Artemis Fowl is a criminal mastermind, and he’s only twelve years old. Captain Holly Short is a fairy police officer, working for the elite LEPrecon retrieval squad. And their paths are about to cross in a manner no human, or fairy, could have anticipated.
I remember when I was in fifth grade my teacher read a part of this book aloud to the class, in an attempt to catch the attention of some reluctant readers in the class. I did not end up reading the book, mostly because I had other things to read, and I didn’t feel like fighting with other kids in the class over the book. However, this means the only thing that I knew about this book going in was not anything to do with the usual blurb, but about the way that dwarves dig. My teacher read the part of the novel that described the dwarf digging process (in particular, that they unhinge their jaw, consume the dirt, and digest it very quickly, like a worm), and it has stuck with me ever since. I wonder why.
Because of this, I spent the first portion of this book feeling like I was going a little crazy. Mulch, the dwarf that my teacher read about, doesn’t turn up until quite a ways into the story. I honestly spent a good chunk of time thinking that my twisted little 10 year old mind had made up this alternate version of Artemis Fowl and that it had stuck with me for years, despite being completely falsified. Alas, Eoin Colfer is the one with the twisted mind. I just had a strong memory for disgusting details.
Overall, the book was enjoyable. Artemis is often described as an anti-hero, which is expected in a novel about a 12 year old mastermind. I found myself actively rooting against him, however. Despite the reminders of his tragic backstory, I just didn’t feel a lot of sympathy for him. He’s arrogant, entitled, and feels a little bit sociopathic. I kind of surprised myself when I realised I was hoping that he would die at the end of the book (which is quite morbid, considering the character is 12 and this is a middle grade novel).
I loved the world building that was done for the fairy universe. The Book, the different rituals and laws…everything was just so fun and fascinating. I loved getting Root and Holly’s perspectives.
This was a fun read, and I would recommend it both to reluctant and avid readers. The plot was action packed, and the world building was a fun mix of modern technology and just a little bit of magic.