This is book #1 in the hugely successful Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. As of this writing, there are eight books in the series. A movie is also on the way, scheduled to come out this August. I’ve seen the Fowl books on the bookshelves for several years and always thought they looked like something I would enjoy. I finally got around to reading the first one and was not disappointed.
This book does a good job of introducing our main character. Early on in the reading, I was surprised to see that Artemis is not what I’d expected him to be. I imagined that he was some sort of super spy who defeated evil villains. On the contrary, Artemis Fowl is actually the villain. I hesitate to call him evil as the book does show that he has a good side although it doesn’t show up in his career choices. We are also introduced to his manservant named Butler, an interesting character who quietly provides the muscle to go along with his master’s brains.
Artemis’s dastardly plan involves stealing something of value from a magical race of creatures known to us humans as faeries. The book goes into great detail in describing the faerie race and gives us a full cast of very colorful faerie characters. The main faerie character is Captain Holly Short, a spunky female faerie that is kidnapped by Artemis. That event sets off a tense standoff between the boy genius and the faerie commandos who are sent to rescue Captain Short.
I enjoyed reading Artemis Fowl. The plot was imaginative, funny, and exciting. It had great characters on both sides of the good-guy-bad-guy fence. One interesting thing about the Artemis Fowl book is it’s never clear who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. At first, that bothered me, but I got used to it by the end of the book. At that point, I realized it really didn’t matter to the overall plot. I think Mr. Colfer’s main goal was to give us a fun story about strong characters. He was successful. This is a great start to a very promising series of books for young readers.
If this book were a movie it would probably receive a PG rating due to a couple of frightening scenes and one death scene.