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Eoin Colfer – The Arctic Incident

September 20, 2010

111. The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer (2002)
Artemis Fowl, Book 2

Read my review of book:
1. Artemis Fowl

Read By: Nathaniel Parker
Length: 6h 09min (277 pages)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Started: 01 September 2010
Finished: 06 September 2010

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I enjoyed the first book in the series and needed something short and quick to fill the time until I could get my hands on the library’s audio copy of Mockingjay.

One human plus one
fairy equals one not so
stable alliance.

Summary: Captain Holly Short, the only female fairy in the Lower Elements Police, is still smarting after her defeat at the hands of the human boy genius and criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. So when she discovers evidence that a rogue band of goblins have been trading magical artifacts with humans, she immediately suspects that Artemis might be involved. After determining that he’s innocent (at least of that charge), Holly realizes that she’s going to need his help in tracking down the real culprits. However, Artemis has other matters on his mind: he’s just received word that his father – missing and presumed dead for the past two years – is still alive, and being held captive by the Russian mafia… and Artemis is determined to get him back. If either of them is to have any chance of achieving their goals, however, Holly and Artemis are going to have to let go of old grudges and learn to work together.

Review: These books manage to hit just the right balance of silliness and slickness, and just the right tone where they’re appealing for the younger elements of the audience while retaining enough smart humor for the grown-ups. They don’t take themselves too seriously, tell a good story with plenty of laughs and lots of action, and are in general bunches of fun.

I thought this second installment was actually a little better than the first. It felt tighter and more cohesive, possibly because the heavy-lifting worldbuilding is already out of the way. The sub-plots were more integrated into the main story, keeping everything moving along at near-breakneck speeds. While in general I appreciate how fast these books fly by, I thought this one could stand some slowing-down in the middle; things have barely begun to go wrong for the characters before we find out who the bad guy is.

The Arctic Incident was also a little more mature than Artemis Fowl – I think perhaps the plots mature as the main character does, a la Harry Potter. Not that it loses its sense of fun, or becomes serious literature or anything – there are still plenty of fart jokes to keep the young-uns entertained – but there are some issues underlying parts of the story that have some more pathos than I was expecting. Overall, though, I enjoyed this book quite a bit, and will definitely keep reading when I need a fun break. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Anyone who’s looking for a bit of light, funny, fantasy action should enjoy the series, but don’t start with the second book.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Bogormen, The Book Blog, MariReads
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: By the age of thirteen, our subject, Artemis Fowl, was displaying signs of an intellect greater than any human since Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2010 4:01 am

    I’m almost positive I read the first one… well I read one of them at least though I don’t really remember it.

    • September 20, 2010 9:52 am

      Ladytink – It’s strange… it seems like a few years ago, EVERYONE and their dog was in love with these books, but now I can hardly find anyone else who’s actually read them.

  2. September 20, 2010 11:28 am

    Here, here! I read all of them. And I still love Artemis! Hahaha!

    • September 22, 2010 7:38 pm

      Lightheaded – Good to hear! Am I right in thinking that the series wraps up with the book that was recently (or is soon to be?) published?

  3. September 21, 2010 4:55 am

    I loved Artemis Fowl at the start, but it’s gradually started to lose some of the impact as book after book came out. The newest one is out now and I’ll more than likely get it at some point, but it’s not high on the list. I wonder whatever happened to the rumoured film?

    • September 22, 2010 7:39 pm

      Chris – I know what series fatigue is like; I’m hoping to avoid it in this case by spacing the books out instead of reading them all back-to-back.

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