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Book Review – ‘Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex’ by Eoin Colfer

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Book Description:

Artemis has committed his entire fortune to a project he believes will save the planet and its inhabitants, both human and fairy. Can it be true? Has goodness taken hold of the world’s greatest teenage criminal mastermind?

Captain Holly Short is unconvinced, and discovers that Artemis is suffering from Atlantis Complex, a psychosis common among guilt-ridden fairies – not humans – and most likely triggered by Artemis’s dabbling with fairy magic. Symptoms include obsessive-compulsive behavior, paranoia, multiple personality disorder and, in extreme cases, embarrassing professions of love to a certain feisty LEPrecon fairy.

Unfortunately, Atlantis Complex has struck at the worst possible time. A deadly foe from Holly’s past is intent on destroying the actual city of Atlantis. Can Artemis escape the confines of his mind – and the grips of a giant squid – in time to save the underwater metropolis and its fairy inhabitants?

New York Times best-selling author Eoin Colfer delivers a knockout, fast-paced, and hilarious adventure in Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, the seventh book in the blockbuster series.

I’ve been a huge fan of Eoin Colfer’s Artermis Fowl series, from the first time I read about the 12-year-old boy genius/criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl who hatched a dastardly plot to kidnap a fairy for ransom, then later teamed up with the erstwhile kidnap victim, the elf Captain Holly Short, to save man and fairy repeatedly. Artemis Fowl started off as an impressively brilliant criminal anti-hero, then slowly mellowed into an impressively brilliant hero as the series progressed. If you have never heard of this series, I suggest that you check out the previous books first before attempting to leapfrog to book 7! (Read in this order: Artemis Fowl, The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code, The Opal Deception, The Lost Colony and The Time Paradox.)

In Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, our boy genius is now the ripe old age of fifteen, and on schedule to ‘turn over a new leaf’. But loyal followers of the series will notice almost immediately that this Artemis Fowl is not operating at 100%. There is a disturbing fear of the number 4, increasing paranoia and loss of touch with reality. Worst of all, when Artemis’ ingenuity is most needed (as an old foe of the fairyfolk returns to power), Artemis’ smooth-talking romantic hero alter-ego Orion surfaces and takes over as the dominant personality. Is everything lost for the fairy people?

By book 7, Eoin Colfer has his formula down pat, we have the non-stop action & adventure, laugh out loud humor (although some jokes were a bit stale by now) and inventive fairy-made gadgets that would delight any techno-geek out there.

Old favorites and the usual suspects also return for this adventure, which is the main reason why I wouldn’t recommend reader this book out of the blue. I know who Holly, Foaly, Butler, Juliet , Demon No1 and Mulch Diggins are, but you won’t, and trust me when I say that these characters are best enjoyed as they grow through the series. The other reason is that the book is peppered with spoilers (for the previous books) and inside jokes that wouldn’t be appreciated by a new reader.

What The Atlantis Complex lacks in a big way though is Artemis Fowl himself. It’s just not the same without the ole’ Artemis around. It’s funny if you think about it, Artemis is so awkward, stilted and unemotional, but this book proves that HE is the heart and soul of everyone around him. With Artemis trapped in his mind, the heroes are suddenly helpless and bumbling, always playing catch-up but not quite to the villain. I did enjoy the mind-trip of being able to spy inside Artemis’ brain 🙂 so that’s a plus.

Another weakness that I found for book 7 is that the plot is not as complex as usual; I’ve always enjoyed the unpredictable double-cross/triple-cross elements & the mind-twisting tricks that Eoin Colfer adds to the series, but maybe he’s run out of steam this time around.

Eoin Colfer has said that there’s only one book left to look forward to in the series, and as a longtime fan, I do hope that the final book will be worthy of the brilliance of the first book. Book 7 doesn’t quite live up to the series, but on its own, it’s still an entertaining read. (p.s. Orion Fowl is a total riot!)

‘Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex’ by Eoin Colfer is available on Amazon as a Kindle Edition ($9.71), Hardcover ($9.71) and Audio CD ($24.42). The eBook price is the same for Barnes & Noble and the Sony Reader Store (in line with the Agency Model, I guess).

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