This is one of those books that everyone raves about having been a childhood favorite. I bought the first two books through Scholastic book orders when I was in elementary school but never ended up reading them. The reason why was due to the fact that I thought both Artemis Fowl and Eoin Colfer were female. But upon picking the first book up and reading the first couple of sentences, I discovered that Artemis was indeed a boy. And while that is a silly reason to change my mind about reading so quickly, I was 9 years old at the time. I put the book down, and never thought about picking it up again. Until now. My boyfriend, who is not so much an avid reader, told me that he had always wanted to read this book so I dug it out from my garage and gladly loaned it him. And lo and behold, he flew through it. He told me he enjoyed it a great deal and I thought to myself: “Could it be that great?” so I decided to give it a go and try one more time to read this book.
This book follows Artemis Fowl, the successor of the Fowl family, a 12 year old child prodigy who is out to gain back his family fortune in the only way he knows how: through criminal activity. Born to a very immoral family line who have gained their immense family fortune through thievery and trickery, Artemis sets out to steal gold from the fairy folk. In a world where fae and humans coexist at a delicate balance, Artemis has no regard for the fact that his actions could potential start a very big war between the two species. He is desperate due to his father’s sudden disappearance and his mother’s mental health rapidly declining as a result. Meanwhile, a young fairy named Holly Short is trying to maintain her job as a LEPrecon officer, a member of the fairy police force. Being the only female on the force, Holly is grilled harder than her peers, and having an attitude that often defies orders, she is on thin ice with her commanding officer, Root. After a disastrous night at work, she is ordered by Root to perform the ritual to replenish her magic powers. While on location for her ritual, she runs into Artemis, who has a devious plan up his sleeve.
I was really hoping to like this book a lot more. While I did like the plot and the story, I found myself often bored as there were a lot of technical descriptions of fairy technology and how things were structured at the police force and with Artemis’s family life and household. I do understand that this is the first book of the series but Colfer’s rapid fire way of writing made it difficult for me to imagine the world for myself and I often felt lost in the clunky writing. I can see how this book can be more easily enjoyed by boys, what with all the technology and action going on but to me, that’s where it fell short. I didn’t feel like I was reading about faeries. Where was the magic? Where was the whimsy? It felt like a majority of the magical aspects were replaced by technology. The standard aspects of what you expect from the subject matter seemed completely lost and overwhelmed by more artificial themes. I also wasn’t particularly fond of Artemis as a character but I did really enjoy Holly’s point of view and her story. I have read that the main theme of the series is Artemis’s character development and I really do like good character development so as I do own the second book, I will continue on the series and hopefully see some better things. I recommend this series to a younger audience, particularly grade school. This book wasn’t all bad for me, but was rather just lacking some more traditional things that I was expected.