Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Boy genius - and not all together "good guy" - Artemis Fowl, returns for a second adventure, teaming up with the very people he went up against in the last book.
And what a welcome team-up it is in this fast-paced book aimed at tweenies and teens.
In the first book, Artemis came across as a smug, mostly-unseen antagonist to the actual interesting characters in the story. In the Arctic Incident, not only do we actually get to see a human side to the boy, but he gets his hands dirty too.
Also returning are my favourites from the first book - Holly, Foaly and Root. They each get plenty of moments to shine, which is probably part of the reason why Artemis starts of as an arrogant, aloof brat and ends up, still arrogant, but a humbler character who feels actual affection and respect for the people around him.
We learn fairly early on who the villains are, so the majority of the story isn't dominated by a quest to reveal them or delve into their childhood traumas. Instead, we get to see Artemis and Butler interact with the fairies for most of the book. This gives both species a wonderful chance to learn that they aren't exactly what the other expected, and that there is common ground between the former "enemies". One can only hope that the next books follow this growth spurt of the characters.
Overall, a large improvement over the first book, which while enjoyable, felt like it should have been named "Cool fairies versus that fake mustache-twirling Artemis Fowl bloke."
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