Artemis Fowl, boy genius, returns in this fourth action-packed installment of the series. While each book in this series contains a standalone story, each story builds on its predecessor, so it is worthwhile to start reading from the first book. As always, I do try to avoid spoilers of any kind in my reviews, but if you are interested in trying out this popular YA series, take a look at my review of the first book, Artemis Fowl.
Artemis has certainly come a long way from the egotistical, borderline sociopath of the first book in the series. However, everything he's experienced that has brought him along the path of becoming a decent human being have been erased in his mind, along with all his memories of his faerie pals and the adventures they had together. Clearly Artemis had a plan to recover these memories, or he would never have submitted to the mindwipe willingly. But he hadn't imagined that there would be a pressing time limit for the memory retrieval. His nemesis, Opal Koboi, a diabolically evil pixie, has successfully put in motion an ingenious escape plan from prison, and he and fairy captain Holly Short are at the top of her list of people on her revenge list.
Opal has had a long time in prison to hatch a truly horrible scheme to destroy the lives of Holly, Artemis, Foaly and Commander Root, and her plan is in motion before anyone even has an inkling that the pixie they believe to be safely behind bars has escaped. Holly knows that Artemis is in huge trouble - and he is incredibly vulnerable because he has no memory of Koboi, the fairies, or anything else.
As with the other books in this series, this one is an action-packed thrill ride, but it does not sacrifice characterization and depth in favor of the breakneck pace. It is touching, intelligent, at times humorous, and the plot will keep readers guessing all the way through to the end. Artemis is a complex and fascinating character, and it is always fun to watch his brain untangle the morass of difficulties thrown in his path. Nathaniel Parker, as always, does an excellent job of narrating the story - I enjoy his interpretation so much that I always check the audio versions out of my library. I often recommend this to boys and girls at my library when they are at a loss for what to read, and they invariably come back to me to request the next book in the series, which gives it high marks in my book.
Books in the Artemis Fowl series:
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
6. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
7. Artemis Fowl: Atlantis Complex (to be published in the U.S. July 2010)
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (#4 in the Artemis Fowl series) by Eoin Colfer; narrated by Nathaniel Parker (Listening Library, 2005)
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Ace and Hoser Blook: "This is a light entertaining read. I love Mulch Diggums, the tunnel-making dwarf. He and Holly really banter back and forth."
Bookworms and Tea Lovers: "It is fast-paced, the suspense is built in masterfully, and you discover hidden depths in the familiar characters. It's a great read, and although it's technically a young adult novel, any adult could read it without finding it too childish."
Into the Wardrobe: " The Artemis Fowl books are like action movies in book form! I find the ideas in the books GENIUS. Plus I find the writing/prose really smart and witty."