EDIT 07/12: Other reviews have started flooding in, and all of them seem to be favourable, which tells me I'm in the minority here in my dislike of thEDIT 07/12: Other reviews have started flooding in, and all of them seem to be favourable, which tells me I'm in the minority here in my dislike of this book. So I'll leave this review as is, but I encourage you not to let my ramblings stop you from liking this book, if, as it seems, there's a great chance you'll like it anyway.
I hope all you AF fans out there will enjoy this book more than I did.
Well, here we are. The end of it all. It's been a great ride these past couple of years, so believe me when I say I am really, really sorry to say that I was disappointed with this last installment.
There, I said it.
Now here's why. No spoilers.
I'll admit, I was quite amped up after reading the preview barely a few weeks ago. At the beginning, I was thinking, Yes, THIS is Artemis Fowl. Eoin Colfer is finally back in the game, the same game he was in in the first three books, no, even better! (Although, even then I was taking note of how rushed the beginning seemed - as soon as the first chapter starts, the book informs us that Artemis was now cured completely, and then proceeds to rush headlong into the action. It's almost as if Colfer was eager to be rid of the events of the previous book - but what purpose, then, did giving Arty the Atlantis Complex serve? What did Artemis learn from the experience, given that he was back to his old self again immediately after?)
It started off so strong, but quickly crossed into the realm of the absurd, as I discovered when I moved farther into the book. Supernatural possession, zombies, worldwide technological failure? What is this? This isn't Artemis Fowl. This belongs in the realms of C-grade thrillers, or paranormal romances.
Except there's no romance involved here, none at all. Which leads me to my next point. I'm warning you right now, all you Artemis/Holly shippers out there - you will not get what you want, no matter what that may be. There's no mention here, not even the smallest implication of Arty and Holly's other-than-platonic relationship. There's no talk of Orion's hints from the last book as to Artemis feelings, or to the unsolved events of Time Paradox. And now I'm wondering what the point of all that was, if it was never going to end up anywhere. What, exactly, was he trying to insinuate with Turnball and Leonor? That is one of the many questions that will be left unanswered. For those of you who are wondering, Minerva does not make an appearance in here either.
In general, people looking for closure will not find it here. This book does not tie up the Artemis Fowl series in a pretty little bow. The ending is not conclusive at all - in fact, it's almost open-ended enough to suggest a sequel, or maybe a spinoff series. It's not a happy ending, of course, but it's not exactly bittersweet either - it's an ending that's not sure what it wants to be.
I don't know, some of you might like it. It's highly possible that most of you will - depending on how you look at it, you could still call it a good book. But I didn't like it, and it left me feeling unsatisfied and empty. I am quite ready now to mark it Discontinuity and pretend the series ended after book five.
EDIT 07/15: Okay, so I've reread the book to figure out what really bothered me about it, and it's mainly this: The beginning and ending are strong, but not a lot happens in between. The middle part of the book mostly consists of Arty and company running around the Fowl estate, escaping from demonic bunnies and pugnacious crickets.
Also, Artemis seems almost incompetent in it, falling apart at the most crucial moments; only at the end did he finally pull himself together, and even then, the plan he came up with wasn't all that spectacular.
On a irrelevant side note, I noticed a few errors in continuity. For example, at one point, Butler raises a fist to signal Artemis to halt, but Artemis, apparently, has no knowledge of military signs, and walks right into Butler. However, it states quite clearly on page 306 of The Lost Colony that he knows exactly what that sign means.
So I've thought about it, and I decided that I have changed my mind about this book, slightly. My opinion of it has changed from dislike to an overall "meh." This book just did not hit the same buttons with me that the previous books did....more
The beginning was a lot move eventful and well thought-out than the rest of the book, which was mostly tales of Rosa, the heroine, and her foreign lovThe beginning was a lot move eventful and well thought-out than the rest of the book, which was mostly tales of Rosa, the heroine, and her foreign lover's sexual adventures. The novel is sprinkled with descriptions of lavish Sicilian recipes, which Rosa gives names to in her language and then doesn't explain in English. She had a sad life: After losing her father and her first love when she was young, she falls into a depression and starts arguing with her mother. She leaves home to live twenty-five years alone in a city, working in a library. Nearing the end of her time there she meets a foreign man with whom she suddenly feels like having sex with. After her lover goes missing, she goes home again. Then another birth, another death. I was expecting some kind of conflict or climax but it never came. I suspect Rosa also died at the end but it's so vague I can't be certain....more