Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer- Review by Carlyn

I started reading the Artemis Fowl series when I was a teenager and it’s only now that I have decided to finish the series. Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian is the last Artemis book out of an eight book series. There are also graphic novel depictions and some short stories called The Artemis Fowl Files. The Artemis Fowl series is about a boy genius who starts off as an arrogant criminal mastermind who becomes good as the books progresses. Artemis was never an evil character; instead he was uncaring and arrogant towards others. He mostly made inventions and stole and scammed from other bad people. 

 Artemis’ life changes when he learns that the magic world exists.  At first, he exploits the fairy people but later cares for them and protects them from danger.  Artemis makes friends with Holly Short, a fairy who is part of the police unit called LEPrecon and Mulch Diggums, a dwarf burglar. Artemis also has a bodyguard called Butler and Butler’s sister Juliet.

In this book, Artemis has to face a crisis on an epic scale as his fairy nemesis Opal Koboi has broken free from jail once again. This time around, she is determined to end the human race by releasing the Beserkers, who are ancient spirit warriors that protect the fairy race. The Beserkers possess Artemis’ family so Artemis must find a way to release his family and save humanity.

The action happens where the first book began which was at Artemis’ home, Fowl Manor. This time, instead of being enemies, Artemis, Holly and Mulch are battling Opal Koboi instead of each other. The story is darker with more violence and death than in the other books. The human and fairy world are impacted on a global scale resulting in millions of deaths. Usually, the fairies are able to wipe minds and destroy evidence but this time the damage is too hard to hide.

I found this book to be quite the page turner since the stakes were so high in this book. Despite the darker feel of the novel, the action still has a hint of ridiculousness in it that lightens the mood. For example, the heroes get chased by possessed rabbits and bees who side with the bad guys. In this book; it’s just one narrow escape after the other. Some of the escapes were just a bit too convenient though, with other characters just happening upon the scene to save them. I liked the possessed element as well, as it was an interesting obstacle to solve and as I mentioned before provided some comic relief.  I felt sorry for the casualties that died when possessed as they were not responsible for their actions.

I thought that the loyalty and devotion that the heroes shared with each other was beautiful. They were like a little family and willing to die for each other. It was great that everyone had a skill or talent that was useful to help in their survival.  I also have inkling that Holly and Artemis might be a couple when Artemis grows up but that’s just wishful thinking on my part. Artemis was just as clever as he was in the other books. I felt that in this book, Artemis felt even more pressure to save the day. I admired his strength on appearing calm and collected even when he didn’t know what to do. He really didn’t need to do that as his friends; particularly Holly could see when he was bluffing.

It was sad when I reached the end of the book because it meant I had finished the whole series. The ending of the novel was great for the final book and a little sad as well. The heroes and the world they live in are forever changed. It has been a fun experience reading the Artemis books over the years. The characters grew and changed and the stakes in the adventures always grew higher. If I ever have kids I would love to read it to them or if I ever have my own class, I would let my students read the books. 

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