Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer – Book Review

Publisher’s write-up:

‘Artemis is no stranger to trouble. In fact, he is a magnet for it. Man-eating trolls, armed and dangerous (not to mention high-tech) fairies, flame-throwing goblins – he’s seen the lot. He had decided to forego criminal activity of the magical kind. However …

Now his mother is gravely ill. Artemis Fowl must travel back through time to steal the cure from the clutches of the young criminal mastermind … Artemis Fowl.

That’s right. With fairy ally Captain Holly Short by his side, Artemis is going back in time to do battle with himself.

Let the misadventure begin.’

Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox is the sixth novel in the Artemis Fowl octet. This review might contain spoilers to the previous books and in case you haven’t read them, the reviews of Books: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are available in this blog.

Artemis is back from the limbo, the world has moved on, by three years, but there is no change in Artemis. He is now the elder brother of the twins; Myles and Beckett Fowl. But, his mother is suffering from a disease with severe symptoms, and Artemis makes her condition worse, by using his stolen magic on her. It is found out that she is affected by spelltropy, as fairy plague and for obtaining the cure; he had to travel back in time. Eight years ago, when the Fowl finances were struggling, he sold the last silky sifaka lemur to a group of extincitionists to fund his Arctic expedition and Artemis has to go eight years back in time, to retrieve the lemur from … Artemis! His younger self. Artemis who has considered only himself to be a worthy opponent for him, now has a chance to battle it out, with the younger one fighting for money and the elder one fighting for his mother.

The book’s plot, as such was good, especially having Artemis’ schemes working both ways is a highlight in this novel. Moreover, the gradual transformation in Artemis’ character is seen quite clearly in this novel, with Artemis willing to undertake something which doesn’t involve any monetary profits. I loved the way in which Colfer described Morocco; and living in a developing country, I could easily relate to the strange scenario where a shepherd wears a Manchester United shirt. The author could also be appreciated for maintaining his witty writing style and brining in strange elements to the plot of the novel, as always.

However, I felt that it is getting repetitive, for one, going back in time is no new idea and there is absolutely nothing unusual to expect innovation from Colfer, making it somewhat disappointing. Moreover, this is the second time Colfer is playing with time, considering that The Lost Colony, the prequel, was also in a way related to time, being static in the demon island. Similar to The Lost Colony, the author has yet again, ruined a good story in an attempt to just elongate the story, making it far more confusing (to be frank, I didn’t have much idea on what happened after the three hundredth page after my first read and this being my second time, now I do have some clarity) and sometimes boring.

On the whole, the Artemis vs Artemis clash was interesting, and like other books, here also, the digressions were minimal, but for the second chapter, as always, which deals only with a fairy situation. But coming to the rating, the repetitive nature of the whole thing pulls the rating down a little, from eight to seven.

Rating: 7/10

Have a nice day,

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