Enter the magical world of Artemis Fowl5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
Book: Artemis Fowl
Things you’ll enjoy
- Witty banter
- Adults beings outsmarted by Artemis
- Thieving dwarfs with magical…um…powers
- A plot that is way better than the movie
Things you may question
- Why is the Commander so tough only on Holly?
- Why is Artemis’ mom not in a hospital?
- Can humans and fairies ever be friends?
If you’ve ever wondered what your life would look like if you had independence from parental oversight, your own multipurpose butler and are the smartest, most intelligent tween-ager there ever was: this is the book for you. The first of Eoin Colfer’s eight-part fantasy series, this book introduces the life of a prodigious 12-year-old Artemis Fowl and his sidekick, Butler. First released in 2001 (Happy 20th anniversary, Artemis!), Artemis most recently graced the movie screens in June last year.
The book opens with Artemis waiting to meet an informant. We see the twelve-year-old and his faithful Butler but notice right away that Artemis acts and behaves like an adult. He also has seemingly unlimited resources by which he can travel from Ireland to Ho Chi Minh city without needing permission from his mom. And I couldn’t get to the end of the street without her knowing about it! Weirdly enough, Artemis also knows things most adults don’t. He is, after all, the heir to a criminal mastermind family.
Butler, on the other hand, a man capable of breaking someone’s hand like you would a Kit-Kat, respects and listens to Artemis’ every command. And with a figure like Butler by his side, even a twelve-year-old can look threatening.
But behind all that intellect and bravado, we learn that Artemis is just a boy on a mission to reunite his family. He is in Ho Chi Minh to collect information that could help restore his family’s honour. You see, Artemis Senior, our protagonist’s dad, went to Russia on a mission to conduct illegal business but has been missing since his ship was attacked and all their investments stolen! The Fowl name has been tarnished and Artemis’ mother has fallen gravely ill after the news of her husband’s disappearance. By restoring the family name, and adding to its coffer, Artemis hopes to locate his father and cure his mother. Wouldn’t you do the same for your family? (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)
And that’s how we end up with in Vietnam. Artemis sees through his informant’s disguise straight away and mocks the adult, and that’s when we realise that this is no ordinary kid. He strong-arms the informant into leading him to a source that reveals the existence of a secret species— the fairies. These fairies or sprites are magical beings and have access to limitless quantities of gold because…well..they live underground where all the gold is. Artemis then steals the book of magic and begins to set in motion a plan to steal all the fairy gold. Hold on, hold on… it’s not that simple!
Enter Holly Short; the fairies’ first line of defence against the Fowl invasion.
Not only is she the first female cop in LEPrecon (pun intended), she also has a soft spot for humans. Will she stop Artemis from stealing and risk exposing their existence to humans? Yes, she will. What are her powers? Renewable magic and sharp wit. Who is on her team? Her commander, her ultra-tech spymaster and a kleptomaniac dwarf whose super powers include potent farts that can knock people unconscious. (You read that right!)
Overall, the book is quite engaging throughout, even if it was written 20 years ago. Admittedly, the tech is now quite outdated. Artemis Fowl, nevertheless is a timeless tale and so read it for adventure, dwarves and plenty of laughs.
(The SciBorg is a science-fiction column)
Author’s Note: Aishwarya has lived in books since she was an eight-year-old pretending to be Nancy Drew. She suffered a great disappointment when told that Hogwarts didn’t send her any letters at age 11, the backs of wardrobes lead to nowhere (no matter how long she sat inside one) and that it is impossible to speak to animals (although she thinks her dogs come closer to human speech with every passing day).