Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review: Atemis Fowl (Book 31 or 100)

I'd been thinking of reading the Artemis Fowl series since it came out a couple of years ago, but I had never gotten around to it. That is, until I picked it up in the library last week. I like Artemis even though he is a decidedly unlikeable person. Even though I'm all grown up now, my inner child is greatly amused by somewhat devious, brilliant, young people who triumph over adversity. I think that this is because in my best memories of my younger self I fancied myself to be just such a person. Everyone in my house was so protective of me that if I actually wanted to do anything I had to be somewhat devious in achieving this goal.

Artemis is devious in different ways than either Harry Potter or Bobby Pendragon (two of my other fantasy heroes of this genre). Artemis is not a good guy. He is basically a criminal and all of his family are criminals, but still you have to feel sorry for him. His mother is nuts, and his father is God knows where (maybe even dead in Russia). That's a lot of strain to put on a 12-year-old mind (even a genius 12-year-old mind).

The story begins when Artemis is trying to track down a fairy. Yes, I said fairy. He finds one and the reader discovers that fairies and other mythical creatures have been driven underground by the encroachment of mud people (that's us). They don't really like us very much as a result of this and find the idea that a 12-year-old boy has discovered their secret world somewhat abhorrent.

But, Artemis doesn't care. He kidnaps a fairy LEP officer (think police but with magical powers) and sends the whole fairy world into an uproar.

I'd rate this book an 8.5 out of 10. I'm pleased to report that children are not seen as stupid in this book. And neither are women or girls. Why is it that science fiction is one of the main genres where those two things seem to happen regularly? In standard fiction, everyone below voting age is as likely to be as dumb as a post and women are always waiting for someone to rescue them. What's up with that?

This book is also a very quick read. Five discs unabridged on audio book. I think it's good for all ages. I enjoyed it, and I'm obviously not 12 anymore. But, then again, this is my kind of thing. Try it. Perhaps it's yours too.

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