Monday, January 11, 2016

The 306 Greatest Books #133 - Artemis Fowl

The next up on my reading of the 305 greatest books is Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. This book can be found on the BBC Book List.

   This is another book that falls into the "Young Reader" or even perhaps the "Teen Lit" category. You can tell because it is only ~250 pages long and is in the typical larger paperback format. The story is about a highly intelligent 12 year old, who sets out to rebuild his family's fortune which was lost by his father. Even though he is highly intelligent, he does have problems like the fact that his father went missing (likely covered in a future book) followed by his mother having a breakdown and becoming mentally ill and bedridden. In order for Artemis to do regain his family fortune (mostly gained through illegal means in the first place), he hatches a scheme to obtain gold as ransom for a kidnapped fairy, who are generally thought of to be fairy tales in this world. In general, I thought the story was actually rather good. I enjoyed reading it and I could not for the life of me figure out the ending. When it came, it was rather anti-climactic, but it worked for the story. What really surprised me about the story though was that even though the title is Artemis Fowl and the first few chapters focus around Artemis, the bulk of the story centers around "The People" as the fairies, goblins, trolls, and other magical creatures are referred to. You see the world of the humans, and how this kidnapping and rescue proceeds, mostly from their perspective. This was something I wasn't expecting going into the book. The book is written as a world building story, with obvious plans (that since have been written) to expand upon the characters and story lines. Overall, I would say that the story was fun to read with a surprising twist at the end that definitely made it a feel good story. I'm not surprised of the success of the book, as I thought it was pretty good, but I would hardly rate it as one of the best books of all time. 

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