Artemis Fowl

By Eoin Colfer,

Book cover of Artemis Fowl

Book description

Now an original movie on Disney+!

Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous--and extremely high-tech--fairies. He kidnaps one of them, Holly Short, and holds her for ransom in an effort to restore his family's fortune. But he may have underestimated the fairies'…

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Why read it?

6 authors picked Artemis Fowl as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Yes, it’s about elves, centaurs, and gnomes. But it is also very much a mystery. Part police procedural with Capt. Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police, part ransom caper, and part ticking bomb suspense, Artemis Fowl mixes all of these classic crime components with fantasy, scatological humor, and unexpected twists to create a story both original and familiar. Another much-loved selection from the Cavanagh library.

The Artemis Fowl series is so much fun, and readers must start with the first book. Artemis is a genius, a kid-criminal, a true anti-hero who does the wrong things (robbery, kidnapping) for the right reasons (family!). This book has led to an entire industry—a long series, graphic novels, a Disney movie. The book contains fantasy elements, like fairies and trolls, but it moves at the pace of a fun heist story and has some mystery thrown in for good measure. I’ve heard that the movie is trash, but I’ve never watched it. The book is always better than the…

From Stacy's list on mobsters, schemers, and thieves.

Eoin Colfer is a master of science fantasy mixing fairy magic and high technology in a seamless drama. Like Jawan in my book, Holly Short gets in trouble by disobeying a direct order—to stand by and wait for the boss to figure out what to do while disaster spreads unmolested. I just jumped right into that very human situation where the rank and file are out in the field agonizing over whether or not to obey the orders of armchair superiors micromanaging a situation without being there.   

Artemis Fowl is simply a fun and relaxing story. As an adult, I enjoyed how Eoin Colfer was able to take a YA story and write it so an adult in his 60s kept turning the pages. It was well thought out and the science behind it was completely believable, for a fantasy. 

Okay, so you could argue that this is middle grade, but I’ll just argue back because I wanted to include it on my list. Besides, he grows older through the series (See? I told you I would argue). Love, love, love this book! The best part is that Artemis doesn’t just stumble upon a fairy by accident, which happens too often in these kinds of books. No. He kidnaps one! I’m such a huge fan of an “unlikeable” character, and Artemis is one I love to… er, unlike.

From Casey's list on to escape the real world.

This book, too, mines the rich lode of fairy lore to create…well you might not call it Great Art, but it’s a great read. Who can resist a story about a twelve-year-old criminal mastermind who takes on the fairies? 

From Mary's list on fairies for adults and kids.

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