Every time I read one of the Artemis Fowl books, I am struck by how the world of books is really a game of chance. Eion Colfer's books are amazing and yet I think they get overshadowed by other series. This series is often recommended for those who enjoy Harry Potter and need something to read. I am glad to see the recommendation but I think it gets lost in the Harry Potter world. Artemis Fowl is nothing like Harry Potter except that they are both young english men who have dealings with a fantasy world.
Artemis Fowl is a young criminal mastermind who decides to reconstruct his family's fortune by capturing a leprecon. What he gets is not what he expects. For those who have not read a single book in the series I will not spoil the fun as I have just finished the 7th book. Artemis grows as a boy and doesn't really ever feel that he's not in control (even at 12 years of age). He's a smart boy who uses every resource he can get his hands on whether he should or not. I love the play on the technology and the fact that the fairy world is just as technologically advanced as the human world (okay - they are more advanced but that's just a technicality). There's a mix of magic and machine as Artemis goes from challenge to challenge. I appreciate that Artemis takes responsibility for his actions and never doubts himself or those around him. Even in this newest book, when Artemis succombs to the dreaded Atlantis Complex which slowly causes him to lose his mind - he doesn't lose himself the way other books lose their characters. He's not a whiny mopey teen, in fact his maturity is endearing.
Artemis Fowl is a "villian" but you can't help but relate to his life. He's not out to conquer the world - he just wants to put his world right. He makes choices based on what he thinks will have the best outcome for him but it's not as selfish as it seems.
I don't think Eion Colfer is sneering at his success but I wish his books would have the same draw as some of the other books have gotten. I look forward to seeing Artemis on the big screen someday.
On another note - Artemis Fowl is now in graphic novel form. I believe there are 3 but I have only read the first one. It's a good interpretation of the book but I still recommend the full novel - there is so much internal dialogue that you don't get a full picture of Artemis and his struggles.