Artemis Fowl (#1) by Eoin Colfer

Published: April 26 2001
Goodreads badgePublisher: Viking Press
Pages: 280
Format: Book
Genre: Junior Fiction/Young Adult Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

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. These fairies are dangerous. Artemid thinks he’s got them just where he wants them, but then they stop playing by the rules.

Having just finished number five in this series I feel we must start gushing about them on here so you can all enjoy them as well (or gush ahead along with my reviews on goodreads). What is interesting when I read this review again how tame and unsure I was, who would know how engrossed and, well, obsessed I’d become. I’d like to think a lot of it was mild shock about the narrative, I had never read anything like it before. The enjoyment I had whilst reading it, and afterwards, was certainly enough to keep me going, and I am definitely glad I did. I had this book referred to me by a friend and she was insistent on its greatness, so with her backing I dived in and I am very thankful. So, this was my first impression upon finishing Artemis Fowl, and if my simple little review doesn’t initially make you instantly add it to your TBR list, I assure you it is worth it, trust me.

When I first finished this book I had no idea what to say about it; I knew I enjoyed it, I knew it was different and well written but I could not find the words to review it. After having had the time to ponder I think I may have myself sorted out.

Artemis Fowl is a 12 year old boy of incredible genius whose sole purpose in this book is to try and regain the family fortune. What makes this book so great is the very nature of it – just simply a 12 year old and his bodyguard taking on the underworld of faeries with wit and an appealing arrogance from someone who does not act his age at all.

There are always books that try and claim that faeries are not the tiny winged creatures living under mushrooms we’ve always believed; instead there are pixies and faeries who are practically human with a deep magic within them. There is nothing wrong with that by any means, but what Colfer does it different again. What he does is make them a civilization that deals with its own issues and problems, has been repressed by humans and are fighting to keep their secrets safe.

Fowl’s interactions with the People (as they’re called), is fantastic. He rarely wavers in his air of self importance and own brilliance which makes him intriguing if not an odd sort of charming. What’s great is that there are no grand corporate plots, evil nemesis’ and no faery political struggle infringing on the human world. None of that, it is just a 12 year old who found a way to get the money he wants, and if it means dragging the magic world into his then so be it. Artemis’ thinking is perfectly sound and he will overcome any impracticality he faces with wit, quick thinking and trickery if need be.

This is only the first novel in a long series but it a great start, certainly one to get you involved and eager to keep going. Colfer changes perspective between the humans and the faeries, and within the faerie recon squad there are great characters that have just as many quirks, flaws and tempers as the best human characters. We are introduced not only to elves but also criminal dwarves, and amusing and terribly sarcastic centaurs, there really is something for everyone.

In all and many unexpected places this story is filled with humour, action, suspense and some really clever writing, not to mention imagination in this intricately constructed underground world. I look forward to continuing the series.

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