So this is the most recent book in the Artemis Fowl series and I have to say it was a bit of a let down. Colfer does once again show off his mastery of random knowledge and creativity with the genius world of Artemis Fowl, but overall the book seemed rushed and somewhat tangential to the other novels. As I haven’t read the graphic novels or the additional material I’m not sure if that covers a lot of what I feel is missing, but it is still a bit of a random book.
The novel starts off with Artemis meeting Foaly (which yes I’ve misspelled in every other post), Holly, and Commander Vinyaya in a remote region of Greenland to show them his newest invention in an attempt to stave off the melting of the polar ice caps, the Ice Cube. Similarly based off Faerie technology and his own genius which produces micro mirrors and has the sun reflected back into the sky and they’re designed to look like snowflakes.
While all of this occurs we are simultaneously reading chapters about Turnball Root, former LEP Commander Julius Root’s brother, and his plans for escape from the maximum security prison and plan to reunite with his wife, a human. I don’t remember ever hearing about Turnball prior to this novel and I think that’s a bit of an oversight. I’m thinking and there may have been an extremely brief mention like in one sentence at one point, but either way this is an entire book revolving around this seemingly minor character. (Some spoilers for previous books ahead.)
As I said the majority of the novel revolves around Turnball and his love for his wife, which is incredibly romantic if not somewhat sadistic, but I’m not quite sure what Colfer was suggesting. I know in the last novel Artemis and Holly kissed and they were both confused about it and the potential trouble it would cause, not just because of their age, but their different species.
What I think Colfer did a great job of with this novel was the disease the ‘Atlantis Compex.’ It’s a form of OCD and his bringing in the random knowledge (whether always known or researched) is brilliant. From the number 4s equivocation with death and the necessity of counting all words and people and multiples. The only other book that I’ve thought handled such a ‘quirky’ disorder as OCD this well is Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Although Colfer’s is loosely based on OCD and adapted for the Faerie world, it’s strikingly real and was a completely different journey than the previous books for Artemis.
Although I was disappointed in this novel, it was an interesting addition to the series and I’m ready for the final novel to come out in the next couple of years. Perhaps now I’ll actually purchase all of the novels so I can have a copy of them to add to my crazy Young Adult Fiction collection.