Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident

Eoin Colfer
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Hyperion, 2002   ISBN: 978-0786808557

Artemis Fowl, thirteen year-old genius and master criminal, is not the kind of person to give up easily. His father, Artemis Fowl Senior, has been missing - presumed dead by many - for almost two years. The father's ship was sunk by the Russian Mafiya off the coast of northern Russia and nothing has been seen or heard of him since. Nevertheless Artemis is still not willing to give up on finding his missing parent. Then one day he receives an email, an email which will plunge him into an adventure unlike any that he has ever experienced before. What Artemis finds out is that his father is indeed alive and that the Russian Mafiya have kidnapped him. The Russian Mafiya make a ransom demand but Artemis knows that the criminals are not the kind of men who will free their prisoner once the ransom is paid - they will kill him instead. There is nothing that can be done except for Artemis to rescue his father himself.

Luckily he does not have to accomplish this alone. He has Butler, his bodyguard and friend, who will do anything to help the boy he has served so faithfully for thirteen years. And he has the People. There is the elf Captain Holly Short, the LEPrecon officer Commander Root, and Mulch Diggums the dwarf, who is able to break in and out of almost anything. Of course the People are not going to help Artemis for nothing. It turns out that all is not well in the Lower Elements and they need Artemis?s help to overcome a very considerable political problem of their own - a goblin uprising in fact. Only if and when the uprising is stopped will Artemis be able to go after the men who hold his father captive.

Though the gripping adventures and the interactions between the characters in this tale are fascinating and engaging, what is really interesting about this second book in the Artemis Fowl series is the way in which Artemis himself changes and develops. By the conclusion of the story the ruthless boy that we met in the first book has made some very important discoveries about himself and he has found something new and priceless which enriches his life - real friends whom he respects and likes.

There can be no doubt that Eoin Colfer is truly a master storyteller who crafts ingenious tales rich with fantastic technological wonders, unforgettable characters, plenty of excitement, and a delightful vein of humor which runs throughout.