even better. Whichever version you read, it’s what’s inside that will keep you turning the pages.

Looking for more Marvelous Middle Grade reviews? Check out these bloggers:
Shannon Whitney Messenger
Shannon O’Donnell
Joanne Fritz
Myrna Foster
Brooke Favero
Anita Laydon Miller
Deb Marshall
Barbara Watson
Michael Gilmartin

And I’ve got three winners for the ARCs from last week’s post:

Congrats to Lenny, Brooke and Jackee!! Email me with your snail mail addresses and I’ll get your books out to you!!