Monday, 11 February 2013

Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer – Book review

Publisher’s write-up:

‘It’s all true, every word. Irish criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discovered a fairy race living below ground. He has extorted gold from them and the fairy police have been on his tail for supplying power cells to the goblin gangs.
But that’s not the half of it. The Russian Mafiya are holding his father to ransom in the Arctic Circle and only Artemis’s bodyguard, Butler, stands between him and an evil pixie. As an explosive situation threatens the entire fairy civilization, Artemis realizes that even a wicked genius needs help sometimes. And it can come from the most unlikely quarters . . .’

Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident is the second book in the Artemis Fowl octet. The Arctic Incident is one year after the kidnapping of Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police; Artemis is now thirteen – a teen. My suggestion to any reader regarding any sequel of any series is to not read the sequel unless you’ve read the previous books. Review of the first book in the octet is available here.

Artemis, in the first book, was brought out as an extremely intelligent person with little or no feelings for anyone. But, the other aspects of Artemis’ life is brought in, during the initial pages of this book, that he too, like any other kid of his age, attends a school (of course, the teachers prefer to not have him) and is worried about his father, missing for the last two years – presumed dead but Artemis gets a lead that his father is held for ransom near Murmansk in Russia by the mafiya.

Meanwhile, the situation underground, too, wasn’t a peaceful one. Goblins of the B’wa Kell are leading a rebellion against the fairies but someone is behind them. They had weapons powered by AAA batteries – which implied that a human was dealing with them. The LEP immediately suspect Artemis, the only human who has outwitted them so far, but they soon realise that he has nothing involvement in the goblin rebellion. Instead, the fairies decide to team up with Artemis; with him given the task of identifying the human link in the chain and in return, the fairies would help Artemis in rescuing his father from the mafiya.

The author used the sequel very well to build the characters that he had left behind. Taking the case of Artemis, the author begins the book at Artemis’ school, informing the reader that Artemis too, like any other boy of his age, attends school. Also, one immediately realises that Artemis is not just a greedy person but is also concerned about his immediate family members, and to rescue his father, he is willing to undertake any amount of risk. It goes to an extent where he even begins to question himself whether he actually had to kidnap Holly, just for some gold. So, it was enjoyable, how the emotional character of Artemis was being built. Moreover, it was really sad that characters such as Foaly, Holly, Root and Mulch had to be the antagonists, in the prequel, but the truce with Artemis was a highlight and the Holly-Artemis combination was really good, both, with their sarcastic sense of humour. Coming to the plot, it was interesting, moving between different parts of the earth (since world isn’t the appropriate term), which always makes an adventure story better.

This book hardly disappoints a Fowl fan in any of its areas, but for the fact that I felt that plot was built like a bubble. Things were moving about gradually, the protagonists’ troubles get deeper, but it was closed so soon, in just approximately thirty pages. However, I’d not say that the finish was in anyway abrupt. I’d rate this book a strong 8/10.

Rating – 8/10

Have a nice day,


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