As I mentioned yesterday, I finished reading Artemis Fowl, a book about a twelve-year-old criminal and genius who gets on the bad side of a bunch of fairies. He also has a minion…erm, bodyguard named Butler. Sounds cool, right? The plot was actually interesting. The writing made me suffer through the novel. Yes, it’s a young adult novel, as so many people pointed out to me. However, the mark of good fiction is to be immersed in the world that the author has created and to forget that such a world outside the book can even exist. This book didn’t do that. The writing was as jerky as a car ride with that friend of my brother who nearly gets himself killed on every trip. Colfer enjoyed reminding me that no, we haven’t met this character yet, but we should have, and this is why they’re important. Let us take a moment to explain. How important can that character be if he was artificially introduced?
While we’re talking about Artemis, let’s talk about his character. He’s a twelve-year-old genius and criminal. He’s also arrogant as all hell, and boy, does he show it. Yes, he does have his occasional human moments (see a notable instance at the end of the novel for an example), but for most of the novel he’s static, and there’s little evidence of character development that would lead to the ending.
Overall, I read this like a dry textbook. Read it for the text and not for the meaning. Would not read this (or the rest of the series) again.
On another note, Eoin Colfer also wrote the sequel to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. This depresses me slightly because I was satisfied with the ending (even if Adams himself wasn’t) and I’m not a fan of Colfer’s writing style. Perhaps the style will be better when he’s not writing for teenagers, but there is no replacement for Douglas Adams’s humor.