Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
|Image from Goodreads|
Artemis Fowl. The name has a nice ring to it. It rolls off the tongue. It's one of those names that demands attention, just like the book itself, which both demands and grabs your attention.
Artemis Fowl is an incredibly gifted 12 year old millionaire who sets out to search for and ultimately acquire a book that holds the secret and confirms the existence of a fairy world, which will in turn allow him to get hold of some fairy gold in order to finance a rescue mission of his missing father. Artemis, aided by his trusty servants, Butler and Juliet, is able to abduct a fairy named Capt. Holly Short of the LEPrecon unit (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance-a unit who tracks down fairies that wander too far away from their underground world and into human dwellings.) to serve as his bargaining tool for the gold. All of these led to an all out warfare between the humans and the fairies where both sides seems to underestimate the other's capabilities.
One of the things I noticed when I was reading the book is that I seem to be rooting for both sides, Fowl's and the Fairies. It's like there are two protagonists. I didn't want Artemis Fowl to win over the Fairies nor did I want the Fairies to win over Artemis. It doesn't seem to make sense, I know. Although I do believe that in a war nobody really wins, one just lose more than the other (still, doesn't make sense, I know, I know, ramble...ramble) But it was such a unique reading experience to have to cheer for both sides. Confusing but in a good way.
The story moves at high speed and it's very suspenseful. It was always a questions as to what tactic, weapon, or ploy each of the side will use against the other and as to whether they will survive the attack or look past the trickery. I held my breath a lot of times. There are hints of humor and wit as well. Most of the characters all seem to have a tough exterior, from Artemis, to Butler, to Capt. Holly, Commander Root, but still they all have heart. There are certain parts in the story where they have shown vulnerability and/ or kindness which I found was such a nice touch.
I was quite hesitant about this book. I usually like my fantasies to be more old school. I wasn't quite sold on the idea of mixing technology with magic and strapping fairies into military gear. But after reading the book, I learned that it helps to keep an open mind.