Saturday, July 28, 2012

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian

Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi. In The Last Guardian, the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has somehow reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis’s little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don’t seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died—a battle against Artemis—is long over. Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand?

New York Times best-selling author and comic genius Eoin Colfer will leave Artemis Fowl fans gasping up to the very end of this thrilling finale to the blockbuster series. Quoted from Goodreads


Did you catch that?   The End. 

Yes, I am devastated, but there is something to be said about having the entire series available all at once, so for anyone who hasn't read the books, I suppose this could be considered good news.  I'm mostly just sad though.  I would say this post isn't a review so much as a tribute to the ending of a great series.

Ten years ago, (and yes, I cringed while writing that number) my teacher introduced me to this series, and have to say, Artemis Fowl was probably my favorite book of the semester.  I liked it enough to translate the symbols running along the bottom of the page and read the extra side story of a phlegm pot cleaner!  Seriously, when your writing isn't even in English, your main character cleans pots full of phlegm for a living, and it took an inordinate amount of  time to finish translating it, you know I enjoyed the book.

Seven books later, I still love the series. It is magic and myth meet technology and science.  It has action, memorable characters, brain vs. brawn, and growth. That's probably what I like most about the series.  In the first book, there is a strong argument for Artemis filling the role of the villain. At the very least he is an anti-hero.  By this last book, he has grown a moral compass and is clearly the hero. Through it all, I loved watching him change.  

All my favorite characters come back, and each are given their moment of glory: Opal Kaboi, probably my favorite villain of the series (after Artemis, that is), is back, brilliant, vain, insidious,and matching wits with Artemis every step of the way. Foaly's love life is explored, and he gets to play the techno-genius yet again. Mulch Diggums bums around pulling Artemis out of trouble in some disgusting way  or other.  Holly is still kicking butt and watching Artemis's back.  Ever-loyal Butler proves once again that he is the man to beat. And dear Artemis plots, plans, and generally schemes his way through the book.

Was the book perfect?  No.  I had a few problems in particular with Opal Kaboi's younger self and this whole timeline thing.  Still, it set up the rest of the adventure and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way from Salt Lake to New York.  I thought the ending was a little short, and I wanted an epilogue, but maybe that would have distracted from the climax.

The book itself is probably a 4, but following the Academy Award's example with Tolkein's Return of the King, I am awarding it 5 stars. 


  1. Yea! I am so glad to know that this series is wrapped up because I am one of those who really likes to read a series when it is complete. I can't wait to start it again, I need a new book . . .

  2. Hey Rachel, I have enjoyed checking out your blog and, if my life weren't consumed with reading finance research, I might event read the books! However, the question Kindra and I always find ourselves asking is, 'what should we have Kierra (7) read next?'. She loves to read and loves chapter books. She has read the Little House series, Chronicles of Narnia series, the first two Harry Potter books (and we're making her wait for the rest), and many other random books. Do you have any recommendations for a book or series for a reader of that level? We would love to hear any recommendations you might give.

    1. At Kiera's age, I loved anything by Lynn Reid Banks (The Fairy Rebel, The Farthest Away Mountain, Indian in the Cupboard, etc.) I also loved The Boxcar Children (especially the first book), and she would absolutely love Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

      If those are too old (though I think they are fine), Gale Carson Levine has chapter books for younger readers as well. I would check out Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books, the American Girls books (especially if she liked Laura Ingles Wilder), the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, and I've heard Junie B. Jones books are cute, though I have to admit I've never read them. I hope that at least gives you a place to start ;)