Artemis Fowl (novel): Wikis

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Artemis Fowl  
Artemis Fowl first edition cover.jpg
First edition cover
Author Eoin Colfer
Country Ireland
Language English
Series Artemis Fowl series
Genre(s) Young adult, fantasy
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date April 2001
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 280
ISBN ISBN 0670899623
OCLC Number 46493219
Followed by The Arctic Incident (2002)

Artemis Fowl is a young-adult fantasy novel written by Irish author Eoin Colfer. It is the first book in the Artemis Fowl series, being followed by Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident. Described by its author as "Die Hard with fairies",[1] it follows the adventures of its 12-year-old title character, a criminal mastermind, as he kidnaps a fairy for a large ransom of gold.

Throughout the book, the third-person narration switches repeatedly from following the human characters to following the fairy characters, and presented underlying themes of greed and conflict. The book received a mostly favourable critical response, and several awards.[2]

A film adaptation was reported to be in the writing stage in mid-2008, with Jim Sheridan directing.[3][4]

Contents

Synopsis

Artemis Fowl II, the titular character, is the twelve-year-old son of an Irish crime lord, Artemis Fowl I. After significant research, Artemis believes that he has confirmed the existence of fairies and decides to kidnap one. He tracks down an alcoholic sprite posing as a healer in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and travels there with his friend and bodyguard Butler to obtain from her the The Book of the People—the Fairy holy book that is written in Gnommish.

Meanwhile, Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police is tracking a rogue troll that has managed to reach the surface of the Earth from the fairy city, deep underground. Assisted by a technically minded centaur called Foaly and LEPrecon commander Julius Root, she incapacitates the troll. However, this uses the last of her magic, and Commander Root demands that she complete the magic restoring ritual.

Artemis decodes the Book using computerized translating software, and in the process, learns the specifics of the ritual: taking an acorn from an ancient oak tree near a bend in a river under the full moon and planting it elsewhere. Artemis and Butler track down over 100 possible locations for the ritual and start a stakeout; after nearly four months, they discover Holly performing the ritual. She attempts to use the magical mind-controlling mesmer to defend herself, but Artemis is prepared for this, and Butler tranquillises Holly with a hypodermic syringe. The LEP, who are immediately aware of her disappearance, send Julius Root to search for her. He traces her tracker to an abandoned whaling ship off the coast of Dublin, Ireland. Through an audio/visual communicator, Artemis informs Root from Fowl Manor that he is holding Holly for ransom, then destroys the whaling ship remotely by detonating a large amount of Semtex.

A LEPretrieval team is sent to scout Fowl Manor. Using their magical 'shielding' ability, which allows them to vibrate faster than the human eye can follow, the team enters the manor grounds. Artemis anticipated this also, however, and installed a camera with a high frames-per-second rate, allowing him to detect the threat by freezing the image. After Butler incapacitates the intruders, Root decides to lay siege to Fowl Manor using a time-stop and enter negotiations. The ransom demand is revealed as one metric ton of 24-carat gold. Artemis uses the opportunity to reveal his knowledge of the time-stop and claims that he can escape it.

The attempts to gain entry to the manor continue as an infamous criminal, the kleptomaniac dwarf Mulch Diggums, is recruited to break in. Fairies are forbidden from entering human dwellings without permission, but Mulch has already broken this rule and is immune to the adverse consequences. He tunnels underground to reach the house while Foaly feeds a loop to the manor surveillance system, allowing Mulch to freely explore. Mulch locates a safe containing a copy of the Book, finally revealing to the fairies the source of Artemis' knowledge. The Fairy Council, deciding that nothing is working, promote a lieutenant called Briar Cudgeon to Acting Commander, temporarily usurping Julius Root. He sends in a troll in an attempt to elicit a cry for help, which counts as an invitation for fairies to enter. Meanwhile, recalling that she dropped the acorn from the ritual into her boot, Holly Short cracks through the concrete of her cell using her bed and completes the ritual. Having regained her magic, she escapes into the main house.

Butler, aided by the healing powers of Holly, defeats the troll, and Artemis is finally granted the ransom. The gold is sent in, and Artemis asks Holly for a wish: he wants to cure his mother's insanity - she has been living in her bedroom, driven mad by the loss of her husband. Holly grants the wish at the cost of half the gold. The LEP decides to send in a 'blue rinse' - a biological bomb that kills all organic life - to eliminate Artemis and allow for the retrieval of the gold, but this fails when Artemis escapes the time-stop by drugging himself and his comrades with sleeping pills.

When Butler wakes, Artemis explains that by changing one's state of wakefulness in a time-stop, one can escape it, as it is only one's state of consciousness that keeps one trapped by the time-stop. Artemis then discovers that his mother has fully recovered from her insanity thanks to Holly's magic.

Major characters

  • Artemis Fowl II – The protagonist; a 12-year-old genius, he uses his intelligence to break the law in order to obtain wealth; this stems down from his family, who have been criminals for generations.[5] While he seems cold and distant, even from his close friend Domovoi Butler, at the beginning of the book, his character develops throughout, and he shows remorse, guilt, and passion for his family at the end.
  • Butler – The Fowl's manservant and Artemis' bodyguard, but also Artemis's friend and accomplice.[6] Throughout the book, his first name is not revealed; this is possibly to prevent over-familiarity between bodyguard and client, and is referred to only as "Butler."
  • Captain Holly Short – A determined, forthright elf and the first female member of LEPrecon. Compassionate and caring, she goes as far as healing Butler from fatal wounds sustained fighting a troll, despite the fact that he has been integral in the plan to hold her hostage—this act goes some way to changing both Artemis' and Butler's views on fairies.
  • Commander Julius Root – Known as 'Beetroot' by fellow fairies for his characteristic red face, he is Holly Short's superior officer. A father figure to the other fairies, and specifically Holly, he appears truly distressed at her disappearance, as shown with his conversation with Artemis in the whaling ship, 'If you've harmed one tip of my officer's pointy ears...'.[7]
  • Foaly – The LEP's technical advisor. Portrayed as brilliant, but highly sarcastic, he is described as 'having few friends'.[8] The time-stop used in the siege of Fowl Manor was his invention, and he provides numerous high-tech gadgets to the other characters.
  • Mulch Diggums – A criminal dwarf who is recruited by the LEP to gain access to Fowl Manor during the siege. Having already entered other dwellings without permission, he is unaffected by the effects suffered by the other fairies.

Themes

Artemis Fowl has a number of underlying themes, but the most essential of these are greed and the conflict between good and evil.[9][10]

Greed is the first main theme that is introduced into the book,[11] and specifically the desire to obtain gold. In a similar manner to other themes in the book, it changes throughout, becoming less of a focus near to the end of the novel, where Artemis is willing to part with a large sum of money to help someone else.

The idea of conflict between good and evil is one that is touched upon in the book in a light hearted manner—although Artemis sees himself as an evil genius at the beginning of the book,[12] and it is indeed this image that is portrayed, the end of the story brings this idea into doubt as well when he pays to help his mother. The fairies would take the good side in this view, but this can also be questioned—they are as determined as Artemis to achieve their goals and while only some of them were willing to ruthlessly deploy a troll, regardless of the possible danger to life, all are willing to utilise a bio-bomb once Holly is out of the mansion to force Artemis into submission.[12]

Code

At the bottom of each page of the book, a string of symbols appear. These symbols are supposedly Gnommish, but are really part of a substitution cipher which, when decoded, reveals a message. The message runs throughout the book's pages. It can be deciphered using a section of the book's text which gives a passage in Gnommish from The Book of the People, and then its English translation. The code speaks of the storyline of this book, and its sequel; the Gnommish cipher key can be found in The Artemis Fowl Files.[citation needed]

Critical reception

In general, the book received a very positive critical response—it received the Garden State Teen Book Award (2004), among other awards.[13]

The New York Post said "Artemis Fowl is great ... a new thriller fairy tale that will grab your interest, no matter your age."[14] and the Library Journal said "Fun to read, full of action and humour, this is recommended for all public libraries and to readers of all ages."[15]

The majority of internet reviews and review websites also agreed that Artemis Fowl was a good book. The Amazon.com official review highly complimented the book, saying "Fantastic stuff from beginning to end, Artemis Fowl is a rip-roaring, 21st century romp of the highest order."[16] and the book was also generally well received by the public, with an average score of 4/5 from Amazon users.[17]

Reviews, however, were not all positive. USA Today scathingly concluded: "All the familiar action-flick clichés are trotted out: the backstabbing, politically astute subordinate; the seemingly loony but loyal computer expert; the dabs of family loyalty; the requisite happy ending; the utterly unsubtle plugs for the sequel; the big action scenes. ... Resist the hype, parents, booksellers and librarians. This is not the new Harry Potter, nor is it a good children's book."[18]

References

  1. ^ Fran Atkinson (2 October 2005). "The Age". http://www.theage.com.au/news/books/a-way-with-the-fairies/2005/10/01/1127804692250.html?page=2. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  2. ^ "Artemis Fowl Official Site". Archived from the original on 2008-02-08. http://web.archive.org/web/20080208181242/http://www.artemisfowl.com/reviews.html. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  3. ^ "MSN Video: Eoin Colfer interview on the Today Show". NBC. http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-us&vid=1610ad10-074e-4d35-b6f1-c32bdb5f9ed1&fg=rss&from=34. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  4. ^ "AFC Eoin Colfer Interview (August 17, 2008)". Artemis Fowl Confidential (AFC). http://artemis-fowl.com/author_interviews/afc_5.php. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  5. ^ Colfer, Eoin (2001). Artemis Fowl (novel). Artemis Fowl (series). Scholastic Inc.. pp. pp. 28— 29. ISBN 0670899623. 
  6. ^ Colfer, Eoin (2001). Artemis Fowl (novel). Artemis Fowl (series). Scholastic Inc.. pp. pp. 16. ISBN 0670899623. 
  7. ^ Colfer, Eoin (2001). Artemis Fowl (novel). Artemis Fowl (series). Scholastic Inc.. pp. pp. 109. ISBN 0670899623. 
  8. ^ Colfer, Eoin (2001). Artemis Fowl (novel). Artemis Fowl (series). Scholastic Inc.. pp. pp. 84. ISBN 0670899623. 
  9. ^ "MonkeyNotes" (PDF). http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/monkeynote/pmArtemisFowlSample.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  10. ^ "Bookrags". http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-artemis-fowl/themesandcharacters.html. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  11. ^ Colfer, Eoin (April 2001). Artemis Fowl. pp. 16–18. 
  12. ^ a b "Book Notes". http://kids.aol.com/homework-help/language-arts/book-notes/artemis-fowl#THEMES_AND_CHARACTERS. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  13. ^ "Artemis Fowl Reviews". Archived from the original on 2008-02-08. http://web.archive.org/web/20080208181242/http://www.artemisfowl.com/reviews.html. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  14. ^ Liz Smith. "New York Post". Archived from the original on 2008-02-12. http://web.archive.org/web/20080212005713/http://www.artemisfowl.com/reviews.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  15. ^ "Library Journal". http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/product-description/0786808012/ref=dp_proddesc_0/002-3872248-4655239?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  16. ^ Susan Harrison. "Amazon". http://www.amazon.com/Artemis-Fowl-Book/dp/0786808012. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  17. ^ "Amazon". http://www.amazon.com/review/product/0786808012/ref=cm_cr_pr_redirect/102-2990872-5144920. Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  18. ^ Deirdre Donahue. "USA Today". http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/2001-05-01-artemis-fowl-review.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 

External links

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Simple English

Artemis Fowl is a book written by Eoin Colfer. It is the first book in the Artemis Fowl series. It is about Artemis Fowl II, trying to get gold from a group of fairies. The book received a good review by reviewers.[1] A movie was supposed to be filmed in 2007,[2] but now will be in 2009. [3]

References

  1. "Artemis Fowl Official Site". http://www.artemisfowl.com/reviews.html. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  2. "Artemis Fowl Confidential :: Artemis Fowl (movie)". Artemis Fowl Confidential. http://www.artemis-fowl.com/movie_1.php. 
  3. Artemis Fowl Confidential :: A Fansite For Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series



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