Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony (#5) by Eoin Colfer

Published: May 31st 2007
Goodreads badgePublisher: Puffin Books
Pages: 376
Format: Book
Genre: Junior Fiction/Young Adult Fantasy
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ – 5 Stars

Ten thousand years ago, humans and fairies fought a great battle for the magical island of Ireland. When it became clear that they could not win, all of the faeries moved below ground—all except for the 8th family, the demons. Rather than surrender, they used a magical time spell to take their colony out of time and into Limbo. There they have lived for decades, planning their violent revenge on humans.

Now the time spell is unraveling, and demons are beginning to materialise without warning on Earth. If humans were to find out about them, all faeries would be exposed. To protect themselves, the faeries must predict when the next demon will materialise. But in order to do so, they will have to decipher temporal equations so complicated even a great brain like Foaly can’t understand them. But he knows someone who can: Artemis Fowl.

So when a confused and frightened demon imp pops appears in a Sicilian theatre, Artemis is there to meet him. But he is not alone. Someone else has unlocked the secrets of the fairy world and managed to solve complex mathematical problems that only a genius could. And she is only twelve years old…

I adore this man, how can you not adore this man!? Why is it that he has the ability with a handful of words to change everything and make everything wonderful and beautiful and spectacular and astonishing and imaginative and poetic all at the same time! No matter what the situation there is time for quick witted jokes which makes it even better, and just when you think you finally have it sorted it out, the narrative is in place, and the ending is near, Colfer, in the space of a few words, changes everything! And I love him for it.

Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony begins with one thing, moulded into another and then changes completely. You do not even realise this until you finish the book and you think about the incredible journey you have just been on. Every time I picked up this book it was by force I put it down again, especially in the final chapters.

It begins as all Artemis adventures do with the smooth charm that keeps you going, and then we merge into strange fascination, and then you are thrown into this experience where you just keep your eyes on the page, pay attention and use all your willpower not to skip ahead a few lines because as beautiful as Colfer’s sentences are, and how great his story can be, you just want to know what happens.

You know you may have read a few Artemis Fowl books when you start to know what will happen before it is revealed. Not a lot before I assure you, only by a line or so, Colfer isn’t that willing to give up his secrets and twists. In a way I’m proud because I can still enjoy Artemis’ genius in what he has in store and what decisions and risks he takes; it has in no way become predictable.

We are introduced in this book to a possible new foe and competition for Artemis, a younger, equally smart competition called Minerva. Colfer writes on the blurb that he is glad Artemis finally has some competition, I myself was wary, but Colfer handles it well, as does Artemis. Surprisingly, while you think Minerva is going to be the main point through the book, she isn’t.

This introduction and seemingly proposed issue of a new intellectual conflict does not last long and the magical world takes priority once more. I enjoyed how Colfer gave us a new perspective with a new world and characters, as good as it was that he had been changing up the existing world, it was nice to see that there are other worlds out there. Similarly as he had done when we first learned of the LEP and the People, we are given a decent introduction of the world rather than a hurried and fractured welcoming through Artemis’ interaction or some other form.

This new world is known as Hybras where a colony of demons and imps reside, living in isolation, awaiting the day they can take revenge on the humans who it seems are responsible for their exile. Despite all being equal to a degree, Hybras is ruled by Abbot, the wisest and most legendary figure in the land. All adore him and his warrior stories, all except one: No.1. No.1’s story is one we follow and discover that he is different from the others, and he doesn’t know why; that is until Artemis Fowl comes into the picture and changes everything. I liked No1, his innocence and naivety is balanced by enthusiasm and curiosity, and there is a lot plot wise that helps bring out the best in him, which makes him a great character.

Along with the new, the same faces return, though not as frequently. I was rather surprised and excited with Colfer’s approach on this one, phrases and snippets referenced beforehand suddenly make a lot more sense at the end, and it reveals a lot about how important people can be in others’ lives. We had seen this in previous books around other characters but this I was not expecting; it was intricately clever and well done.

The setting of this novel is mainly set in Hybras adding another nice change. With the initial introduction we are given further exposure through the actions of Artemis and friends. The events and risks taken in this novel bring great excitement to the story, as does the continual cryptic puzzles and problems that arise. Magic plays its hand once more in influencing and impacting on Artemis and in a few ways slightly more permanently. I know I am being deliberately vague about this entire thing because first of all, where do you even begin to talk about what happens in this book, and secondly, some of the surprises and twists are too great not to enjoy first hand. There isn’t a lot to talk about without revealing something wonderful so all you’re getting is vagueness and emotion. That hopefully is enticing enough.

You can love these books for Artemis’ wit and charm and everything else but the end of this book I think was so unexpected I think it almost outweighed the delight about everything else. I simply adored the ending! I adored it! It freaked me out, it worried me, it confused me, and I am so eager and anxious to leap into book six I just don’t know whether to wait and calm down or power on through before the curiosity is the end of me. It opens the way well for the following book and the cliff hanger he provides is definitely going to be a game changer I feel. There is something about sudden and dramatic changes that can either change things for the better or worse, but knowing Colfer he has a plan up his sleeve and whatever happens is not going to be ruined or rushed, and handled with excellent care that we have seen before.

As a character I am trying to decide which Artemis I prefer. I can’t say I prefer this Artemis over the ones we see in the earlier books, all are charming (he is always charming!), and as he nears my own age it becomes less weird that I have such an affection for him. Right? Though I do love all the sides of Artemis, especially when he tries to fight the things he can’t change, and how no matter what he is doing he still manages to think systematically and plan ahead. The fact we see Artemis grow and develop through the books is wonderful, you see the child grow emotionally while still keeping the same sharp wit and intellect of the twelve year old. Seeing his character in the next book will be a treat I feel, especially as a result of the events in this book.

A fun thing though I did notice while reading was that on the back of my cover (and now I must check all other covers) is a small disclaimer by Artemis himself. It reads: This man is NOT my biographer. He is a fantasist, writing sensationalist stories about me. I will neither confirm nor deny anything that appears between these covers. However, my lawyers – and my bodyguard – are watching. Signed Artemis Fowl ll. I love this as well, reminds me of the bits in Unfortunate Events where Snickett includes himself in the story.

There is no real, logical reason to stop following Artemis Fowl, you can never tire of him, and Colfer has yet to lose appeal if this book is anything to go by. As long as his imagination, creativity, uniqueness and genius are all in working we have nothing to worry about. Artemis Fowl’s adventures will always be there to document, no matter how unofficial they may be.

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