Stats: Audio runs 6′ 7″, Published 2004, book
Blurb: (Goodreads) Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories—they’re dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.
What I liked: I thoroughly enjoyed the repartee between characters. Colfer isn’t afraid to use puns, language and quips that some kids might not get, but make it entertaining for those who do (as well as adults like me who are reading/listening to his books). The underworld fantasy world is very rich and well thought out. This always makes me wonder how much a author has mapped out future books in a series when he/she starts the first book. The characters are very real, especially when you’re listening to their different voices from the wonderful Nathaniel Parker.
What I didn’t like: Colfer takes a lot of liberties with the mythical creatures in his story: fairies, dwarfs, elves and last but not leas leprechauns of the LEP-recon squad. Some of it is very inventive, some of it is just over the top, but I guess it’s written for middle-grade readers so I can see why he did it, in part. I personally like stories that play off the known myths a little more closely.
Side note: As it says in the blurb, Artemis is a criminal, from a family of Irish criminals. no less. I think it is interesting that the book publishers picked up a story that has a criminal as the main protagonist. He’s a genius, yes, but still a criminal. I wonder how many times it got rejected before it was picked up just for this reason. It’s also interesting that the name Artemis is from a female Greek God. Granted, it sounds like a boys name to me too, but Colfer must have known kids would find this out. Maybe he didn’t care.
I am listening to the second one already.