Reviews: Artemis Fowl
Fun, funny, and worth the read
I loved reading this series. It was creative, unique, and I loved all the books up until book eight. Colfer knows how to create a plot with just enough twists and turns so you don't know what's coming, but not so many it seems contrived. The characters will keep you entertained, and the series isn't afraid to take a slightly darker turn when it has to. It's a blast for younger readers just coming off Harry Potter, and I highly recommend it. At least, up until book eight. Colfer pulls an amnesia card on us at the very end of book eight. Artemis Fowl and all the memories and character developement he'd accumulated over the course of the series, gone in an instant. It negates the entire series and its efforts to make Artemis a better person, and makes you wonder what the point was of the first seven books. All in all, the series is lightweight and enjoyable, but give the eighth a pass unless you want to make up your own ending.
Just stop reading after the third book
The first book was refreshingly unusual, featuring a clever main character and a clever plot The second book was a little bit weaker, but worked still fine. The third book was brilliant, with great twists and an ending which was the perfect tie in to the prologue of the first book. The fourth book ruined the series. Not only did it undo the perfect ending of book three, from this point onwards it became more and more unreadable with each instalment, partly because the author wasn't able to keep the main figure a true criminal, but also because useless characters, time travel (of the "this doesn't make ANY sense" kind) and "let's just change the rules to bend the story however I like it" moments where thrown in. So, read book 1-3 and enjoy. But don't make the mistake to read more, it will just ruin a perfect memory.
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.
Not fantastic, but entertaining
I'll get right down to basics: Artemis Fowl is not the best series ever written. It isn't even close. What it does wrong are stupid plots in the last half of the series, the weird romantic chemistry between Artemis and Holly, and the rapid aging shaft they gave Butler. What it does right? They're fun. They are stupid, semi-intelligent fun that do get younger readers to actually think. They are funny, action-packed, and move along at a faster pace than a tunelling dwarf. Similar to Mathew Riley, Eoin Colfer writes books that make people that don't read do so, and he does it WELL. That said, if you try to take them seriously, you'll be disappointed. If you don't, however, it's a pretty good ride - even if Paradox is stupid.