Wednesday, February 13, 2013
My youngest sister (she's almost 13) has been bugging me to read the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer for oh, at least two years now. I think. Being free of college at last (which was almost two years ago...), I have the freedom to read for leisure. But I kept forgetting about dear little Artemis. Sure, I read the first book about four or five years ago while I was working at the library. But that's as far as I got. So I have now taken it upon myself to read the entire series before winter is over. Not a huge problem, since the books aren't that long.
I reread the first book, to reacquaint myself with the characters. Artemis is likeable in a sad way; you feel sorry for him at the beginning -- a missing father (presumed dead) and a very sick mother because of that. Artemis' bodyguard, Butler, doesn't have too much of a personality in this book, but he's quite impressive. The fairies we meet in the first book are rather hilarious. I love Captain Holly Short for her spunk and willingness to disobey orders when they are dumb. Which, let's face it, many of the orders coming from Commander Julius Root are dumb. Root is absolutely hilarious, and I'm sure Colfer meant him to be. Always about to blow his top, it's a wonder that he's in charge at LEP at all! And there's Foaly, the paranoid centaur who controls all the techie stuff. Oh, and we can't forget Mulch Diggums, kleptomaniac extraordinaire. I'm not kidding. He's quite the convict.
As far as the story goes, it's a decent one. Fairies have hidden underground from humans, which they call Mud Men, for many centuries now. They go aboveground for few things, one being to renew their magic. This is how Holly gets captured by Artemis, who has an uncanny knowledge of the fairies. Commander Root stages an attack on Fowl Manor, they discover that Artemis has a copy of the Book, the fairies' holy writ, as it were, and things don't go so hot after that.
That's a simple summary.
The problem I had with this book is that Eoin Colfer is good with weaving a plot but he's kind of a terrible writer. So much of his grammar was bad. Plus, he doesn't use POV and omniscient narrator very well. There were more than a few pages where I couldn't figure out who was saying and/or thinking what.
I gave the book 3 stars because though it's badly written, it's amusing and a clever story.