Reviews Comments: Yay to the first half, boo to the rest
Yay to the first half, boo to the rest
Ending Spoilers are used in this revue. This is one of my favorite series after similar genre types like Harry Potter or Discworld. The premise for the series is original, a modern day cops and robbers heist caper with fantasy elements. To this end I enjoy the first four books of the series. That could have been a closer for me. Let's recap the endings of each book: Book 1, Artemis schemes the fairies of their gold and gets his mother's sanity restored. Book 2, Artemis and the LEP develop mutual respect, save Haven and find Artemis Fowl the Senior Book 3, The LEP is forced to mind wipe Artemis and the Butlers but Artemis has a memory gambit in store, tying to the next book. Book 4, Haven is saved from being revealed to humans, Holly quits the LEP because of Root's death and Artemis and Butler get their memories back. Book 5, Artemis, Holly, and N1 are sucked into Hybras and help move the island out of Limbo. Unfortunately there's a time skip and everyone else has been waiting for them for two years. Book 6, Artemis reveals the existence of fairies to his mother and pushes Past Opal Koboi to the edge but she is still stuck in the future to cause more time paradoxes. Book 7, Turnball Root calls off his scheme due to pleas from his dying wife, making the efforts of our heroes almost pointless. Artemis still has his mental disorder and the ending sentence has Butler stepping in turnip soup. I am not kidding. Here's what I think causes the derailment of this series: when young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl stops being a criminal, he stops being a mastermind. This starts after Book 5 that ends with the time skip, especially jarring given Butler's rapid aging in book 3. Artemis handled himself fine in Book 5 until they got to Hybras. In Book 6, he travels back in time and is suddenly getting outsmarted for most of the book. True, his memories aren't really what he thinks they are due to Time Paradoxes but come on, this is Artemis Fowl we're talking about. He should be more competent. His only bits of brilliant strategy in this book are bringing his past self to the present and tricking Koboi in the chase. This becomes worse in Book 7 given how the characters affect nothing, leaving a downer ending to the next book that will hopefully wrap up the series.
I disagree with your assessment of the series, but not because I think you're wrong: it's because we obviously have fundamentally different reasons for enjoying the series. I enjoy the characters more than any other aspect of the series, enjoy watching them change and develop and deal with trials and problems. The stories are to me just vehicles for the characters, and even in the decidedly non-eventful bit of filler that was the seventh book, the characters were still a joy to read about, and Eion Colfer's writing remained clever and enjoyable. To me the seventh book was just a little side-quest to the main overarching story that is the other six books and hopefully the up-and-coming eighth book as well, but I still enjoyed it for the same reason I enjoy side-quests in video games: I'm still 'playing', as it were, with the characters, and I can gather bits of useful stuff (EXP. in video games, character-developing experiences in the books) that will affect the real quest of the story. Even Artemis's change from a criminal into a hero felt natural and made the character just as interesting. To me, of course, I'm not saying that my opinion is the only right one. All I'm saying is that I look forward to the eighth book. Why? Because it's Artemis Fowl, that's why. I guess I'm just monumentally easy to please.
comment #7936 BonUs 5th Jun 11 (edited by: BonUs)
I love Artemis Fowl, but it's become clear that Eoin Colfer doesn't enjoy writing the series anymore. His writing seems to have been influenced by the Douglas Adams book he wrote previous to book 7 as well. A pity - this is probably my second favourite book series (after Harry Potter).
comment #12994 jewelia13 28th Feb 12
I agree with you on most of your review, but the fact that you say that Book 7 doesn't affect anything in the main series is wrong. Character development is still revalent in all of the books, and that's what I look for.
comment #14226 WindGolden 7th May 12
Book 7 is a change to long term character development, which is something the series needs. The problems with 4-6 (and maybe even 3) was that everything happened fast and fresh in the series. It was click wow more power, more tech, big stuff happening, huge character change. It works well at first and it worked excellently for 2 because you've got everything established so the surprises and big changes are actually very cool (why 2 is the best book) but after that it begins to get stupid. Mulch has so many powers by book 10 he'd've turned nova and destroyed the solar system as we knew it. It began getting silly having Artemis radically change his lifestyle every time and felt less real. The villains had to be more and more evil to even seem threatening and the plots became stupid as everyone had to one up their last act. So the series just fundamentally needs to change, either to status quo (which is hard since the fun of the first 3 was discovery) or to a slower pace, which is what it looks like 7 is doing.
comment #14230 Tomwithnonumbers 8th May 12
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