Science Fantasy

Review: Artemis Fowl

This is the first of an Artemis Fowl review marathon – one review per day for eight days.  Today’s review is the first book in the series.  A week from today, I’ll post the review of the last book.

Cover of "Artemis Fowl," which is gold and designed to look like an old book with hinges and a lock and has a few lines of a hieroglyphic language
Image from

Title:  Artemis Fowl

Series: Artemis Fowl #1

Author:  Eoin Colfer

Genre:  Science Fantasy

Back Cover:

Artemis Fowl is many things – a genius, a millionaire, a criminal mastermind.  He’s also a twelve-year-old.  Artemis’s habit of thinking things through means he never loses, so he’s confident his scheme to get the Fowl family back to billionaire status will go just as planned.  But not even Artemis knows what he’s getting into when he kidnaps a fairy policewoman, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit.  But these fairies are no people to mess with.  Artemis may think he has them right where he wants them, but then they stop playing by the rules…


I’d read this book before, years ago, and loved it with a capital L.  And since the eighth and final Artemis Fowl book just came out, I decided to reread the rest of the series before I read book eight.

I still enjoyed the book.  It just seemed a little … younger than I remembered.  It seemed more like middle grade than YA.

I can’t really define what made it that way.  The plot wasn’t juvenile, the characters were fine, and it didn’t shy away from scary things.  It was just…I think it was the writing style, but the whole book had a very middle grade feel.

Holly and Artemis are the two main characters, even though Artemis was technically the villain.  Artemis was most certainly an evil genius, but I still liked him – mainly because I felt sorry for him.  After all, his dad’s missing and his mom’s certifiably insane.  And he’s exactly the kind of geeky kid that would be picked on in school.  (If he didn’t have a bodyguard, that is.)

Holly, I liked as well.  She was basically the “test case” for female LEPrecon officers, and she wasn’t exactly the follow-the-rules-without-question kind of elf.  I enjoyed her impulsivity and her stubbornness.  And when it was Holly versus Artemis, I honestly wanted both of them to win – I didn’t like either one better than the other.

I loved Colfer’s unique take on fairies – short, magical people living underground and with their own jobs, businesses, and police forces.  It was like a normal city, except populated by elves, pixies, dwarves, and other not-so-normal beings.

The plot – Artemis’s plan to trick the fairies out of their gold (which involved kidnapping Holly), and the LEPrecon unit’s attempt to stop him – was just as fun as I remembered.  And, really, I think the biggest reason it was so interesting was Artemis and his ability to stay one step ahead of everything and everyone.  (Although, really, someone like Artemis would be the only person capable of pulling something like that off.)

Like I said, there’s nothing about the plot or the characters that gives this book a middle-grade vibe – I have to believe it’s entirely in the writing style.  Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but I didn’t remember it being this much of a middle grade book.

The Artemis Fowl series:

  1. Artemis Fowl
  2. The Arctic Incident
  3. The Eternity Code
  4. The Opal Deception
  5. The Lost Colony
  6. The Time Paradox
  7. The Atlantis Complex
  8. The Last Guardian

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