Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1) by Eoin Colfer

Posted: January 28, 2010 in Fantasy
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I came across this book a little while back at a used bookstore. I picked up a copy for my Aunt as a Christmas gift, but had not yet had a chance to read it myself.

Since I was thoroughly disappointed with The Alchemyst (which had practically nothing to do with alchemy), I was a little worried about yet another Irish novel. Thankful, like most biases, these were unfounded, and Artemis Fowl could not be anymore night and day.

This is the first book in a three book series (update: 04/13/10 – there are currently seven known books in the series), and I can say for sure, I will be adding the next to my list.

Story overview:

Artemis Fowl II is a twelve-year-old boy genius, who comes from a family with a long history of being professional thieves. With his father missing for some time and his mother not in her right mind, Artemis is free to roam about—with help from his abnormally strong manservant, Butler—and execute his latest scheme.

His current ambition is directed at the race of elves in an attempt to acquire their gold and restore his family’s fortune. To accomplish this, Artemis locates and tricks an elf into letting him make a copy of their (the race’s) secret book. After translating this book, the young boy genius plots out a way to find and capture another elf to use as a hostage.

We learn that Leprechauns are actually known as LEPrecon, who are a special recon force that live miles underground. Captain Holly Short, the first female member of LEP, had nothing but problems trying to keep her position with Commander Julius Root always breathing down her back. If this was not bad enough, she finds herself as Artemis’s captive. Commander Root makes this his priority case to (1) save Holly, and (2) protect the hidden identity of their race. Artemis may have gotten a little over his head on this one, but somehow manages to stay on target.

My thoughts:

I quite enjoyed this one. Normally I am not a big fan of constant point-of-view switches, but these are done smoothly and sensibly; not disjointing at all. The characters are great fun to follow along, and the story had me wanting to jump right back in to see what happened next.

Things to consider:

This is a pretty harmless tale. Good for boys and girls in their preteens and older. There is a gory scene when Butler fights a Troll, some slight mentions to curses (done with good humor), and crude descriptions of a Dwarf’s gas, but all are done tastefully.

Opportunities for discussion:

The moral question arises of how one should treat their enemy. As did Artemis, who struggled with the human-like appearance of his captured elf, Holly. It was Holly who showed Artemis how one should treat their enemies, as she tried to save Artemis and his crew. This reminded me of the Bible verse, Matthew 5:43-44, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This opens a good discussion for you and your children/child.

  1. Anne Franklin says:

    Sounds interesting, I’ll give it a try.

  2. shylockbooks says:

    I have loved the entire series, and Eoin Colfer, unlike many YA and Middle-Grade authors, doesn’t “write down” to children as if they don’t understand. Eoin Colfer makes the reader feel intelligent and provides technological knowledge that kids wouldn’t necessarily get when they read “Captain Underpants”. It’s a great series, and Eoin Colfer is a wonderful author.

  3. Good point about the not “writing down” to children, I noticed and appreciated that too.

  4. […] the previous story of Artemis Fowl, we have a boy with a sick mother and a lost (presumed dead) father. The family happens to have a […]

  5. […] Wish List, by Eoin Colfer Due to my fondness for the Artemis Fowl series, I decided to give this book a shot. Unlike Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, this book is a single […]

  6. […] by Eoin Colfer After having read several of the Artemis Fowl books, and The Wish List, I decided to dig deeper into Eoin Colfer’s works. That’s […]

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