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Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian Paperback – 4 Apr 2013
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One of the best comic voices in contemporary children's fiction (Guardian)
A master storyteller (Julia Eccleshare lovereading4kids.co.uk)
About the Author
Eoin Colfer was born and raised in the south-east of Ireland. Artemis Fowl, his first book featuring the young anti-hero, was an immediate international bestseller and won several prestigious awards. It was followed by The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code, The Opal Deception, The Lost Colony, The Time Paradox and The Atlantis Complex. He has written a number of other successful books for both adults and children, and is currently working on a huge new series for kids...
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After Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex, we were left in a pretty precarious place, with Artemis suffering from a fairy form of OCD. Book 8 picks up at the conclusion of his treatment - fully cured, according to the notes of Dr J Argon.
This is the last book. The last time we spend time in this world, with these characters. The conclusion has to be big. EPIC. What is more epic than the complete annihilation of humans and fairies? That's what Opal Koboi, Artemis' arch-nemesis, will do - unless the team can stop her. But with the spirits of ten-thousand-year-old warriors possessing little Myles and Beckett, Fowl Manor under siege, and a technodisaster that cuts them off from Haven City, what can they do?
Improvise, of course.
What I loved:
- The friendships: the one that's developed the most over the series is of course Holly's and Artemis'. They trust each other and can rely on each other. Artemis has these heartwarming moments of seeing Holly as if he's never seen her before. This made me choke up a little:
'He wished he could loop the past ten seconds...so he could properly appreciate how fierce and beautiful his best friend was.'
- Myles and Beckett: I don't want to spoil it, but their character development is MAGNIFICENT. Maybe it might even open a door for another book someday with these two at the centre. Oh man, I want this book! I'm wildly speculating, but the more I think about it, the more brilliant the idea seems.
- Butler. Butler Butler Butler. I love Butler. He's a a big huge heart dressed in a stereotype that he's shucked off a million times. He never, ever EVER lets you down.
- Foaly. We get so used to seeing his snark that we rarely see his heart, but oh my, does he have one. Dude.
- Mulch. Nuff said. Cameos from pretty much from everyone important in past books.
- Some big emotional hits. Not telling you any more about that, though.
- Most magnificent of all is Artemis himself. It's impossible not to feel nostalgic throughout this whole book, but Artemis' evolution is what truly brings a tear to the eye. The cold, detached Artemis has become a true and loyal friend, and in the end, this is what it is all about. He is still analytical and calculating, but he's found his heart. I won't be the only person who has genuine feelings for this fictional character, not only because he could be a few people I know.
I am going to miss this world and these characters, like old, well-loved friends. I've been reading right from the moment the first book came out - 11 years ago? Every book a person reads changes them in some way, however minute, and these characters have been real friends to me, even if that sounds cheesy.
May the fours be with you, Artemis Fowl.
PS - There's a short preview of a new series/book from Eoin Colfer coming out in 2013, called W.A.R.P. It looks Good.
It pains me to say this, it really does, but for the first time ever Eoin Colfer has, as an author, disappointed me.
Don't get me wrong, the final adventure is superb: an end-of-the-world armageddon-tastic adrenaline rush fit to round off the whole series. Artemis's considerable intellect is called into action to devise an ingenious plan, Holly's determination and field skills are required to pull the heroes over seemingly-unassailable obstacles, Mulch's numerous and varied dwarf talents are at the forefront of every scrape the motley crew get into, Foaly's technical expertise saves the band's (and several others' besides) skins, and Butler kicks butt. The pacing and dialogue are up to Colfer's usual outstanding (an oxymoron?) standards, and the story is the kind of melodramatic, outlandish nonsense we love (yes, that was a compliment) which nicely finishes a series that started when I was but a wee nipper.
Unfortunately, what pains me and angers me and infuriates me is not any of those things above, for those are what Eoin Colfer has always excelled at, but is the simple fact that almost none of the major story arcs which have taken more than one book to build up was resolved.
To my mind, it should be a capital offence to write a book series and leave plot threads hanging loose, on which the reader should "make up their own mind". I mean, I never expected a C.H.E.R.U.B.-style complete map of each and every character's, no matter how minor, life after the events of the series; but at the same time, I didn't foresee a Series of Unfortunate Events-style abrupt ending which answers none of the questions posed by the author throughout the books and which simply leaves the reader thinking the worst thought someone can think about any creative output: "is that it?" I'm ashamed to say it but I genuinely flicked straight past the sneak preview of Colfer's next book hoping for the rest of the book. As another reviewer elsewhere has put it, "if you're looking for closure, you won't get it". For me, it is not the story which has ended - Eoin Colfer has simply picked a point somewhere well before that end and said "I'll stop here", regardless of what else needs to be told.
A very entertaining read, thoroughly enjoyable and definitely worth getting to have the well-that's-over-with feeling, but with an ending which is sure to leave you wanting something more substantive.
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