Monday, May 23, 2011

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!!


Laura Pauling said...

I read the first book in the series and found it fun. I love how he makes an unlikeable character so likeable!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

You know, the strangest thing about this post is that we have the books but I've never picked them up to read. You've totally made me feel like a goober. I'll have to read them, now. :)

Becky Levine said...

We love this series. If you ever get a chance to see Eoin Colfer speak, go--if possible, he's even funnier in person.

Barbara Watson said...

I've seen these but have never picked them up, but after your opening couple sentences, I am hooked. I also have a boy MG reader in my house who would be intrigued by these. Thank you.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

My son loved these books!! :-)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

This book is what made me want to write MG. We are HUGE Artemis fans in our house!

Kristan Hoffman said...

I've heard such good things about this series! And personally I do like the new covers.

Jackee said...

Yay for Lenny, Brooke, and me! :o) Thank you so much, Sherrie! xo

I love the Artemis Fowl series, but the first ones are my favs. After about the 5th book I became bogged down by the characters and bathroom humor. Still, the first through the third are some of the best MG out there. Thanks for sharing!

Have a lovely day!

bfav said...

This is a great pick, I've never actually read them, I need to put them on my TBR pile. And thanks for making my day, I'm excited for the book. cheers.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS to the winners!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the ARC winners... and Artemis is a series I must finish reading!

Myrna Foster said...

Holly and Butler are my favorite characters (in the series).

Joanne R. Fritz said...

Congrats to the winners!

Love the first Artemis Fowl book. I also adore Holly as a character. Great choice for MMGM, Sherrie!

And I second what Becky said. Eoin Colfer is hilarious in person.

Also have to agree with what Jackee said. As much as I love the first three books, I never read past that. Maybe they appeal more to 11-year-old boys, especially with the bathroom humor. But it's great to have books like these for boys who've outgrown Captain Underpants!

Sarah Laurenson said...

I loved the first book - the voice, the humor, the unbelievable situations that seemed totally realistic.

But then...
I tried another one - not sure if it was the second in the series. It had this message puzzle running along the bottom of the pages. I love puzzles. I love to read. I prefer to do them separately and I think the puzzle was too distracting. It kept pulling me out of the story because my mind tried to solve the puzzle as I was reading.

I haven't read any more of them and I never finished that one. I am curious about the graphic novel and may jump in for another go round.

Barrie said...

And I just saw on PM that the last books in the series have sold! :)

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