February 01, 2009

Book Review and Series Review: Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox

I looooooooove the Artemis Fowl series. This is one of my favorite series of all time, and I just read the 6th book in this stupendiferous series. It's still awesome, even after the 6th book. What makes this series for me is the characters that Eoin Colfer created from the get go. These same characters come up in every book, and I wouldn't have it any other way. We have Artemis (or Artie to his friends), the genius mastermind who used to be an evil genius mastermind. Now he's older and kinder, but still a mastermind (although his need to dominate comes out once in awhile). Captain Holly Short, is the feisty fairy who has a Tom Cruise Top Gun type of side (she goes maverick). Butler is Artemis' faithful manservant who has the reflexes of a lynx but the heart of a teddy bear. Foaly the centaur who works on the fairy technology but can't help but admire Artemis' brain. And of course, the lovable Mulch Diggums, a dwarf with enough energy in his stocky legs and mouth to dig a tunnel through almost anything (although you DON'T want to be behind him when it all comes out). This cast of flawed characters make this series what it is. I want to hang with them over and over again.

Let me set this up for you. In book one, Artemis was still the genius, criminal mastermind. He can hack any computer and can win any mind game you throw. He has the brains, and Butler has the brawn. Together, they are unstoppable. Artemis needs money. Before you think he's greedy, just know that his Dad is missing in the Arctic somewhere and his Mom is a basket case. Artemis had to get tough! Okay, he's a little greedy, but somewhat unhappy, too. Like any unhappy person, he doesn't realize how unhappy he is and is just out to rule the world.

His plan is to find a fairy, get the fairy's book, copy all the pages, and find out how he can steal fairy gold. Then he will have enough funds to put all of his schemes into places, including finding his father. Everything does according to plan until he picks Captain Holly Short, of the LEPrecon as the fairy to kidnap for ransom. The LEP aren't the sweet, beautiful fairies of tales told in the storybooks. These are the roughest, toughest fairies you've ever seen. They have gadgets that James Bond never dreamed of. They have Foaly, a centaur who has the the hooves to invent the gadgets that will keep the humans in their place. Artemis has no idea what's in store for him.

It's the perfect combination of science fiction, fantasy, and humor.
These books are laugh out loud funny. And I never get tired of reading them. Each of the succeeding books teams up Holly and Artemis, sometimes as rivals, sometimes as allies with Butler, Mulch, and Foaly always playing parts. There are other minor characters that come in and out as well.

By book 6, Artemis has found his softer side. He has his Father back, and he's turned over a new leaf to go straight. He's also an older brother to twin boys and wants them to have the innocent childhood he never had. His mother has once again taken ill. He tries to heal her himself with the fairy juice he has left from being healed himself many times, but it just makes her worse. Now she has a virus that has long ago been cured. The only cure to this illness is the juice of the brain from a silky sifaka lemur, which is an extinct animal. Artemis knows this because he himself killed the last one back in his evil days. He calls in No. 1, a demon warlock with great powers, to send himself and Holly back in the past to stop his greatest nemesis yet: himself four years ago. Sound complicated? You bet. But Colfer's writing keeps the reader from getting too lost. Artemis only keeps use a step or two behind.

The books are good, safe reads for anyone over the age of 10. But older teens will get a kick out of these, too. There are some scenes of violence that could disturb some readers, but the majority of the reading in this series is simply fun and intense.

4 comments:

Kristi(e) said...

Quick note: Artemis has magic not from being healed several billion times (though I'm sure that didn't hurt), but from the weird time vortex thingy at the end of The Lost Colony.

This is a great review of the entire series, while only getting down and dirty with the first and last book in the series. Very nice job!

I liked the book, but one thing stuck out to me the entire time I read it: Where is Minerva? All of The Lost Colony was spent building up her character and an implied romance between her and Fowl, including her waiting THREE WHOLE YEARS with Butler for him to come back and then she's not even mentioned once? I kept expecting her to jump out of no where and that led me to be disappointed when she never showed. And I know that she was probably cut so the weird inter-species love interest of Holly and Fowl could come to light, but still... Perhaps I should reread it knowing that she just doesn't show up and maybe I will enjoy it more? As of right now, it is my least favorite of the entire series.

Zee said...

Thanks for keeping me honest about the magic thing. I didn't miss Minerva because, to me, she's not a major character. She is a minor character, and the series doesn't rest on her head like it does the 5 main characters.

theyayayas said...

I also wondered where Minerva was, but she didn't have a role to play in this story, so her absence didn't bother me.

Opal, on the other hand... The Arctic Incident and The Opal Deception are my two favorite books in the series, but still, I wouldn't mind seeing Artemis facing off against a different opponent.

Trisha

Kristi(e) said...

Opal, on the other hand... The Arctic Incident and The Opal Deception are my two favorite books in the series, but still, I wouldn't mind seeing Artemis facing off against a different opponent.

Me too!!!

As for Minerva, I just found it odd that she waited THREE WHOLE YEARS for Artemis to return and then ::poof:: she's not there. If they just let her disappear at the end of The Lost Colony I would be all "oh whatever" about the situation. I'm sorry, some girl does not wait for you to come back from a time vortex for 3 years and then just go away without a trace.

In case you haven't noticed, I tend to get hung up in little details while reading books...