Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Artemis Fowl and the Atantis Complex by Eoin Colfer

I do like Artemis Fowl. Actually, he’s not my favourite character in the series, that’s an honour reserved for Mulch Diggums, who is always called upon to use his rather unique talents to save the day, but as far as children’s/young adult literature goes, Artemis Fowl is up there with the best of them. I don’t read a lot of children’s books though, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to. This one is the seventh in the series, and the fact that I‘ve got that far is testament to how much I like them, because I don’t read much in the way of series either.

To anyone familiar with Artemis, this one is a little different. For a start, Artemis has summoned a meeting with his fairy contacts on a totally altruistic basis, to showcase his new idea to save the polar icecaps, which incidentally they are just as concerned about saving to protect their underground world. This in itself arouses suspicion in Captain Holly Short, who although she classes Artemis as her friend, is aware he rarely does something for nothing. Added to that is Artemis’s peculiar obsession with the number five, there needing to be five people at the meeting, and trying to construct sentences in multiples of five words whenever possible. And avoiding the number four, as that means death in Chinese! Compared to a usually uber- rational and never superstitious Artemis, it is not long before Holly spots the difference, and is sending concerned messages to Foaly, the genius, technical wizard of the party. Wirelessly, through communications devices far superior to human capability, obviously.

The end result is that between them they diagnose Atlantis Complex, more commonly known in human circles as multiple personality disorder. But this is best described by the Fairy encyclopaedia, Wicca-Pedia (this bit made me smile)

“Atlantis Complex is a psychosis common amongst guilt-ridden criminals first diagnosed by Dr E.Dypess of the Atlantis Brainology Clinic. Other symptoms include obsessive behaviour, paranoia, delusions and in extreme cases, multiple personality disorder. Dr E.Dypess is also known for his hit song ‘I’m in two minds about you’.
Holly thought that this last bit was probably Wicca-humour”

As usual, things do not go entirely to plan, and it is not long before a fairy spaceship of unknown origin comes crashing down on the group, nearly killing Artemis, and leading the group to sort out the mess, and save the fairy people once again. However, this time they must do it without Artemis, as the disaster has pushed him over the edge and left him as Orion, who is the total antithesis of Artemis and of virtually no use at all. For example his response to the crisis is:

“I have been taking stock of the situation from the rear seat as it were, and I suggest that we retire to a safe distance and construct some form of bivouac”

Although different in style slightly, this has all the trademarks of the previous books. And to be honest I’m surprised to see myself writing that, and saying I like the book. All the characters are there, they all play a part in saving the day, because obviously everything works out okay in the end, and the group save the day at the last moment. Even Orion/Artemis plays his part, complete with hilarious comments throughout. In fact Orion as Artemis sheds a little more light on the self awareness begun in Artemis in the last book, and since this one doesn’t really conclude the story of the icecaps, since the crash landing became of crucial importance, I wouldn’t mind betting that that’s where the next, and final book will go. But I’m probably wrong there!

1 comment:

santhi priya said...


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me: A truly motivational and life changing book
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