Friday, July 3, 2015

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer

I was right. I didn't really need to read The Eternity Code between The Artic Incident and The Opal Deception. Conveniently, Artemis' mind was wiped from the events that occurred in the 3rd book and one of the plot points was remembering what happened during that adventure. It appears that each Artemis Fowl book operates as a stand alone book, which is just smart marketing in case readers like me can't be bothered to obtain the books in order.

The backstory for this book is just like the other one: it was 1 dollar from the book fair. The next book fair is in September, I think, and BAE and I are already talking about it. I wonder what prizes I will find! Will books by my girl PG be there? Who knows? Ok, back to Artemis Fowl.

I think if I had started reading this books when I was 10 or 11, I would have totally dug them and maybe even fashioned myself an evil genius (that eventually turns good) just like Artemis Fowl. His name is even cool. Sure, Jordan is mythological (excuse me, biblical) and androgynous but Artemis is so badass. Jordan is just a name of a river. Although famous (pretty heavy hitters were baptized in the Jordan River), it is also apparently a dirty river. Artemis is named after a fierce huntress!

Ok, back to the actual story. As it is, I read them while I'm in my late 20s. I keep in mind that they were written for kids much younger than me (and actually I'll probably be teaching the appropriate age group this fall). It's a unique concept and it celebrates the idea of a boy using his intellect to solve problems. What is also powerful about this book is that Artemis actually thinks. He brainstorms more than one plan and then after analyzing them, chooses the one that will be the most successful. Artemis Fowl takes his time, and knows that intelligence doesn't actually mean quickness. Being super smart doesn't necessarily mean that one gets the right answer immediately.

It's a powerful concept to learn and more students, especially those who struggle with academics, could stand to read about someone like Artemis Fowl. Sure, it's science fiction, but what is great about science fiction is that it's often much more based in the human condition than fiction is. Science Fiction dreams up powerful high technology and different species, but ultimately goes back to how the human race reacts to these themes.

Artemis Fowl is an optimistic focal point of the human race. Eoin Colfer shows intense character development with Fowl. He starts off the series as the books' anti-hero. He faces off with The People in order to obtain some fairy gold. Then in the next book and sequential books, he develops a relationship with Holly Short and becomes the series protagonist. After doing some research on the Fowl books, he actually goes back in time to deal with his younger, more evil half in order to save his mother. He's actually going back in time to right the wrongs he committed when he was an angry, lost boy.

Development. Stephanie Myers could stand to learn something. I kid, but not really.

I even like the series' villain, Opal Kobai. There are a lot of geniuses in this book series, and all of them work extremely hard and are extremely ambitious, in their own way, in order to be the greatest.

Now onto the book itself. I realized that because it's a YA book, and maybe even a bit younger than YA, it's not geared towards me. The book takes me a bit to get into. I found myself only wanting to read a few pages a night, which is a sign that I am not into what I'm reading. Thank goodness for this blog, my leaning tower book stack and my moving, right? Who knows when I would have been done this book?

I'm not interested in fantastical high technology and heist narrative but unfortunately, most of this book was centered on side quests before getting to the real thing, which is defeating Opal. I love Holly and Artemis' banter, which was lacking until Fowl regained his memories.

Many characters made a reappearance, including Butler and Mulch. Julius Root unfortunately sails off into the night, and I commend Colfer in dealing with death with such a "young crowd." Characters also cease to develop without major changes in their lives, including death.

Overall, a solid read. I wish I found these books when I was younger, but I'll settle for 1 dollar at used book fairs.

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