Review of Artemis Fowl Books
Why is it so hard to find good books for tween boys? When my 6th-grade daughter goes to the library, we come out with stacks and stacks of books. But when I take my 4th-grade son, we often come out empty-handed. Or we get a book, he reads a few pages, and pronounces it “boring.”
When he is hooked on a book series, however, he can’t get enough. Recently he just finished two book series for boys he loved: Percy Jackson & the Olympians and Ranger’s Apprentice. My daughter mentioned that boys in her class liked a series called Artemis Fowl. So at a recent trip to the library I checked out the first two Artemis Fowl books.
I starting reading the first book just to see what it was about, and I could not put it down. Within a couple of days I was back at the library getting the rest of the series and all three of us devoured them.
Kudos to the author, Eoin Colfer, for plots, characters, and action and humor that appealed to all of us.
Colfer’s hero (or perhaps anti-hero) Artemis is a super-bright, rich, articulate 12-year-old with supreme confidence. He is also a criminal mastermind intent on amassing an even greater fortune. The kid comes up with brilliant plots, and his buff bodyguard Butler, who is trained in martial arts and carries array of lethal high-tech gadgets, helps him to carry them out.
When we first meet Artemis, he is planning to rob gold from fairies. But these are not your typical fairies. “Die Hard with fairies” is how Irish author Eoin Colfer describes his books. His magical beings are an advanced civilization with amazing technology and powerful weapons.
Colfer’s inventive plots have tons of twists and surprises that pull you through the adventures.
The settings include Fowl Manor, where the Artemis has a mansion any boy would envy, various places around the world Artemis flies to in his private jet, and the Lower Elements, the world inhabited magical beings, which Colfer describes in rich detail.
Readers come to know quirky, charismatic characters with an edge, among them:
Artemis Fowl, a preteen prodigy with a huge bank account and the toughest bodyguard in the world. Although he is greedy and ruthless, Artemis can do the right thing at times. He is still figuring out his place in the moral order.
Domovoi Butler, a loyal bodyguard with cool weapons who has no problem taking orders from a 12-year-old.
Captain Holly Short, a gutsy female LEPrecon officer who sometimes bends the rules to save the day
Foaly, a wise-cracking techie centaur who is a genius in his own right coming up with amazing gadgets that give his side an edge
Mulch Diggums, a dwarf thief who uses explosive flatulence to help tunnel his way into places through impenetrable.
Opal Koboi, Foaly’s nemesis, an evil genius pixie who comes up with diabolical (and extremely clever) plans to rule the world
Accelerated Reading and Artemis Fowl Books
The Artemis Fowl books have accelerated reader tests. The accelerated reading interest level is between 5 and 6. AR Points for Artemis Fowl books range from 10-13. Adults will enjoy them as well.
Artemis Fowl Movie
A film based on the first two books is reportedly in development. A script has been written, but the film been delayed several times.
Artemis Fowl Series Books
Other Artemis Fowl books
The Artemis Fowl Files (2004)
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel (2007)
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel: The Arctic Incident (2009)
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel: The Eternity Code (20xx)
My son, almost 10, ranks the Percy Jackson and Ranger’s series above Artemis Fowl, but I think I actually liked the Artemis Fowl series better. Lots of humor and wit with likable characters and inventive plots. Action packed but not scary. Artemis Fowl books rate among the best books for middle school boys. Let me know if you like Artemis Fowl, and if you have other books to recommend to this age group.
If you read the first book in the Artemis fowl series, you will want to read them all. Amazon a boxed set of the first five Artemis Fowl books. The set would make a great gift for a tween boy.