Books

Book 34: The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl, Book 4) – Eoin Colfer

As readers begin the fourth book of the Artemis Fowl series we are in essence starting over again from Artemis’ perspective. After the mind wipe at the end of The Eternity Code I can imagine readers not knowing whether the series would continue. I hope that when Colfer wrote the book he actually questioned whether there would be additional adventures. As we begin this novel in the series, we wouldn’t know who would or would not appear with half the main cast receiving memory wipes and the other half forbidden to approach them.

After the memory wipe a the end of The Eternity Code, Artemis reverts to his criminal ways, however he has a conscience which is consistently nagging at him. He chooses not to Artemis has once again returned to his criminal mastermind ways and is in the processes of a major art heist.

While we’re wondering when Artemis’ world and the underworld will again collide, we check in with all our old friends from the previous books, and learn about what Opal Koboi has been up to since Book 2, The Arctic Incident). Both Opal and her lackey Briar Cudgeon are back and they are back with a vengeance. Opal has spent the last year in a self-induced coma and has a plan for revenge on those that caused her to fall from greatness, Artemis, Fowly, Holly, Julius Short and Butler.

There are some major plot spoilers, so if you plan on reading the book, don’t read the full entry.

As the book picks up pace we are quickly reminded of how much of a sociopath Opal is, but we are also reminded of her sheer brilliance. She had a complete back-up plan ready including a fully developed vegetative clone. As the story develops we find out just how unhinged Opal remains. In her previous attempt at revolution her plan was to become Faerie Queen and rule the races under the world; in her newest plan she plans on all of the faeries ultimately being killed by the humans, through her devious plot for an Italian scientist to discover the underworld.

We are lead on a chase through numerous countries and the underworld, from the brilliant theme park Eleven Human Wonders of the World to the Earth’s core, this book was fascinatingly written. As with most young adult novels (or those I seem to recall or choose to read) this book starts out with the death of a major supporting character, which sets up the plot of did or didn’t a character murder them allowing the book to progress with an additional element. In this book it was Julius who was murdered and Holly who was set-up, all according to Opal’s plan. There are other attempts at murder (she attempts to kill Artemis and Butler) and she attempts to humiliate Foaly and to blame the sensor from the Italian’s on Fowly.

Although this wasn’t my favorite of the series, it was a good novel as they all are and provides a great light read and a bit more depth on how much Artemis has changed since the first novel and his developing relationships with his first true friends. As the novel ends, Butler and Artemis are not forced into a memory-wipe as they have helped save the underworld (again) and Holly resigns from the LEP and creates a Private Investigation firm with Mulch Diggums as her new commanding officer doesn’t trust her.

I think this is the first true plot summary I’ve ever given for a book. It’s clearly jumpy as it’s been over a month since I finished it and it doesn’t cover everything, but I think I prefer my meandering thoughts on the books, their authors and whatever else happens to wander into my head as I’m writing the post. I guess we’ll see where all of these go over the next few posts as I’m finally catching up.

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