Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception Book Review

The Opal Deception  (Artemis Fowl, #4)The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ignorance isn’t bliss in the world of Artemis Fowl. In the wake of his mind wipe at the end of book three, he’s still fascinated with fairies and decides to steal long lost art depicting them. He doesn’t realize he’s a target of the infamous Opal Koboi, an egomaniac villain from book two who spent a full year plotting and planning escape from her imprisonment. Opal has the brains to become a worthy adversary to Artemis. But he isn’t the only target.

Koboi takes down Holly Short in a sneaky plot to kill her superior, giving Holly a no-win choice that ends with her labeled as a criminal. Grieving and on the run, Holly must save Artemis and enlist his help to save the fairy civilization from exposure again. The trouble is, Artemis doesn’t remember the fairies.

Since Butler is a little slow after his death experience in book three, it’s a good thing Artemis arranged for his mind to be restored before he lost it. In book three, Artemis gave a token to Mulch Diggums and a hint on how to obtain his prison release. Just in case, the author even wrote in his Gnommish code for Artemis to find Mulch Diggums. One thing you can depend on in any book featuring the dwarf—lots of toilet humor. You can also depend on inventive new ways for Mulch to show off his gross-out gastronomic skills. Love it or hate it, it’s an integral part of the Artemis Fowl formula.

Although I enjoyed this book, it seemed remarkable for unnecessary head-hopping. I do not need to know the thoughts of every minor character. I prefer to guess by their actions and words like normal humans. But this is an inventive fantasy with enough action and chases to minimize the negative aspects, including the loss of a major character. Perhaps the author could have made some of the chases a little more of a mental match than speed match, but they were never boring.

You may have noticed two posts in a row with reviews of Artemis Fowl books. This book is the last of the paperbacks I had on hand before Disney made the series available through Netgalley, and I had just read it before I obtained book three. Since I write for teens, I’m interested in reading Colfer’s books to see how their humor and philosophy affects teenagers. It’s a strange mix of a criminal hero with tree-hugging fairy. What does that teach? Recycle the evidence?

Although the books should be read in order for the most enjoyment, this one turned out to be a good book to read right after book two, since it featured the same villain. Once again, Artemis manages to save the fairies bacon, so to speak. Actually, bacon is forbidden. Yet things turn out right in the end, even Mulch’s. Except, what happens when the Gnommish recruitment code transmission to the LEP fails?

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. I’ve only read (actually listened to) the first Artemis Fowl book. I enjoyed it, but I haven’t gotten around to reading the rest of the series. Your post will help motivate me to read them. Thanks for the review.

    • I think Colfer’s books are very inventive in world building and humor, even if it involves bodily functions. The main thing is they don’t languish in description when they need action. And if this many people read a book with a criminal main character, there’s hope for mine.

  2. I really should start reading these …

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