Mythology. Young Adult Fiction. Artemis is at boarding school in Ireland when he suddenly receives an urgent video-email from Russia. In it is a plea from a man who has been kidnapped by the Russian Mafiya: his father. As Artemis rushes to the rescue, he is stopped by captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon fairy police. But this time, instead of battling the fairies, he is going to have to join forces with them if he wants to save one of the few people in the world he loves.
Original publication date
The premise of the story is that someone is working with the goblins, using fairy technology to make them faster and smarter and more dangerous. The LEP suspect Artemis, but when they kidnap him to discover information, they learn that he is not the culprit. They need help, but so does Artemis - his father is being held hostage by the Russian mafia. Now they have to work together to discover the mole in their ranks and save Fowl senior.
This a fun adventure story. The plot is fast and never lets up, and the characters are distinct, interesting, and likable. You root for the good guys, you don't like the bad guys. While those dynamics may not be complex, Artemis is, at least for a kid's book protagonist. He's used to being bad, at least breaking the law and making his own rules, but he's morally good at heart. Nonetheless, he's not so comfortable at this transition from living outside the law to working with it (even if it is fairy law). Also, this story has another twist ending, not quite as interesting as that of the first novel, but still fun. An enjoyable read that keeps me interested in continuing the series.
Review: These books manage to hit just the right balance of silliness and slickness, and just the right tone where they're appealing for the younger elements of the audience while retaining enough smart humor for the grown-ups. They don't take themselves too seriously, tell a good story with plenty of laughs and lots of action, and are in general bunches of fun.
I thought this second installment was actually a little better than the first. It felt tighter and more cohesive, possibly because the heavy-lifting worldbuilding is already out of the way. The sub-plots were more integrated into the main story, keeping everything moving along at near-breakneck speeds. While in general I appreciate how fast these books fly by, I thought this one could stand some slowing-down in the middle; things have barely begun to go wrong for the characters before we find out who the bad guy is.
The Arctic Incident was also a little more mature than Artemis Fowl - I think perhaps the plots mature as the main character does, a la Harry Potter. Not that it loses its sense of fun, or becomes serious literature or anything - there are still plenty of fart jokes to keep the young-uns entertained - but there are some issues underlying parts of the story that have some more pathos than I was expecting. Overall, though, I enjoyed this book quite a bit, and will definitely keep reading when I need a fun break. 4 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Anyone who's looking for a bit of light, funny, fantasy action should enjoy the series, but don't start with the second book.
I also started to like the character of Artemis better than I did in the
Then, in a close second, comes AF 1. Then, very, very, very far down, comes 3,5, and 4.
Artemis is actually a nice (super smart) kid. He has feelings, which is not something I thought was true after reading #1.
The book is, like the first one, laugh out loud funny. It's always good seeing enemies working together (remember Buffy and Spike at the end of season 2?), but the two of them actually begin to have some respect for each other. All in all, another great read.
Holly Short is back with the LEPrecon Unit and this time they work together with Artemis and Butler.
Mulch Diggums makes an appearance again as well and once again helps in a way no one else can.