Sunday, May 17, 2009

First Clues Review: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

is delighted to introduce a new feature for our website, book reviews written by students. These students offer their unique perspective on the book in their review and provide a valuable resource to parents looking for new mystery adventures for their kids to read.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
The Artemis Fowl Series

Miramax (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-7868-1787-9 (0786817879)
ISBN-13: 978-0-7868-1787-0 (9780786817870)
Publication Date: March 2003
List Price: $5.99

Review written by Denise, Age 13, Grade 7. Date of review: April 2009.

Review: A kid genius, fairies, sprites, gnomes, and magic! This book, which is titled Artemis Fowl, encompasses all of these things, and more! Artemis Fowl, written by the former elementary school teacher Eoin Colfer, is the first installment in the "Artemis Fowl" series. This book is targeted towards children in their early teen and teenage years.

Artemis Fowl is an Irish boy of only twelve years of age, yet his knowledge surpasses that of any intelligent adult’s. He is descended from an extremely wealthy family of criminal lords and is the only son of the bedridden Angeline Fowl and the missing Artemis Fowl senior. Artemis Fowl takes advantage of his father’s absence and his mother’s illness to abandon school and devise strategies that will restore his family to its former prosperity and greatness.

With his freedom, Artemis begins to research fairies, and through his studies, he discovers that fairies do indeed exist. An even more interesting piece of information he derives during his explorations of the topic is the fact that fairies possess a large amount of gold. Artemis plots to steal this gold from the fairies and use it to restore his family wealth. He captures a fairy by the name of Holly Short and plans to return her to her people only when they agree to pay him a large portion of gold as ransom. Artemis’s search for gold rapidly transforms into a full-scale war with the fairy police. He is forced to make critical, life-altering decisions that could possibly determine the outcome of the war. This war of the worlds may put the survival of both the human and fairy races at stake.

Artemis Fowl proved a greatly appealing story; its contents differ dramatically from that of any other book I have read before. For instance: Mr. Colfer’s depiction of fairies. Fairies are generally described as tiny beings that happily assist or accompany man. In Artemis Fowl, fairies are portrayed quite differently. The fairies in Artemis Fowl bear a few similarities to traditional fairies, such as the fact that they are (somewhat) magical. However, the fairies Eoin Colfer created are aggressive creatures that fiercely defend their race against humans and any other dangers that threaten to wipe out their species.

Not only are the mythical creatures in this book unique, but so is the book’s subject: Artemis Fowl the Second. This boy’s personality is extremely intriguing and fascinating; his intelligence quotient exceeds that of nearly every human in the history of mankind, though he is only twelve years of age. Artemis the Second not only possesses a ridiculously intelligent mind, but also the steadfast determination and shining confidence to reach any goal he sets in mind. However, beneath his intellect, willpower, and assurance hides a pitiful young boy who yearns for the return of his father and the recovery of his bedridden mother.

In addition to creating distinctive characters, Eoin Colfer has also produced an exhilarating and electrifying storyline that is completely and wholly original. With the turn of every page of Artemis Fowl come unexpected twists and unforeseen events. However, though the plot of the story is complex and interesting, the tone in which it is written in is not very intricate, which many teens may find objectionable.

Artemis Fowl will be converted into a movie; however, the cast, director, and release date remain unknown. Out of five stars, I give Artemis Fowl a rating of four.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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