The real review: Artemis Fowl

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.

2 replies on “The real review: Artemis Fowl”

Thank Google that I found SOMEONE who has at least a bad word or two to say about Colfer’s writing. I’m reading Artemis Fowl for my kids at the moment & I’m am close to shouting on every second sentence at how awful the syntax and word-choice are. Very basic stuff that even half-hearted editing should have dealt with. And yet Penguin backed it, it has taken off worldwide, and his writing seems to attract nothing but praise at least in the online amateur reviews and blogosphere. Fathom that!

I’ve been thinking the same thing. So many people were in shock that I didn’t like the book because personally they loved it. Maybe he writes novels for adults better. I hope so because the same author wrote And Another Thing, the sequel to the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, and now I’m even more torn in deciding whether to read it, especially because the humor I love so much in Adams definitely wasn’t present in Artemis Fowl, despite what others may say.

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