Friday, May 29, 2015

Teen review: Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl is a science fiction book by Eoin Colfer, author of the critically acclaimed The Supernaturalist. This book stars, well, Artemis Fowl, a genius criminal mastermind--at the age of 12. He and his butler/bodyguard, known to all as… Butler, are dedicated to a life of crime and deception. Artemis discovers that a race of creatures known as fairies actually exist underground, all over the world. He decides that they would be the perfect targets to attack for their precious gold, and begins working on a kidnap operation to gain a ransom. What he doesn’t realize is that, even with all of his genius, he can’t afford to underestimate his formidable opponents. At a good-sized 277 pages, this book uses every page with purpose, whether in describing the genius of Artemis, or detailing just how massive Butler is.

This book is great for a lot of reasons, one of them being the fact that Colfer really knows how to describe a character. The characters in Artemis Fowl are all interesting and have unique personalities, humans and fairies alike. Another reason I enjoy this book is that Artemis’s genius always seems like...genius. The description of his thought process is also helped by his somewhat arrogant personality, because he tends to show off his intelligence. It’s always rewarding to read about how Artemis has predicted his opponents’ moves and has defended himself accordingly. Eoin Colfer is really just an incredible writer, and this book has just the right balance of action, dialogue, and description.

I would recommend Artemis Fowl to teens who can appreciate clever writing. The book is not necessarily difficult to understand in terms of vocabulary, but it has perhaps what some people would consider content inappropriate for children. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5. Overall, Artemis Fowl is an all-around good read, and I have no issues with it. I can’t find a way to criticize how he writes his character descriptions and witty dialogue. If you like reading fiction, no matter what genre, Artemis Fowl will keep you engaged and loving the story.

Reviewed by Isaac Kim, grade 9

Editor's note: What Isaac didn't mention is that this is the first of an eight-book series! So if you like book one, you are in for an extended treat!

Also, to tie in with Isaac's review from day before yesterday, here's an interesting development: Did you know that Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series, also wrote book #6 to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? It's called And Another Thing... and Goodreads describes it as follows: "The rather unexpected, but very welcome, sixth installment of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It features a pantheon of unemployed gods, everyone's favorite renegade Galactic President, a lovestruck green alien, an irritating computer, and at least one very large slab of cheese."


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