So Colfer pumped some volume back into the series with The Lost Colony, but how does he keep it going? By bringing back a psychotic mastermind. This novel begins after the last novel ends (clearly) and picks up with Artemis who hasn’t aged at all, but is supposedly three years older than he was due to the final trip in time during the last novel and bringing Hydras back to the current plane of existence.
This novel centers around a series of time loops which all occur as a result of Artemis attempting to keep his parents in the dark about why he hasn’t aged during his absence and to keep the underworld hidden from them. If you think about it to long you could easily get stuck in an existential quandary of whether any of the series would have happened if he did or did not go back in time or did or did not try and cure his mother.
Colfer’s strengths are again highlighted in the ways he crafts the characters, the language (Spelltropy) and the characters interactions. We once again are faced with a Mulch Diggums who knows nothing about Artemis and Holly thanks to their forward (or backward) thinking depending on how you look at the novel. And we again return to a cruel and somewhat terrifying Artemis (the younger). Having two Artemis’s is not only confusing, but again somewhat terrifying as they are going up against each other and we see just how truly cruel and heinous Artemis could have turned out by the reminder of how he was when he first kidnapped Holly Short.
There aren’t any spoilers in the next portion, but warning it does turn into a bit of a rant (perhaps even pointless rant). There is ONE spoiler-ish in the second paragraph.
I’m not sure how much of the Extinctionist group is based on fact or if Colfer just has that cruel of an imagination, but it’s somewhat brilliantly sadistic how he’s portrayed this group. This group’s entire purpose is to see species wiped out if they serve no immediate use to humankind. I find this interesting as our sciences are only developing so fast and one can never tell what may or may not be of use in the future, as the Faeries have surely found out with the Lemur the story follows.
What I found most humorous was when they were sent back in time Artemis gains time and approaches his true chronological age of 18 and Holly loses time basically being turned back into an adolescent. Well as in most cases hormones are awry and they’re both confused and antsy, and they definitely share a kiss at one point. Clearly it’s not going to work out as the next novel shows, but it was one of those WHOOP type moments where you want a million different things to happen.
I know this isn’t much of a review and is actually a bit of a diatribe. Don’t get me wrong, the series is brilliant and I would fully recommend it to anyone (and not just young adults), but Colfer seems to have let quite a few details slip through the cracks unless he did mention them and I just happened to gloss over them in my re-reading. Like why is it in the last novel Artemis seems to be developing a relationship (which is good – and hilarious; and knocks Artemis down a peg or two) with the child genius Minerva Paradizo. She does not return in this novel and apparently will not return in the latter, maybe Colfer will include a one liner in which he says ‘and Minerva wrote from the Alps and is enjoying her new life there…’ but either way, it’s just a loose end that is annoying.