Science Fantasy

The Last Guardian + Series Wrap-Up

The Last Guardian book cover
Image from theislandergirl.com

Title:  The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8)

Author:  Eoin Colfer

Genre:  Fantasy

WARNING:  This review will most likely contain spoilers of the previous books in the series, Artemis Fowl, The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code, The Opal Deception, The Lost Colony, The Time Paradox, and The Atlantis Complex.  I recommend not reading this review unless you’ve read those books.

Opal Koboi has masterminded a way to both secure her release from prison and bring the human and fairy worlds to their knees.  And that’s only step one.  At the Fowl estate, Opal has reanimated long-dead fairy warriors.  Their spirits have possessed anything they can find – corpses, assorted wildlife, Artemis’s little brothers – and they are bound to obey Opal.  Defeating them and their diabolical leader will take all of Artemis’s cleverness, Butler’s bravery, Holly’s skill, and Foaly’s gadgetry.  But if their best isn’t enough, Opal’s next move will destroy all human life on Earth.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since before it came out, but I was also unhappy that the series was coming to an end.  And, I admit it – I was afraid the last book would not live up to the previous ones.

But boy, did it ever!

This book has a totally different feel than the other ones.  The series’ feel has evolved from definitely middle grade (Artemis Fowl) to definitely YA (The Time Paradox on).  This one was also definitely YA, but much, much more intense than the other books.  I think it had something to do with the scope of Opal’s plan, but the danger felt so much more dangerous in this book.

It’s absolutely amazing how much Artemis’s character has changed from the series’ start.  I’ve mentioned in previous reviews how Artemis has become less hard-hearted as the series progresses, but one development at the end of this book really drove that fact home.  (No spoilers, but it made me read faster hoping it could possibly be undone.)

I feel like I’m failing at adequately describing how amazing this book is, but I’m trying my best to avoid spoilers.

I admit it – I’m sad to see this series end after loving it for years.  But The Last Guardian wrapped things up in a way that was not only satisfying to a long-time series fan, but made me feel that any later books would be anticlimactic, redundant, and not nearly as good as the first eight.

To condense my opinion of this book into one word:  Epic.  Absolutely epic.

Series Wrap-Up:  Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series

Things I liked about the series:  The completely original take on fairy lore, and Artemis Fowl himself.

Things the series did well:  Made me like a selfish kid genius, then changing him into a less selfish, even more likeable teenage genius.

Things I didn’t like about the series:  About the only thing I can think of is how little a deal it was that Artemis’s parents found out about the fairies.  It seemed a tad unrealistic.

Things the series could have worked on:  Can’t really think of anything.

Final thoughts:  As a kid, the Artemis Fowl series’ gradual tone change launched me from middle grade to young adult books.  But when I came back to the series as a sixteen-year-old, I found the books still had the same appeal.

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