Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

I got hold of the second Artemis Fowl book first from a book sale. Then the first Artemis Fowl was offered for free on Kindle. I had these two books for a couple of years but there are so many books, so little time! I decided to finally give the first book a try while waiting for my turn for “Mocking Jay” at the San Francisco Public Library.

“Artemis Fowl” is about an impertinent, arrogant and parentified twelve year old boy genius. It was hard for me to relate to the character at first because my two nephews (my boys after my own heart) are almost 12 years old themselves. There are just no similarities between my nephews and Artemis Fowl. Thank God! In fact, I had to keep reminding myself every time that I was reading about a 12 year old boy whose mother was very ill and whose father was missing, instead of what felt like a 40 year old power-hungry man with an assassin as his personal assistant. 

 It turned out to be a very enjoyable read with lots of interesting characters — a centaur, fairies, sprites, goblins, troll, etc but not in a cutesie fairy tale kinda way. Yes, they do use magic but they are also very high-tech.

This is a children’s/YA book but I was almost turned-off by the adult themes: greed, kidnapping, alcohol and intimidatiion. Artemis Fowl was after the fairies’ gold in order to restore his family’s fortune. The Fowl Family was nowhere near poor — in fact, they live in a mansion with servants but “they lost their billionaire status.” In order to reclaim their standing in society, Artemis had to get his hands on the fairies’ book of secrets first  which he had to track all the way down in Vietnam and remove from the hands of an alcoholic fortune-teller. The book of fairies  was written in fairy language. He had to translate the book using a very high-tech computer program. He used the knowledge to kidnap a fairy to be held for ransom.

The kidnapping of a brave female fairy started the whole negotiation between humans and the People which include the magical creatures I mentioned above.

I read at least 3 books at a time but I am hardly motivated to write a book review. Artemis Fowl was not only an enjoyable read but it is different, well-written and treats the reader as an intelligent individual despite the fact that it a children’s/YA book. There were some very funny moments, too, like a troll whose weapon of mass destruction included a serious case of  flatulence and let me leave the rest to your imagination. Or better yet, read the book.

Next read: Artemis Fowl “Arctic Incident”

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