1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Out with a Whimper, 19 July 2012
When the series first came out I was twelve myself. I'm now twenty-three, but I'm judging this book against YA fiction that I can still enjoy - most notably the first Artemis Fowl novel.
In most of the other novels, the struggles are far more personal and contained. Artemis's goals are relatively simple - restore his fortune, rescue his father, cure his mother and so on, and in accomplishing these goals he grows as a person. With Artemis now at his best, the stakes are upped considerably - preventing humanity from being completely wiped out.
The book presents a great many potentially interesting scenarios, but unfortunately fails to capitalise on them. The scene with the most impact happens very early on, and the rest of the novel fails to live up to it. We barely see Artemis exercise his intellect until the very end, and despite the premise of the Berserkers, there are no moments that come close to Butler's confrontation with the troll in the first book; indeed, there aren't many set-piece moments at all.
It's a fun enough adventure for all that; you still get to meet with the old friends we've grown fond of over the series like Foaly, Mulch and of course Holly, though once again Minerva is disappointingly absent. There are plenty of jokes and even a red herring or two, though I daresay even younger readers won't have much difficulty in figuring out the ending.
Artemis's (presumably) last outing could have been so much more; while we got a good children's book, we could have got a great book, period.