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I find this book exceptionally interesting and i got into it when my dad got it for me as an audiobook. Originally i thought, god another fairy book, perhaps it would suit my sister.
But now i read the book on holiday once and then i was hooked to the series. It allows the gap between the fairy and modern human world to be bridged. Advanced weapons and magic all combined into one action packed adrenaline producing action/adventure book.
The first book is all about how Artemis comes across the fairy culture, throgh the internet of course. He then kidnaps a fairy and asks the fairy people for a ransom payment of one tonne of gold.
The fairies naturally dont want to give into this demand and so what follows are a series of tense fights, debates and negotiations. All leading up to the eventual detonation of a biobomb, which in typical artemis fowl fashion he is able to avoid.
A great book i would recommend to anyone
I originally picked this up intending it to be entertainment for my son on car journeys, thinking he'd be into something like Artemis Fowl. However, he was adamant he wasn't interested, and so I thought I'd at least try it before taking it back to our local library.
I found myself really enjoying it. Author Eoin Colfer has created a wonderful little crossover between our world and the underground world of fairies, goblins, dwarves and centaurs, and while it's not quite the magical experience you'd expect from something Disney, it gives a grimly entertaining tale where these familiar creatures aren't quite as you'd have expected them to be.
The titular character is actually the villain of the piece, a 12 year old Irish heir to millions, living in his family's manor house with his senile mother and their servant Butler. Artemis acquires the fairy book, which details all fairy policies and procedures, and then kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the Fairy police, the LEP. Cue a rescue attempt, negotiations, some interesting characters, and an author's imagination that is brilliant.
The first thing that struck me about this was the descriptive way in which Colfer has written the book. The audiobook I listened to is an unabridged one, and therefore contains all the text. No doubt Nathaniel Parker's narration helps visualise the characters and gives them all voices, but the story itself is brilliant. Cleverly woven, it really does draw you in, and it makes me want to go and pick up the sequel, whether it be the printed version or another audio book.
It's the little things, like the way the characters are described. Characters such as Mulch Diggums, the kleptomaniac dwarf, who unhinges his jaw to eat his way through earth, devouring it and then opening his bumflap to get rid of the devoured earth out the other end, really do make this an imaginative experience that is very original. Fairy technology is amazingly advanced, and fireproof goblins and virtually bulletproof trolls also get a bit of time.
You almost forget that the main part of the plot is supposed to be this 12 year old rich genius who wants to acquire some fairy gold, and really this is what Colfer comes back to only occasionally. It's more like this main plot element was a vehicle for the author's imagination to have somewhere to come out, and it's very impressive from start to finish. The plot itself does become the focal point towards the end, allowing plenty of room for all of the sequels that have since come out. I would certainly recommend reading or listening to this.
Nathaniel Parker's voice is very calming and soothing, and easy to listen to. The book is presented on 6 CDs, and Parker does the voices very well, from the soft lilting Irish voice of Artemis to the gruff American goblin Commander Root, from the Cockney Centaur gadget expert (sort of like Q in Bond) to the simple tones of Mulch Diggums, it all works. It's one of the things I like about well done audiobook narration, and Parker is a perfect choice. I believe Adrian Dunbar does some of the other Artemis Fowl books' narration, and I can imagine this would be very good too, although I'll have to reserve judgment until I hear him. For the moment, though, this Parker narrated 6 CD audiobook is a brilliant start to the Artemis Fowl books, and I highly recommend it. Brilliant tale, brilliant imagination, and brilliantly narrated.