Magical, thrilling, funny and FANTASTIC!! That’s what you would find when you get hooked to the first part of the ‘Artemis Fowl’ books written brilliantly by the talented author Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen). He is an Irish author and comedian who was born in Wexford, on the south-east coast of Ireland in 1965. His many books include ‘Artemis Fowl series’, ‘Airman’, ‘And Other Things’ and ‘The Supernaturalist’.
The main characters of the book include Artemis Fowl, Butler (Artemis’…..butler), Juliet (Butler’s little sister) and Holly, the fairy.The book revolves around the twelve year old protagonist ‘Artemis Fowl (the second)’ who is a ‘child prodigy’ from Ireland. He is super intelligent and talented but uses his brains in not-so-productive ways. What he is hungry for is gold and he can go up to any extent for it. Artemis belongs to a family of ‘legendary criminals’. They had ‘skirmished on the wrong side of the law’ for years, collecting enough funds to become ‘legitimate’. Artemis’ father (Artemis Senior) had decided to invest a ‘huge chunk’ of the Fowl fortune in establishing new shipping lines in Russia. But the Russian Mafia did not like the idea of ‘westerners’ coming into their markets and so he got a ‘Stinger missile’ fired at their ship the ‘Fowl Star’. His father was on board the ship along with Butler’s uncle and 250,000 cans of cola. Artemis’ mother Angeline Fowl was so depressed by this that she isolated herself into the ‘attic room’. The family lost its billionaire status and Artemis decides to restore the family fortune. This is what sets the background of the story.What follows next is a clever plan. Artemis discovers a world of ‘armed and high-tech’ fairies and a book carried by each one of them containing the rules and regulations of the fairy world living underground, the last ‘mud-man free zone’ (human free zone) on Earth.
It’s their ‘Bible’. Artemis concludes that if he gets hold of that book, then surely he will be successful in getting his plan to work! The plan-yes, it was to kidnap a fairy and to hold her for ransom, fairy gold, which would make him rich overnight. He is successful in kidnapping a fairy named Holly who is very sensitive to the havoc of nature caused by the ‘mud-men’. Also she is the first female ‘recon officer’ in the LEP force (Lower Elements Police). The story that follows is a good combination of fun, wit and magic. How the fairy public tries to save Holly, how Butler takes on a troll all alone and defeats him, the amusing dialogues, the fact that Holly saves Butler’s life inspite of being aware that he is also involved in her kidnapping, all this make this book a good read. Towards the end when Artemis buys a wish from Holly in return for giving back half the ransom money, it’s very touching when he uses his wish to heal his mother. He, after all is a boy.
Over all this is a perfect book for all, is jam packed with magic and adventure and gives us an important lesson to take care of our environment too.
Reviewed by: Zareen Fatima, XI-B1