Title: Artemis Fowl Series
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publishers: Miramax, Puffin, and Disney Hyperion
Publication date: 2001 to 2012
ISBN: 9781423120377; 1423108361;
Buy at: BookDepository
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories—they’re dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.
From the 1st book: Artemis Fowl.
Talk about a “bloody brilliant” series. Artemis Fowl comprises eight Young Adult, sci-fi/fantasy thriller books that tell the story of the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl as he dives into the technological fairy world, concealed from humans. It begins when Artemis kidnaps the fairy Holly Short, a captain of the “fairy police”. Believing that the fairies possess enormous wealth, he demands a ransom for the Captain: an enormous amount, and the exact he needs to restore his family’s resources and set his plans in motion. But the fairies are not the humans he’s used to dealing with. Their technology is much more advanced, and the tricks they have up their sleeves are plenty. Dealing with fairies won’t be that easy after all.
This series follows Artemis’s adventures in two worlds: that of the fairies’ and his family’s, each lethal in its own way. Lethal and hilarious. Between Artemis’ introduction to puberty, dwarf Mulch Diggums’ teasing, centaur Foaly’s sarcasm, and general puns and wittiness, it’s difficult not to laugh out loud every now and then. But this is not just about humour and impossible adventures, there is great heart at the bottom of each book, sometimes in hidden locations. After all, criminal mastermind or not, this is the story of a twelve-year-old, of a teenager, of a son, and perhaps even of a friend. There had to be a heart to it. Indeed, at the end of the eight book, there is quite a lot of it. One may even say it hits “right in the feels”.
You should not be surprised, therefore, when I tell you that the character development in this series is astonishing. The Artemis of book 8 and of book 1 are two wholly different people. One of the novels actually lets you properly see how much he has changed. Not just he, of course, but it’s in Artemis that the differences are clearer.
It could not be any other way. After all, as it often is in a series of adventures and growing up, the books grow darker as the story progresses. What’s more, in opposition to many stories, including Harry Potter, we get to see many of the consequences of the “final battles”; the good and the bad.
Another thing I loved about the series, probably because I’m a biologist, was the ecological message often proclaimed by the fairies. It is not common to find stories that speak of it, so I always do a little jig when a book reminds its readers of the Earth’s problems, and Artemis Fowl does so perfectly. It doesn’t point out fingers for the sake of it, it entwines the pointing with the plots (see The Time Paradox in particular). It is not just this issue that the books deal with either. There’s mental and physical illness, cloning and other biotechnological points, and much more.
With a memorable and unique cast of characters, wittiness and absurdity, and fantastic adventures, Colfer does not only manage to entertain and cater to people of all ages, but also to remind us of troubling issues in a personal and global scale. Artemis Fowl is, undoubtedly, a ridiculously fun and smart read.
The book in a quote
“I never tell anyone exactly how clever I am. They would be too scared.”