Artemis Fowl: Lance's Thoughs

This was a great new read for me. I didn’t read much as a kid so I missed out on books like this. I read J.R.R. Tolkein’s the Hobbit but other than that this was my first real youth oriented read. While this is obviously aimed at younger readers (I found it in the 9-13 section at the bookstore) I think it appeals to a much wider audience. It’s a fantasy with enough action, mystery, and suspense to hold readers, of all ages. One of the bigger plusses, for me, was the lack of course language. Swearing and foul language has become such common place in life that it’s almost impossible to do a realistic book with out it. Our last book “RUN” is a prime example. It was chalked full of the “F” and “N” word, by necessity. It’s impossible to deal with the subject matter and not. With “Artemis Fowl” we are in a fantasy world so the blinders are off, so to speak, when it comes to “keeping it reel”. The only 4-letter “F” word in “Artemis Fowl” is “Fowl” the book’s namesake’s last name. This was a very refreshing change of pace.

One of the real unique things about this book was that the lead character “Artemis Fowl” is actually the villain. Most leading men, or boy in this case, are the Heroes of the story. I would imagine doing the other way made this book a little more difficult to write. Eion Colfer has to walk a fine line to keep the main character a bad guy yet likeable enough to be the predominant focus of the book. I think Mr. Colfer was very successful in this as I was constantly cheering for Captain Short and Commander Root (the grumpy bugger) wanting Artemis to fail, yet liking him enough to want him to survive to fight another day (or more appropriately another novel).

Artemis’s likable heel quality is also important to keep this a, good kid’s novel. I don’t think younger kids want a really mean villain because we don’t want the book to become too dark. My oldest daughter gets scared easy and I think she will love this book when she’s older because Artemis isn’t too scary. She has a couple years to go before she can tackle a book of this size but I look forward to sharing this book with her when the time comes. It’s a fun little fantasy, which was truly a pleasure to read. The play on words with LEPrecon was also a nice touch. Any time you can tie reality, or at least or current beliefs and myths, it adds something to the story. The Santa Claus bit at the end was also a humorous touch. Double Thumbs up for Artemis. I will be sure to have the rest of the series finished before posting these comments.

Lance

Artemis Fowl: Edge's Thoughs

No tardiness this month folks, which in turn means Lancelot has nothing to complain about. Speaking of Lance, let's all give a collective tip of the hat for his 13th anniversary in the wrestling biz on Oct. 2. Congrats buddy. Now let's get down to business. I've always been a fan of the fantasy genre, so I may be a little biased. Any book that has leprechauns, trolls, dwarfs, and the like, usually has me hooked form the get-go. For me, Artemis Fowl did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, I'm currently reading the third installment in the series. The fact that Artemis is based out of Ireland was a major plus for me. I'm fascinated by the Emerald Isle, and having the lush green landscapes described to me by an Irishman piqued my interest. The book also hop-scotches all over the world, as well as under it. While other books have dealt with the likes of these characters before, Mr. Eoin Colfer puts a decidedly different, and current, twist on the land of magic. Fairies working at Euro-Disney in the Snow White exhibit, and according to Holly Short herself, no longer wearing those silly buckled shoes and knickerbockers that grace the front of Lucky Charms boxes the world over (Hmmmm, Lucky Charms). I pictured a mini leather clad X-Men, and being the comic geek that I am, that's always a good thing.

Artemis himself is the kind of villain you hate, but deep down begrudgingly like. Kind of like a John Cena or Kurt Angle. For some reason the kid who plays Draco Malfoy in the Potter movies keeps popping into my head when I picture Artemis. Butler may be my favorite character. You always gotta love the bad ass, but he also seems to be the little angel on Artemis' shoulder. Usually the devil on the other shoulder wins out, but that just makes it more fun doesn't it? I already liked the book when Juliet Butler was introduced. When she compared Holly to Mexican midget wrestler Muchacho Maria she quickly shot up my favorite's list. Although I do think Louie the Love Machine would take out the Hogman sheerly on name alone. Any book that mentions a 24 hour a day wrestling channel is aces in my books. When it comes right down to it, my favorite character is Mulch Diggums. A little bit of a darkhorse, but I just loved the idea of him unlocking his jaw and chewing his way around. The perfect thief(read the second installment and he grows on you even more). I found the history of San D'Klauss very creative. Colfer obviously has a great imagination. Let's all be thankful for that. All in all I can summarize by saying, D'arvit, I really enjoyed this book!

“Okay buddy, props for not being late, but lets not get too cocky. You were the last response I received. I too loved Mulch, when he showed up in book 2 and 3 I had this huge smile on my face. Much the same as when I saw you in Calgary last. He’s like one of the boys you haven’t seen in a while. Perhaps we could call him CLB (Corrupt, Little, Bastard) He’s like Christian, he’s a heel you’re suppose to hate but for some inadequately explained reason, you have to love the CLB.I can’t wait to see what plays out with he and Artemis in book 4”

Edge

Artemis Fowl: Eoin Colfer's Thoughs

Dear Lance and Storm Wrestling fans.

Firstly, I would like to say how thrilled I was to have Artemis Fowl chosen as the read of the month. I have always been a wrestling fan myself, as much for the sheer theatre as the athleticism, and so it was gratifying to find that a famous wrestler felt about my work the same way I felt about his. As some of the reviewers rightly pointed out, the character Juliet is a tribute to wrestling. She is a bodyguard who adores the sport and uses her training to develop some rather unconventional moves. Most of this happens in book three, and I am delighted to see that some of the reviewers have read that far.

The reviews in general were very kind. So thank you for that. But more than that, they were well written and interesting in themselves. So often on-line reviews are poorly constructed, but this bunch were a cut above, making salient well-made points. So congratulations, Lance, you have a high class of fan. I would like to deal with some of those points now.

Tim says- I would say Artemis Fowl falls nicely between the two. It's got the pace and readability of Harry Potter, and the depth and imagination of the Dark Materials.

What an amazing compliment. About the best you can get. Thanks Tim, and I assure you he is not related to me.

Joe says- one of the reasons I liked it was because of the character development. The author does an amazing job with giving the reader enough background info on the characters so that we are interested in them. The author also makes you care about the characters.

Character development is extremely important. Without it, no-one will care what happens to your characters. Once you strip away all the gadgets and magic, you have people at the centre of your story.And if they are not rounded and interesting, the book is dead in the water.

Deb says- The fast-paced plot keeps everyone interested while the language is clear enough for children to understand but sets vibrant images in the reader's mind. From the cold humor of Artemis to the wrestling-obsessed Juliet, everyone is defined as their own person and I'm sure many can relate to them in one way or another.

I just mentioned this review because of the splendid writing. Deb you are a writer in the making, if you are not one already. I am hugely impressed.

Morgan says- The aspect that most impressed me, is how Eoin Colfer could change the role of antagonist to protagonist, where you find yourself rooting for Artemis, a la Richard III. It's a refreshing change to find books that can make the reader feel for the villain.

More fantastic writing, but what Morgan has put his finger on is the central premise of the entire series. You root for the villain because he is changing. Artemis learns that crime is not the path for him, but he has to learn the hard way.

L. Paquette says- Normally, if I picked up a book and saw the word "fairy", I would think "ugh, no thanks" and put it back on the shelf. So here's where Bookmarks is working, I would never have read this one if you hadn't recommended it.

I included this review to highlight the work being done by Lance and all at Storm Wrestling. Getting people to read is our common goal. So spread the word.

Anon writes- This is a GREAT childrens book. I just don't think it reaches the adults as well (like the Potter books do). Maybe I'll try the next two books to get a better understanding of why Artemis is the way he is.

This is a fair point. The first book is mostly action. I hope you will find that books 2 and 3 explore the characters more comprehensively.

Judy Lunsford says- What can I say, but WOW. Artemis Fowl was great. I usually read very slowly, but I was done with this book in 2 weeks.

For me, this is the perfect review. This is what writing is all about, helping people to read.

Amy Tribes says- Artemis is a sad character. He has no real parental guidance, and even though he's a genius, you know he’d have no social skills. His relationship with his mother is also sad. And maybe I’m naïve but I feel like he helped his mom in the end, not only to keep social services away from his family. Amy saw right to the heart of the book. Artemis does try to help his mother, but the fairy people don’t believe that he could have positive motives. But of course he does.

CX Pririe says- The main thing that bothered me was the extremely long chapters. I am someone that when I read likes to read for short periods of time when I can make the time, and come back to the story later. Long chapters made this very difficult.

This is a good point. I am prone to writing long chapters as many of the incidents seem to go on without a break for quite some time. This is something I will think about for future books as I could probably break the longer chapters into sections. Thank you.

Scott Cutlip writes- My only problem is…I hate Artemis Fowl (the character). I despise the little snot. I don’t find it necessary for me to like a main character, but there was nothing about him that drew any empathy, either.

Artemis’s change of heart at the end of the book is all the more effective because he has been so horrible all along. It is the beginning of a life change for him, and I think if you read the next book, you will find yourself warming to the little guy. I found Scott’s own writing style very wry and humerous- he should write a book himself. I would buy it.

Michael daSilva writes- In fact, most of the characters in this novel have at least one quality that makes them seem downright human and not just like cardboard cut out characters.

Thank you Michael. This is something that I like to bring to my stories. Real people, even if they happen to be fairies.

Robert Demond says- Maybe it's just me but after reading the line "Louie ate the Hogman's pet piggie." I couldn't help but think back to when the Big Bossman fed Al Snow Pepper. Maybe it's just a coincidence or maybe Eoin Colfer is a wrestling fan.

I have watched wrestling for many years. Not so much now as when I was younger. But one day I will see a live match.

I hope I have answered some of the questions raised by the reviewers. Thank you all for taking the time, and I shall consider positive and negative opinions. In the end though, I have to write my books for me and hope others like them. In conclusion I would like to say- Keep on wrestling with literature!

Slán go fóill- bye for now (in Irish)

Eoin Colfer