By Eoin Colfer
To wrap up our Ireland-set fantasy book month:
WOW I read this book a long time ago. And personally, I like the old cover :D I remember thinking it made the book seem all mysterious. The back cover bore the cryptic phrase, which went something like: STAY BACK, HUMAN. YOU DON'T KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH, and I remember thinking: You're right. I really have no clue.
Then in walked Artemis Fowl, a pale, arrogant kid genius who always gets everything he wants--except for a family. He won me over by the first chapter. With his mother's mental health teetering, his father dead, and the Fowl Manor coffers in trouble, Artemis Fowl decides like any normal twelve-year-old boy that the best solution is to rob a bunch of powerful, underground dwelling fairy folk who have tons of riches. The ever-suffering Butler (his loveable bodyguard) reluctantly agrees to his scheme, and they catch a break when they track down an alcoholic sprite banished to live among the Mud People (that's us), whom Artemis tricks in order to study her Book. All fairies have Books that issue strict protocol to follow, and guidelines about when to replenish their magic. Such a magic-drained fairy should be popping up in Ireland any day now to renew her magic under the light of the full moon. Artemis and Butler hurry to trap her so they can hold her for ransom.
Unfortunately for them, they've captured LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police) captain Holly Short, who although initially surprised by this devious Mud Person's intelligence, soon unhatches several schemes of her own. The Underground fairy folk aren't delicate or romanticized; they're formidable, blaster-wielding, and ultra-technologically advanced. Now that Artemis has a scientific genius centaur, a crude dwarf with a secret weapon, and the whole of LEP coming after him, he'll have to re-evaluate what he really wants. This book aimed for teen and younger readers is a whole lot of hilarity, twists, and inventiveness, with a thought-provoking eco-message and a Code written in the Fairy language that you can crack if you're really a hardcore fan. You might not be sure how the story ends, but you do know that Artemis has finally found a true opponent in the Fairy Folk.
Recommended for fans of: J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, T. A. Barron
Upcoming Book Review: Sanctum by Sarah Fine (I said I'd do this one a while back, sorries! :)