Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

The cover (that I own)

Alternate covers:

Book info:
  • Title: Artemis Fowl
  • Author: Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen Colfer)
  • Publisher: Viking Press/Disney Hyperion/ Puffin Books
  • Country published: United States of America
  • Release Date: 2001
  • Price (Ringgit Malaysia): RM29.95 (current price)
  • Pages: 407 (For the one I own)
  • Format: Paperback
  • Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Sci-fi. Ya know, all those pewpewpew with laser guns. And magic.

Artemis Fowl (Book I) is the story of a twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl (yes, that's the character's name) who is a millionaire, a genius and, above all, a criminal mastermind. In the first book of his saga, Artemis manages to kidnap a fairy, Captain Holly Short, of the LEPrecon Unit. No, these aren't the fairies of your typical bedtime stories; they're dangerous. Artemis seeks more knowledge, and gold, from these fairies but faces challenges when his plans backfires as the LEPrecon Unit fights back to protect what's rightfully theirs.

Two words: Mind twisting. The main character, Artemis Fowl, is a pure child prodigy. What I was expecting from him was, at least, being the mastermind of evil plans. But Artemis proves himself to be not only the mastermind but the puppeteer as he executes his devious plans. Eoin made a perfectly too-perfect child prodigy and managed to make me forget, and later remember, that Artemis is only twelve (in the first book). His butler, Butler, serves as his..well..butler as well as his sidekick. But Butler has his own interesting line of story that will be mentioned in the books to come in this series which builds up to a strong brotherly bond with Artemis. Captain Holly Short, the fairy, was not the type of fairy I was expecting. Oh no, I wasn't expecting sparkles and skirts but perhaps a transformation? Well, Eoin fooled me there. Holly and the rest of the fairies (as well as other creatures) have turned the tables on the concept of magical creatures. Makes you think twice into those fairytales your grandparents used to tell you.

Language and literacy:
Typical English is used here, none that I couldn't understand which is good for a young adult series. The catch? There's a new language which is the fairy/gnommish language. The language is used in little amount but makes the fairy culture all the more interesting. In his books, Eoin included a little fun by inserting a hieroglyph-looking code (the Gnommish Alphabet) along the bottom pages of the novel and challenges the readers to crack it to reveal the secret messages. I've yet to finish the challenge and I could only find the translation of the codes in the fifth book, Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony. Although that was years ago and I'm sure you can find the translations online as well as in the newer books. Maybe.

Example of the Gnommish code

Mature content:
D'Arvit! Yes, there are cursing but cleverly covered up using the Gnommish/Fairy language. Weapons are used and mild violence is present. What do you expect, it's a friggin' sci-fi novel!

My Story and Overall rating:
Mind twisting. That's how I digested the first book of the series. The Artemis Fowl series is my first ever series collection (sadly, not completed...yet). I started out with the first and second book which were given to me as my 13th birthday presents. I devoured the first book in three weeks; sleepless nights and dreaming mornings for me. Artemis Fowl became my first fictional book crush, and is probably still my fictional book crush. The way Eoin described him became a picture of perfection to a bad-boy sci-fi lover as myself. I was also sucked into believing that our world and the fairy world coexisted, making me spend my days trying to spot a LEPrecon agent in action. Ah, the younger days...The book started out a bit boring at first, only little information leaked out about the Fairy world and it's connection to ours. The drama starts out when Artemis kidnapped Holly, and the book went sky high from there. The only downside I could say is that it lacks the amount of action I wanted. It was more to negotiations and twisted plans than pewpewpew fiyaaah! But the rest of the books made up for that I guess. Definitely a good series to start someone up with reading, especially if they're the kind of people who wants to escape the real world for a while, but I suggest you buy them (or yourself) both the first and second book as the first one will make you wonder and crave for more quite quickly.

Giving this book (not the whole series) a: 3/5.

Atika, signing off with this fanart:

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