Monday, March 22, 2010

Artemis Fowl: Millionaire, Genius, Criminal Mastermind, 12 yrs. old

I'm surprised why a lot of my friends don't know this book. From the plot itself, I was scrambling to get myself a copy. If you are a fan, then you should definitely check this one out. First off, the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on how you see it) is also a young boy, twelve years of age. Although he doesn't have any magical abilities, he makes up for it with his intense IQ and wit. He is a very smart and logical young boy, too bad he falls short on the socializing skills as he is not very aware of social cues. He analyzes everything through logic, and rarely takes into consideration the emotional aspects of what is right and wrong.

He is a unique young boy indeed. Too smart to fit in with his peers, of whom he does not care to mingle anyway. His only companion is his butler, whom he calls Butler, as these prestigious butlers who are paired to a charge the moment they are born are not allowed to divulge their real names. Butler is a one man fighting machine, and he is very useful to Artemis' devious schemes. Butler is the Brute, Artemis is the Brains.

Artemis does not have anyone alive in particular he looks up to, as he feels that he is far superior than even a lot of adults, which his psychologist thinks is a problem. Too bad he feels he is far smarter than his psychologist to care about his views. His inflated IQ very much resulted to his inflated ego. He does not like playing like all the other kids his age, in his spare time, he likes to carry out devious plots, and his recent most spectacular scheme yet is to acquire fairy gold.

You might think that he is off his rocker, but that is the beauty of being young and intelligent. He is young enough to still believe in things such as magic, and intelligent enough to exploit it.


At the bottom of the book are fairy language symbols, here is the translation. It is...well...unusual. Just go ahead and see for yourself.


Thing is, this dastardly plot is not as easy to carry out as finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The fairies he is up against are not the cute fairies you usually see in fairy tales. They are the ones that use hi-tech equipment and latest technologies far ahead of human time, courtesy of the genius centaur Foaly, the reason why humans have not been able to catch up with Fairy Technology, making Foaly indispensable. 

It's a good thing that they are a friendly race or they would have conquered the world in no time. Instead, they like to live peacefully under the earth, literally beneath human notice, which is why after time they had lost their ability to fly. They make up for it with artificial wings that does not work as good as the original, but still works just as well. They still use a little bit of magic though, where they need to charge up every once in a while to use. Most notable is their ability to use mesmer, or control minds if they look into their victim's eyes. Every once in a while, a human may become too close to finding their secret, but they don't worry about that too much as they can always wipe their memories, and place new memories instead. 

It's too bad for them that Artemis know all about their fairy tricks as he has been able to acquire a copy of their Fairy Bible. And what's worse for the fairies is he knows about the Ransom Fund.

This Ransom Fund is typically used to negotiate if a fairy has been held captive, and it has never been used, until now. Artemis was able to hold captive a LEPrecon, or a fairy police, but this was not just any LEP, she's Holly Short, and yes, she is a girl. The first girl in LEP history; and Commander Root isn't too happy that she had succeeded even if he made things much harder for her so that she can prove that she deserves the title. She did deserve the title as she was definitely better than the other male LEPs, but she was to face her biggest trial yet, facing a devious 12 year old boy.  

At first, she belittled Artemis, taking into consideration his young age, but she soon found out that he is not someone to be taken likely. He knows far more about them than she could imagine, and while she is at Artemis' Mansion, she is under his rules, based on the bizzare fairy guidelines. But Holly is far from helpless, she knows that even the rules can have loopholes, but she still need outside help. The LEP retrieval squad was deployed with only the best (?) fairies on board. As the circumstances were drastic, they even employed the help of Mulch Diggums, the convict. 

Because Mulch had broken the rules of house broking so many times, he is already immune to the punishment of vomiting when he enters a house uninvited. Of course, he had to give up his magic, which he wasn't too fond of anyhow, he has other abilities at his disposal. He can unhinged his jaw and dig pretty deep below earth. The after affects are awful though, but Mulch doesn't seem to mind and can also be seen as a protective measure. So here is it is, he farts gas. And this is just not any normal fart, it is deadly and explosive, and can make even Butler out cold.

As all the normal fairy attempts  have failed, they decided to take drastic measures, yes even more drastic than Mulch-- they sent a troll in. It did damage alright, and even hurt Butler badly. Poor Butler, out cold on two instances: fart gas and toll force. It's a good thing Holly was able to accidentally heal him and he was able to defeat the fearsome beast.

Running out of choices, Commander Julius Root decided to fool Artemis, paying up with the gold so he would release Holly, but then killing him after wards with the bio-bomb. With the time stop in place at Artemis' mansion, they can use the bio bomb in that secluded place alone, which will effectively kill all living things inside while leaving everything else untouched. Artemis said he had a way out of it, and Commander Root and everyone else thought he was bluffing, but he isn't, he had a plan. In theory.

Artemis noticed that his mom was able to escape the time stop by sleeping. Since the time stop was in place, they could not sleep a wink so Artemis inferred by using sleeping pills, he too can escape the time stop and not be annihilated. Fortunately for him, his theory worked and he won the gold fair and square, so the fairies could no longer fight back. He did not take all of the gold though, he used half of it to ask Holly to heal his deranged mother who has been out of touch with reality since his dad disappeared. It seems Artemis still has some humanity left in him after all. 

Artemis' fairy affairs does not end there, in fact, there are  now a total of 6 books in the series and counting.  In order of release comes Artemis Fowl, Arctic Incident, Eternity Code, Opal Deception, Lost Colony, Time Paradox and the next hitting stores soon is The Atlantis Complex. I was so sure that it ended on the Eternity Code, but it seems that since it was such a hit, it carried on for a few other sequels. It's a good thing Eoin Colfer still has a few tricks for Artemis up his sleeve. There are also some extra  related stories like The Artemis Fowl Files that has a snippet about how Holly became the first female LEP and The Seventh Dwarf.

Movie & Graphic Novels
I think there are plans to make this into a movie, but so far it has always been delayed. I think they can definitely make a hit with this with millions of fans every where. Eoin Colfer even volunteered to become script writer, so this is going to be good, I can tell. There are Artemis Fowl Graphic Novels  1 and 2 though, which are of course cartoonish but still has that smart feel.

All in all, it is a wild adventure that you would spend the whole day trying to finish. In every series they seem to get into impossible situations but in the end they end they always ingeniously get out of it.