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Eoin Colfer – The Opal Deception

April 25, 2012

42. The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer (2005)
Artemis Fowl, Book 4

Read my review of book:
1. Artemis Fowl
2. The Arctic Incident
3. The Eternity Code

Read By: Nathaniel Parker
Length: 7h 27min (352 pages)

Genre: Mid Grade Fantasy Adventure

Started: 11 April 2012
Finished: 12 April 2012

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I thought it was time to get back to the series.

It’s easier to
believe in fairies when one
wants to murder you.

Summary: Pixie Opal Koboi has been in a coma since her arrest. Her plans to lead a goblin revolt have failed, but a mere coma is not going to keep this power-mad super-genius down for long. She’s plotting revenge against those she feels are responsible for her defeat: Lower Elements Police officers Holly Short and Julius Root, tech wiz centaur Foaly, and especially that pesky human child genius, Artemis Fowl. Only if they all band together once more will they have a hope of surviving Opal’s schemes, but there’s a problem: Artemis has been mind-wiped after his last encounter with the People. Can he accept the existence of fairies soon enough to stop the one that’s trying to kill him?

Review: The Artemis Fowl books are typically a fun, entertaining diversion, and I enjoyed The Opal Deception just as much as I was expecting to. It’s got the same action and adventure as previous books in the series (including a bank robbery scene that felt very Oceans 11-ish), and there are plenty of funny parts, but at the same time, Artemis is growing up, and the book is correspondingly more grown-up as well. (It’s still straddling the border between mid-grade and YA, and Mulch Diggums is still around, so the fart jokes aren’t entirely absent.) However, there are some serious consequences to decisions made in this book, and not every character gets out unscathed. It’s also interesting to watch Artemis’s development as a character, as he becomes less of an obnoxious prodigy and more self-reflective and mature.

There were two aspects of this book that didn’t work for me. The first may be entirely my own fault, due to the fact that I listened to the entire book in two large chunks over less than 36 hours, but I felt like parts of the book, particularly the end, happened pretty fast, and that the final battle wasn’t climactic enough to distinguish it from the action that had come before it, so I was left feeling a little bit like “…that’s it?” Secondly, I had a hard time taking Opal Koboi seriously as a super-villain. I get that her constant self-aggrandizing posturing is supposed to make her a little ridiculous, but on the audiobook, Nathaniel Parker (who is typically really good at voices, particularly the various accents) read her with this weird pseudo-Asian lisp, which seemed incongruent with her status as a mad genius. Otherwise, though, this book did exactly what I expected it to: told a good, exciting story, and kept me amused and entertained. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: The Artemis Fowl series is a fun brain-candy read for anyone who wants their protagonists morally shady and their fairies technologically savvy.

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

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2012 10:57 am

    I was hoping to get back to this series, too. It hasn’t happened yet!

    • May 2, 2012 9:38 am

      I didn’t realize that it had been over a year since I listened to the third book until I was typing up this review. Whoops! Hopefully I’ll move on to book 5 sooner rather than later…

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