Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl #1
Published May 2nd 2001 by Hyperion

Artemis Fowl. You've probably heard the name.
If Internet rumours are to be believed, he's responsible for every major crime of the new century. If you haven't heard of young Artemis, the you're lucky. You'll sleep better not knowing that someone like him is out there. But if you must know, if curiosity is eating away at you, as it did at me, then let's start at the beginning...

In this, the story of Artemis' first encounter with the fairy People, you'll find out how he hatched a plot to restore his family's fortune. You'll read how he discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous fairies, farting dwarfs and mind-blowing technology. And you'll learn how, by kidnapping Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police, Artemis almost triggered a cross-species war.

Still with me? Well, strap in, adventurers - you've never read anything quite like this..
Artemis Fowl. To reference the blurb, I've definitely heard the name but evidently, I had no clue what this story was about. I thought it was basically a MG/YA story about this brilliant, rich kid who stole stuff. And it is that, but it's also much, much more. I didn't realize there was such a strong fantasy element worked into the heists...nor did I know that it would feature such a mature plot and mature characterizations. When I saw that the author compared it to ''Die Hard with Fairies'' it all made sense LOL!  Obviously, my first encounter with Artemis Fowl has left me quite impressed.

While Artemis himself is the main character of his story, I was once again surprised by the focus on the host of supporting characters.  The story is told in third person omnipresent so you really get inside every important character's head. From Artemis, to his bodyguard Butler and even on the opposing 'fairy' or LEPcon such as Captain Holly Short, an Elf, Commander Julius Root and Centaur tech-guy Foaly. The alternating POVs are exceedingly well done though, never confusing or overwhelming.  In fact, I enjoyed being able to witness both sides of the conflict - a conflict that begins when our boy Artemis decides to steal 'The Book of the People' a sacred Fairy text. See, humans aren't supposed to even know about fairies, but as you probably guess, Artemis is far from  a regular human.  He's already breaking all the rules just knowing about the fairy people....let alone stealing their holiest of books for personal gain.

Artemis is a brilliant criminal mastermind at twelve years of age and if just that isn't enough to make you curious about this story, I don't know what will. Awhile back we sorted characters from other fandoms into Hogwarts Houses and Amanda sorted Artemis into Slytherin and I have to say that thinking about him that way while getting to know him was just brilliant. He'd make an exemplary Slytherin, one the entire school could be proud of. In fact, I wish we'd gotten to know Slytherins like him in the series. Likewise, Butler was a standout character as a strong and silent bodyguard. Loved him!  Holly, Root and Foaly were all truly solid supporting characters. I loved Holly's spirit which played off Root's hard, no-nonsense personality. Foaly offered a bit of comic relief but he's brilliant so his sass was on point throughout here.

Artemis Fowl read like an adult action movie, which is particularly rare in YA lit. There are military elements, heist scenarios, espionage...all combined with the fantasy elements of fairy. Now that I know the author went for Die Hard with fairies, I totally see it but man, talk about a unique combination!  The ''Fairy'' race here includes elves, leprechauns, trolls, goblins and dwarves (thus far) and Artemis' actions end up pitting the entire fairy race on the brink of a war against humans.  This first instalment is full of seriously amazing action scenes, and combined with a tight plot and fully-fleshed out characters what more could a reader want? There were a few throwaway comments that came off a bit sexist, but they fit the context and the characters speaking them more than the whole world view of this series so I let it slide.

I listened to the first book in the Artemis Fowl Series on audio and I will definitely be listening to the rest of the series that way.  Artemis Fowl is an Irish MC and the narrator Gerry O'Brien had a lovely Irish accent which was perfect. He did amazing and unique voices for all of the different characters that really fit each character's personality! It was my first time with an Irish narrator but I loved every second of it.

Why did I wait so long to read this?!  I had a lot of fun getting to know Artemis Fowl but after the first book, I hardly feel like we've scratched the surface. Luckily there are seven more books in the series to satisfy my curiosity.  Highly recommended for those who haven't gotten into the series yet and are looking for a wholly-unique, mature MG/YA read full of action and fantasy!

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


  1. I've never really given much thought to this book, but you are making me re-think that. I didn't realize there was so much fantasy involved and you know how I love me some fantasy. So glad you enjoyed this one so much. Great review!

    1. Ok so it wasn't just me^^ I had a few blogger friends mention it to me recently and when I sampled the audio, it sounded promising so I went for it. I'm so glad I did! I can't wait to see how the rest of the series will go :) Thank you ♥

  2. Zane read this one a while back because his library had it and he loved it! I always wondered if it was one that I should read as well, and it definitely sounds like it is. I love anything fairy LOL. I don't listen to audiobooks much, but an Irish accept could tempt me. Excellent review!

    1. I think you'd enjoy this too Jaclyn and I think similarly to HP, the plot and characters will mature as the series progresses! And the Irish accent was a refreshing change! Thank you xxxx

  3. I always thought Artemis Fowl was just another MG series and didn't know any of this stuff. I didn't even know it was about heists lol. Sounds way deeper than I would have thought. And I like fae races and stuff like centaurs and all that... so I may need to jump on the AF bandwagon here! Great review- thanks for sharing!

    1. ME TOO! I was really impressed by the depth of the story telling and especially the action! Butler was so kick ass :D And the fairy aspect was SUCH a surprise! Thank you Greg!!

  4. I'm seriously considering listening to this on audiobook because Irish brogues are so lovely! I'd heard of this series but knew absolutely nothing about it before reading your review. Clearly, I've been missing out on A LOT, lol! Wonderful review, my friend! :D

    1. Oh the Irish accent was lovely! British will always be my favorite (and Scottish ♥ -hello DT) but it was my first Irish narrator and I loved it! I'm glad it wasn't just me that was clueless about AF until recently hehe! Thank you ♥

  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I read it YEARS ago, I think I even started reading the series in Slovenian and then switched to English after a couple of books. I don't think I finished the series, though, I think I read five of them?

    I liked all the planning and the espionage as well. I remember enjoying all the clues and figuring out what Artemis's plan will be. And Holly was such a great character, too! :)

    Ooh and listening to an audiobook narrator with the right accent must have been great! I love the Irish accent.

    Great review, Micheline!

  6. I love Artemis Fowl! I used to save up my money to buy the new one in the series when it came out.

    The series carries on in just as awesome a way - I seriously recommend all of them! :)

    Cee @ DORA


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