What the second book in the series lacks in new concepts (most of those were introduced in book 1) it makes up for in heart. The Arctic Incident starts with both fairy and human psychologists evaluating the billionaire teen genius. I’m still not sure who is supposed to be narrating the books. That problem, along with the author’s habit of telling every character’s thoughts, are the worst problems. Book two starts a little slow with Artemis back in school, but after he finds out his dad is still alive and being held hostage, he ditches class and the story turns into a fast-paced adventure.
The main character, Artemis, becomes a bit more likable as he searches for his father who was taken captive by the Russian Mafiya two years ago. Artemis has plenty of funds to conduct his search: fairy gold he extorted in the first book. He also has a mother whose mind is now functional after her fairy healing in book 1 by Captain Holly Short, the real heroine of the story. But the fairies suspect him of smuggling human weapons to fairies, and for once he’s not guilty. This allows Artemis and Holly to get back together to investigate both of their problems. Needless to say, all fairy breaks loose, along with Mulch Diggums’ gas, when a new villain appears.
Although I don’t go for spy stories, this book made the James Bond style thriller into more of a buddy adventure as the starring humans and fairies realize they need each other. Artemis begins to lose his arrogance in demanding situations where he realizes he’s neglected his physical health and fitness. The excessive fairy prejudice against humans lessens as they learn all humans aren’t bad. After a dangerous chase and a great escape with body parts lost for more than one character, Artemis regains his dad. This is the book that made me decide to continue the series past the two I bought at a garage sale. 4 stars.
Since I already mailed book 1 and 2 to a follower as part of a blog prize, I’d like to thank Disney-Hyperion for making this special edition Flashback edition available through Netgalley. It makes an Arctic cool promo for the final book in the New York Times Best-selling Artemis Fowl series which comes out in July 2012.