Thursday, February 14, 2008

A diabolical child genius

Artemis Fowl is only twelve years old, but he is a real genius, a technological whiz, and a plotting schemer - definitely someone to be reckoned with. Despite the fact that his father has disappeared, his mother has retreated into an imaginary world, and he is on his own with only Butler (his manservant/bodyguard) and Butler's younger sister to keep him company, he remains undaunted. He has a plan to restore his family fortunes - an audacious, unbelievable plan - and he is determined that nothing - and no one - will get in his way.

Artemis has discovered something that hardly any humans know: fairies are real. Not only are they real, but, if Artemis has his way, he will trick them into handing over a lot more than a pot of gold.

Meanwhile, Holly Short of LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance- an elite sort of fairy police unit) is doing her job, protecting earth from marauding trolls and such, making sure the fairy presence in the world remains unknown to humans. Little does she suspect that she is about to be kidnapped by none other than Artemis Fowl...and little does he suspect he may feel a bit differently about his scheme when he meets Holly face to face.

I read this book a few years ago, when it first came out, and I enjoyed it. Several other installments in the series have been published since then, and I found myself in the position of not quite remembering the first one enough to continue with the series without having to reread it. So I decided to listen to the audio version, and Nathaniel Parker, who narrates it, does such a wonderful job that I believe I enjoyed it more the second time around! He does all the accents very well, as well as the different voices of the characters, and he has the narration and rhythm of a true storyteller. I intend to listen the rest of the series instead of reading it, as I had originally intended. The story itself is gripping and has a dark, gritty quality that makes it a good recommendation to teen boys in particular - the ones I have given it to at my library invariably come back to read further in the series. I also enjoyed the unusual combination of fairy magic and human (and fairy) technology. I'm looking forward to listening to Artemis Fowl's next adventure.

Books in the Artemis Fowl series to date:

  1. Artemis Fowl
  2. Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
  3. Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
  4. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
  5. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer; read by Nathaniel Parker (Listening Library, Unabridged Edition, 2004)

Other blog reviews:
Musings of a Bookworm
ShayanB's Weblog

4 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure I read this one for some reading group a couple of years ago. I think I liked it but now I can hardly remember it. I remember decoding that message though! I might one day decide to do a re-read and finish the rest of the series.

    I've been listening to audio books while I read along a lot lately. There's just something about listening to the way things are supposed to be pronounced, especially when I'm listening to it on my TV's surround sound (there was a really cool part in The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor that echoed around the whole room).

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  2. what did you read on your ski trip?

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  3. My brother loves these books. And I usually agree with his opinions. Looks like I have to pick them up sometime.

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  4. Ladytink - what a cool idea to listen on surround sound. I'll have to try that out!

    VA Gal - I read The Wee Free Men and Iron Kissed (posted reviews of those already), and Inkheart (haven't gotten around to that one yet). Are you having time to read at all now that you're doing your study abroad?

    Stephanie - I have heard lots of good things about subsequent books, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how things develop. That's nice that you and your brother share tastes in reading - my brother and I read totally different kinds of books!

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