This is an eight-part book series written by Irish author Eoin Colfer, which surrounds a young criminal mastermind named Artemis Fowl and his unusual friends – a loyal bodyguard literally named Butler, a ridiculously short elf who is the only female captain of LEPrecon (the fairy police, in layman’s terms) named Holly Short and a centaur who is a technical genius working at LEPrecon called Foaly – as they crisscross the globe, go underground to discover the fairy civilization and even travel back in time.
The main protagonist, Artemis (who is a guy, despite his name), was actually introduced in the most ironic and significant way possible – as an anti-hero, enemy of the fairy civilization. As the series progresses, he slowly begins to work with the Fairies instead of against them, helping to resolve conflicts. With every book, Artemis ages by a year, so we, as readers, are given the privilege to grow up with him and watch his character change and develop. Originally an arrogant and fairly self-obsessive twelve-year-old, he becomes more compassionate and protective over his friends and family as he grows up, but, of course, is still rather arrogant and self-obsessive. Old habits die hard when you’re a criminal mastermind, I suppose.
Personally, my favourite was The Atlantis Complex, mostly because it involves Artemis getting a sudden electric shock that allows his alter ego to surface. We got to see an entirely new side to the usually cold and calculative child protégé, making him (technically, his alter ego, Orion) more approachable, gullible to fantasy and all the more sarcastic. And after the six books that came previously depicting Artemis as a guilt-ridden genius, this was definitely a hilarious treat.
Suggested for readers aged 10 and above, the Artemis Fowl series delves deeply into the themes of family and friendship, good and evil, greed, trust and last but not least, coming-of-age (or bildungsroman, for all you literature students), essential for all the young readers out there. I strongly recommend this series to science fantasy enthusiasts, or anyone who’s looking to see their world in a slightly different way. Be ready to follow this young prodigy in his mind-blowing, thrilling adventures filled with danger, wit and on-the-edge-of-your-seat excitement!
Here’s the list of books in chronological order:
1. Artemis Fowl
2. Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
3. Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
4. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
5. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony
6. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
7. Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex
8. Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian
-Yan Ling (4 Unity)