My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you haven’t read the previous Artemis Fowl books, you should start at the beginning. This series isn’t meant to step into partway through. And rest assured, the books get better as they go.
Artemis now has his father back, a changed man who has decided to go straight. Artemis however, has other ideas. He’s constructed an advanced communications box with fairy technology and meets with criminal businessman Jon Spiro. The offer of an investment opportunity goes terribly wrong, especially for Butler, who is taken out of action, possibly permanently.
Spiro steals the box named a C – Cube, the fairy civilization goes into lockdown, and of course Holly is sent to investigate when Artemis makes a plea for help in Butler’s behalf. With the big guy out of action, his little sister must take his place. Meeting Juliet and learning her personality added a lot the book. Not yet certified as a bodyguard, she seems like a younger Holly. Her impulsiveness gets her into trouble.
After his mistake with Spiro, Artemis puts his intellect to work planning the C – Cube’s recovery. It’s a very complicated plan involving an eternity code. Numerous setbacks and a lot of dangerous action ensue. Spiro’s goons make for some slapstick comedy involving chips and pectoral muscles. Mulch Diggums provides a lot of the comic relief. Considering what happens to Butler at the beginning and later on, the extra humor is needed.
Once again, there’s a lot of head hopping. At this point I’m happy that some of it’s funny. And at least Artemis has grown a conscience and hesitates when faced with an action that would have serious health consequences to the villain if not for Holly’s healing ability. Having learned the serious consequences of his bad decisions, Artemis makes a charitable gesture that he never would have considered in previous books. He also agrees to a mind wipe in return for the fairy help with Butler.
The end of the book leaves us with a question. Now that we finally have a likable protagonist, what will he be like when he wakes up with no memories of all the interactions with the fairy culture that changed his personality? For a hint, read the decoded Gnommish message at Artemis Fowl Fan Gathering.
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