‘Artemis Fowl’, E. Colfer

“Ambition had a price, and that price was friendship.”
— Colfer, Eoin (2010-06-03). Artemis Fowl (Kindle Locations 2176-2177). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

I heard of ‘Artemis Fowl’ a long time ago but got around to reading the book only recently. While my general impression of the novel is rather favourable, I am not entirely confident I would continue with reading the rest of Mr Colfer’s works immediately — but I’ll tell you why — and I would return to the good author in due time.

To begin with, ‘Artemis Fowl’ is an amazing book in the simplicity of style. It is written as a children’s book, I would expect, and this would be a part of why the book is so friendly and inviting as well as easy on the eye.

Despite this style, I would not, however, say that it is necessarily easy on the mind. I had great fun trying to figure out what Artemis and the LEP would do next, and I didn’t mind the somewhat fantastical setting which seems to have been created in the most well-intentioned manner possible. “Fairies?”, one might think. But, yes, ‘Fairies’! And not the good fairies that never do wrong, but fallible fairies and ones who are rather human in some of their traits. And what could be more fun than noticing the humanity in others?

I think that the very similar yet strange world-setting is what allows this book to be so simple and yet not off-putting. Yet, I can imagine many a person looking at it and shying away, but I do believe that it has a charm that should be recognized.

Now, if all of what I’ve said above is so positive, why was I not so positive in the beginning of this post?

I think I would have liked this far more had I read it ten years ago or ten years from now. At the present, this style looks to me in a way as a mimicry of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’, and there can only be one of those in my heart and mind.

The same charm that the simplistic yet clever style that consults the reader every now and then, this very same charm can also be a bullet which rebounds upon the weapon that launched it in the first place. I am not of a mind to wish that the rest of Mr Colfer’s works were any different in their writing, but I do hope that they make me think less of what could have been in this book and more of what there already was.

‘Confidence is ignorance,’ advised the centaur. ‘If you’re feeling cocky, it’s because there’s something you don’t know.’
— Colfer, Eoin (2010-06-03). Artemis Fowl (p. 44). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

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Comments

  1. Artemis Fowl is one of the series that got my younger brother reading more books. It was so good for him that he bugged dad to buy the new books as they came out and dad did it because he knew that they would get read. I quite enjoyed them myself. I think the author also did a book to follow on after Hitchikers Guide as well a few years ago.

    1. Yes, I can see why it would be an appealing series. I am half of a mind to try some others, and yet I am somewhat of the opinion that it is not the right time. Might have been nicer if I had seen these as a bit younger (it is also somewhat difficult for me to read the ‘Young Adult Star Wars’ ones which are written for around 14-year olds which while interesting are sometimes a bit too… simplistic?).

      1. Oh yeah I just reread those myself. It was a very quick week of reading to finish them. I did struggle through a couple of them though.

        In terms of young adult books I guess it depends what kind of books you are interested in. I would recommend the Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix. I read the first one- Sabriel, when I was about 12 I think and I really enjoyed it and later found the other books. I got to meet the author last year which was pretty cool. He also did a panel with some other authors including Kate Forsyth on writing in the fantasy genre.

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