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The end for Arty
on 12 August 2012
After the huge stumble of The Atlantis Complex, Eoin Colfer manages to get the series back on track for this finale. As expected, it closes off previously established plots without really offering any of its own. It's a very fast flight as Artemis, Holly, and Butler race from a chaotic Haven City in the Lower Elements to Fowl Manor as supervillain Opal Koboi schemes to unlock a magical gate that will erase all human life on Planet Earth.
There are some great ideas here in this last book, but there's not time to develop them. The potentially fascinating idea of Earth grounding to a halt after the destruction of all technology unknowingly reverse-engineered from Fairy tech is never explored beyond a single paragraph as Colfer seems to be only interested in getting to the end as fast as possible and putting this successful series behind him forever. I critisized The Atlantis Complex for being 'phoned-in'. That isn't the case here, but you can still tell that he's grown tired for the character.
It is still a mostly satisfying ending, but I really would have liked the love between Artemis and Holly to finally come to something, but it doesn't. The end goal is all Colfer is interested in, and while it's a fun ride getting there I can't help but feel if his heart was in it more it could have been the explosive finale that the series deserved.
No one will really be disappointed, though I would have preferred a slightly slower pace and a bit more room for developing (and finishing off) characters we have been following for 10 years.