Here's a great book! It really kept me giggling all the way through. It's a fairy tale for our times - so, fairies might grant you your dearest wish, but they might just as easily blast you off the planet with a bio bomb if they don't like what you just did to them.
Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon, an elite branch of the Lower Elements Police, is busy getting on with ordinary fairy business. Having spent her magical energies helping the Retrieval Squad to round up a rampaging troll above ground, where it was interfering with human activities, she sets out to Ireland to carry out the ritual which will rejuvenate her powers.
That's where she meets Artemis Fowl. Actually, he kidnaps her. His plan is to hold her to ransom. He's heard all about the Hostage Fund of fairy gold, and he needs to get hold of some gold to help support the dwindling family estates. Well, no, he isn't a very moral person. That's because he is the latest in a long line of arch-criminals.
Captain Holly Short felt as though a sucker slug was drawing her brain out through her earhole. She tried to figure out what could possibly have caused such agony, but her faculties didn't stretch to memory just yet. Breathing and lying down were about all she could manage.
Time to attempt a word. Something short and pertinent. Help, she decided, would be the one to go for. She took a trembling breath and opened her mouth.
'Mummlp,' said her treacherous lips. No good. Incomprehensible even by a drunken gnome's standards.
Over to you! I don't think the plot will lose you.
You might notice there's a string of mumbo jumbo along the bottom of every page of the book. It's a message in code, and yes, it is possible to break it because I managed to. You can decide for yourself whether it's actually a worthwhile activity, but only after you've done the work. I'll tell you this though, just to prove that I really did do it myself - the message is repeated, and the author is merciful enough to tell you when to stop.
I just loved this book and I think you will too:
'Confidence is ignorance,' advised the centaur. 'If you're feeling cocky, it's because there's something you don't know.'
Alisha, girl, age 13, from wales, United Kingdom, on 15th October 2008. Rating: 9/10
Artemis Fowl is a young-adult fantasy novil written by Irish author Eoin Colfer, the first book in the Artemis Fowl series, it follows the adventures of its 12-year-old title character, a criminal mastermind, as he kidnaps a fairy for a large ransom of gold. Throughout the book, the third-person narration switches repeatedly from following the human characters to following the fairy characters, and presented underlying themes of greed and conflict. The book received a mostly favourable critical response, and several awards. 'Wildly original… and you thought fairy stories were just for kids.' Artemis Fowl tells the gripping story of a clever yet sinister young boy who has discovered a secret world of "fairies". Not fairies as you would probably think of them e.g. cute with wings and star wands - more like a race of little people with limited magical skills. He uses this information to try and blackmail the Fairy race into giving him vast amounts of gold. Unfortunately for him, the fairy he tries to capture is a member of the fairy secret police force and his troubles are just beginning. This book is very funny in places and quite gripping in others. There is more violence than you would generally find in a book of this type with things being blown apart and a "butler" who goes around with a garrotte, stun grenades and a cosh in his pocket. Don't worry - it is not too violent and it has a very satisfying outcome in the end. Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl comes from a long line of criminal masterminds. How this family managed to elude Interpol so many times is beyond me. But one thing for sure, young Artemis is not about to put an end to this legacy. After the tragic disappearance of his father, Artemis had been helming the family''s criminal ventures whilst his mother slowly slips into insanity. No longer a billionaire, the family is still far from being poor. In order to restore the family''s fortune, Artemis set his mind on some gold - fairy gold, to be precise. Thus, in keeping with the family motto: Aurum potestas est , ''gold is power''. But fairy gold will not come cheaply - nor easily at that! First, Artemis had to prove his theory that fairies exist, and that they actually own gold to be stolen in the first place. Enlisting the help of his trusty bodyguard (whom had been his charge since birth) and his bodyguard''s sister, Artemis''s adventure for fairy gold begun. Enter Holly the elf, a member of the underground police force called LEPrecon. Or LEP, for short. In another story, Holly would easily be a celebrated hero; gutsy, intuitive and with an unyielding attitude matched only by her piloting skills. A gifted soldier, Holly is the only female member of LEP and proud to be it. However, being the only female member has its downside, like being picked on constantly by Commander Root for one. When Holly met Artemis, ''rough first impression'' would be an understatement. Soon after the initial meeting, they both realized that they were involved in a battle that was beyond what each anticipated. Holly did not anticipate that she had been outsmarted by a human and Artemis certainly did not expect that a troll would run rampant in his house. What''s most interesting about this story is the anti-hero hero and the hero-like ''antagonist''. It may get too wordy at a certain point, but there''s no doubt that it will hook you at the end of every chapter. You might say to yourself, ''I''ll stop at the end of this chapter'', only finding yourself still reading, five chapters on. It has been enjoyable because there are not many stories out there that pit an anti-hero against fairies with big guns and laser beams. I mean, where else can you read about a centaur wearing a tin foil hat, paranoid that the CIA is probing into his mind?
Lian, girl, age 12, from United States, on 25th June 2008. Rating: 10/10
I love this book! I've read this book twice and lissened to it on cd twice. Artemis is so smart and I love Holly's personality, she isn't a wimp. Although Butler can be violent he realy cares about Artemis and Juliet. Mulch is so funny, he craces me up and I love the whole fairie under world stuff. Eoin Colfer is such a great writter. All of the books that I have read that are written by him are great, The Half Moon Investagations, the Aremis Fowl Series, the Wish List, and The Suppernaturalist. You should definatly read this book and other books by Eoin Colfer.
Aly, girl, age 14, from Midwestern, United States, on 1st July 2007. Rating: 10/10
Isn't it easy to love how so many other reviews on this site say words to the effect, "Artemis is a lot like me."? Of course, I'm not one to judge, but considering there aren't fifty thousand--exaggeration, pets--teen criminal masterminds, I'm a tad bit dubious of these claims. The only similarity I was able to pick up seems to consist of a a cocky attitude. Intriguing, isn't it? I, myself, will make no such claim: I'm a girl, I'm definitely not able to multiplying 27 by 18.5 in my head at a second's notice, I'm utterly incapable of Artemis' tantalizing wit (using a cliched term to prove my incapacity for such) and of course, children, I have none of Mr. Fowl's apparent sarcasm or condescending mannerisms. However, I will profess a profound attachment to the wonderful writings of Eoin Colfer. The esteemed author has created a literary universe combining endearingly naive fairy tales and fantasy with the intelligence of science fiction and allure of adventure; twisting common genres and adding a dash of smart humor to bear the fruit of sheer genius. Or rather, opaque genius with wonderfully realistic character development and the conveying of a sense of, say, a master dictator scribing historical, groundbreaking events, and enthralling the audience with the plot peroration. In short (forgive the pun), these books were delightful.
If you want to buy Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer and help readingmatters, please use these links
If you enjoyed this, you're in luck because he's written another. Have a look at:
It's a hard one to follow. I can't think of anything else quite like it. For sheer breadth of imagination, and confident mixture of visual and witty jokes that work across a wide age range, you might consider looking at this old masterpiece by Lewis Carroll:
If you would like to try and get to grips with Irish magic, which certainly seems to be very strong stuff, you could look at this one by Carlo Gebler:
If you like nasty beasties and funny jokes, you might enjoy this one by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell:
And moving on from the Gloamglozer, I think you would enjoy this one by Robin Jarvis:
Obviously, if you haven't read Harry Potter, you probably should give him a try too.