Gosh. Forgive me for the terrible play on ‘fabulous.’ I tried hard not to use it, but it’s been flitting around in my head since I finished Artemis Fowl and somehow when I sat down to type it just came out. Call it confidence in my compassionate readership?
Anyway. I really enjoyed the book. I didn’t fully expect to, as the first two or three chapters read as heavy handed and pushy, but then things turned about when the fairies and fairy technology arrived (as things are want to do). I’m not sure I’d go so far as to read the next bunch of books in the series (not sure whether that makes for a ringing endorsement, but I did like this one), mostly because I didn’t find myself drawn to either Artemis or his fairy foe (her name escapes me. typical.) I think to compel a reader to take on another book in a series you need to have some engaging characters or a cliff hanger ending (this book has neither).
That said the play between protagonist/antagonist in the novel is interesting. Artemis is meant to be our antagonist, but his YAF “orphan” status (think Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables) and his focalized narration makes it difficult not to root for his winning of the fairy gold. All the while we’re meant to cheer for the fairies, but I couldn’t help being dissuaded by their motive for keeping the gold (none) and their general contempt for human kind (kind of like screaming Muggle in a crowded room).
I laughed a few times, in no small part because of the self-reflexive narration and its (often successful) attempts at humour. Also for the slap-stick, and fart jokes.