Yes, it’s a kids’ book. Middle grade, I believe, although I am no expert on categorizing children’s books. Hey, I have a lower grades book on my reading list, too. If it intrigues me, I’m going to read it. And the thing that intrigued me about this one is Artemis Fowl himself. Artemis is twelve, a genius, and the last son of a wealthy family that just happen to be criminals, also. And Artemis is not one to forsake his family’s heritage. With their fortune all but gone, he hatches a plan to replenish the wealth with fairy gold- the fabled pot at the end of the rainbow. Although Artemis is smart enough to know that the rainbow part is just a story, he does know that the gold exists. And that the fairy folk have part of that set aside to pay ransom for kidnap victims. He sets out to kidnap one of the fair folk. Unfortunately for him, he gets Holly Short, a member of Lower Elements Police Reconaissance (LEPRecon) and with her, he gets the full onslaught of the tech-savvy LEPRecon force.
I enjoyed the book. It was fun, with a good idea and some neat twists. Making Artemis somewhat of an anti-hero was a nice departure from the usual kids portrayed as the main character. He is an almost perfect evil genius, but he does have his softer side, particularly where his mother is concerned. The fairy folk are not quite what you might expect, either. The LEPRecon unit is elite military, and while their weapons and other devices give a nod to familiar fairy stories, there is a decided technical aspect, as well. Secondary characters are interesting and add depth. The plot moves quickly, with enough action spread throughout to balance the moments where both sides are figuring out what to do next.
Colfer uses a lovely mix of traditional fairy stories, folklore, and high-tech fantasy to weave a story that both children and adults can enjoy.
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