There are a couple of reasons I have to love this novel, 1) it involves time travel; 2) it’s called The Lost Colony and growing up in North Carolina we learn all about Roanoke and the lost colony; 3) it truly highlights how this series is a coming of age series; and 4) Artemis gets his butt handed to him socially in this novel (more so than usual) and I can identify with that awkwardness.
I’m not sure if Colfer was running out of ideas for this novel, but it seemed a bit strung together, but ultimately is one of the best novels. The novel begins with Artemis and Butler attempting to track down an anomalous demon appearance, which isn’t all that much of an anomaly. The ancient Warlocks of Hybras suspended the colony outside of time thousands of years ago and the time spell is slowly weakening and sending bits of the island back to the current time and the current planet (Demons have an affinity for the moon).
For the first part of the story we shift back and forth between Artemis’ adventures in present time and the woes of No. 1, a runt-like Demon who hasn’t matured and faces a long life of ridicule unless he can prove that he is a descendant of the Warlocks of old.
Long story short there’s another child genius Minerva Paradizo who has also worked out the formula for the Demons’ appearances and has appeared at the last two sightings with Artemis. On the third attempt Minerva captures a demon which happens to be No. 1 and the chase begins. With many bells and whistles (and plenty of Faerie magic and technology) Artemis and the gang (Butler, Mulch, Fowly and a new pixie named Doodah Day) free Holly and No. 1 from Minerva’s complex only to lose them again and have to fly to Taipei where they find the final Warlock Qwan frozen in a self-induced rock statue for the last few millenia.
The novel ends with Holly and Artemis accompanying Qwan and No. 1 back in time as Artemis has taken the bomb from Taipei because they need an explosion big enough to provide the energy necessary to relocate Hybras back into this time zone and planet. There is a lot of confusion and chaos as the time-spell continues to breakdown including deaths and revivals and a final shocker of their arrival back on Earth, but three years after they left.
There are some unanswered threads that begin in this book and don’t finish in the next two, but could potentially be tied up in the final novel. I hope Colfer is as meticulous as JK Rowling was in tying up all of her loose threads no matter how small. I didn’t really talk about the love interest, but suffice to say it gets juicy in the next book and one is a loose end.