A Novel Most Fowl: my first take on Artemis

“A genius. A criminal mastermind. A millionaire.
And he is only twelve years old.” 

Eoin Colfer
too long didnt read george clooney GIF
George knows I have a tendency to ramble. George has your back!

Last month, I had the absolute pleasure of reading Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer for the first time ever (let’s not talk about how these books were around when I was a kid and I never picked them up, alright?). This is less of a review and more of just your basic rave about how refreshing, fun and moving I found this story. Instead of just rambling enthusiastically (yet aimlessly) about everything I loved in the book, I’ll break it down into my top 5 favourite things – but the TL;DR takeaway is Artemis was some of the most fun I’ve had while reading in a while, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should! 😀 OK, onward with Why I Thought Artemis Fowl Is A Winner:

1. Humour

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Actual portrait of me sniggering my way through the book

Humour me here, you guys. I’ve read 17 books so far this year and I’ve really enjoyed them all (as in, I haven’t given a book less than 4/5 stars on Goodreads yet), but Artemis is by far the funniest I’ve read of the 17. There was at least one cackle a page, and often more! At one stage, I read a chapter aloud to Kyle and had to keep pausing to giggle. The banter between characters is whip-smart and hilaaaaarious, and there was rarely a moment while I was reading that I didn’t have a huge grin plastered over my face.

2. Originality

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I found the premise of this story really creative and different to a lot of books I’ve read. A 12-year-old criminal mastermind? A fairy police unit called LEPrecon (which obviously stands for the Lower Elements Police reconnaissance squad; keep up, you guys)? A criminal dwarf who digs tunnels using his mouth? Totally wiiiiiild, this plot – and nothing like anything I’ve read before. I found the whole experience refreshing 🙂

3. Setting

light up ireland GIF by Eurovision Song Contest

The descriptions of the Irish landscapes in Artemis! I swoon! It was awesome to read a story where the author obviously cares deeply about the setting and gives it space within the plot. The book kicks off on another continent altogether, and I get the feeling that the entire series takes the reader all around the world – something I was a huge fan of as a kid when I read the Alex Rider series. One of the wonders of reading is that it can introduce us to places that we’ll never otherwise have the chance to see or experience.

4. Characters

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This is a defining factor in any book I read or movie/show I watch, and I was not disappointed in the slightest here. Artemis’s characters were nuanced, clearly defined, different from one another; some of them were smart (*ahem* Artemis), some were strong (Butler), some were sassy (Foaly) and some were a combo of all three (HOLLY). They showed growth over the course of the book; they made me laugh with their witty back-and-forths; they are the main reason I want to keep reading the series, because they’re compelling!

5. Unexpected wisdom…?

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Finally, the thing I was absolutely blindsided by in this book was HOW MUCH DANG WISDOM was being dropped on the regular. There are a few quips and sidenotes throughout the book about how much humans have wrecked the planet, but more than that, Colfer digs down into some philosophy. The whole book is set up around a young criminal, born into a criminal family, committing criminal deeds, so obviously there’s some nuance afforded there and questions about what makes a criminal a criminal (and my overuse of the word criminal should really at this stage be considered… criminal). But Colfer also sows comments into conversation like, “If I win, I’m a prodigy. If I lose, then I’m crazy. That’s the way history is written,” and, “Confidence is ignorance. If you’re feeling cocky, it’s because there’s something you don’t know” – statements that made me exclaim aloud at how, well, wise I found them! I went into this read expecting a rollicking good time and not only did I get that, but I got some Yoda-esque insight.

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SO! As stated previously: this was the funniest and definitely one of the most fun reads of 2019 for me so far. If you haven’t read it, get on it! And if you have…

Are you a fan of this criminal most Fowl? Who’s your favourite character? Should I keep reading the series? What do you think of the fact that they’ve made a movie that’s supposedly coming out this year?!

(I… actually think it looks decent!)

Chat to us in the comments below 🙂

11 thoughts on “A Novel Most Fowl: my first take on Artemis

  1. I remember reading this when I was younger – I read it once on my own & hated it, I don’t think I even got through it but then I tried again and my mum read it to me and I remember actually quite liking it the 2nd time but never went on to continue the series :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s actually super fun to read aloud, I think! It conveys more of the action and the humour. It could be particularly fun for smaller kids if their parents read it to them – which is what my mom did for me with a lot of Harry Potter! I’ve heard the series gets more and more fantastical but I’ll see how I go with it 🙂 I think there’s never anything wrong with reading just one book in a series though! Thanks for commenting! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get what you mean 🙂 I’ve heard from a couple people that the series just goes on too long, and gets more and more ridiculous in its escapades – but I really enjoyed the first one! I also know what you mean about moving towards more realistic fiction 🙂 I like a bit of a balance!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have six books for you (four which were loans that I am returning) — may I borrow Artemis Fowl? 🙂

    The movie looks like a mix of Men In Black, The Matrix and LOTR (the Gollum-y voice and arrows!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Abso-LUTE-ly! I have the other two books of The Illuminae Files for you, too, if you want them 😉 And a few from the book sale with your name on ’em! ❤

      Yes! It's super fantasy-driven: fairies, dwarves, centaurs, all sorts of obscure creatures. And the voice, I THINK, is that of Dame Judi Dench, with a type of a filter over it! She's playing the LEPrecon commander, who in the book is male – so I'm interested to see what they do with that character! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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