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Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex

Review

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex

Everyone’s favorite boy wonder and teenage criminal is back with a bang in THE ATLANTIS COMPLEX. The seventh and penultimate book in Eoin Colfer’s bestselling Artemis Fowl series continues the story of Artemis Fowl II, a brilliant and cunning criminal mastermind whose efforts thus far have been focused on rebuilding the Fowl family fortune by one means or another. Artemis’s many daring adventures have brought him into regular contact with the non-human beings of the Lower Elements, such as the elite force of Lower Elements Police (LEP) and a certain intriguing LEPrecon, Captain Holly Short.

The latest book begins with a high-level meeting called by Artemis Fowl on his 15th birthday. Artemis has requested a meeting with Holly, the centaur tech wiz Foaly, and Wing Commander Vinyáya, inviting all of them to a remote area of Iceland. They arrive to find Artemis behaving strangely --- his speech is stilted, he seems superstitiously obsessed with the number five, and Holly thinks he looks “beaten.”

But strangest of all is that Artemis is not interested in his usual nefarious criminal activities to gain wealth, but in THE PROJECT, his new plan to save the planet and all of its inhabitants, human and fairy, from the effects of global warming. In fact, Artemis has such faith in this project that he is prepared to commit his entire personal fortune to it. Has Arty finally become nice? It dawns on his fairy friends that Artemis is suffering from the Atlantis Complex, a psychosis that is common to fairy criminals and is characterized by obsessive-compulsive behavior, paranoia and delusions. The rapidly progressing disease appears to have been brought on by Artemis’s guilt over his activities and by his dabbling in fairy magic.

Artemis’s demonstration to the group of the Ice Cube, a device designed by him to blanket glacial ice with reflective nanocrystals to prevent melting, is interrupted by a surprise attack from a LEP space probe. In his sickness, Artemis believes that the gigantic probe bearing down on them is merely one of his hallucinations. He tries to face it down in order to show his mind that he is still in charge. In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to save his life from the crash-landing probe, Holly shoots him with a weapon set to stun.

The small band of survivors from the attack now finds itself hunted by vicious amorphobots that are pouring out of the space probe. It appears that these amorphobots were originally designed by Foaly to study space but have now been reengineered by an unknown person to seek and destroy. What the group now needs most is Artemis’s cunning and brilliant mind to get them out of the trouble in which they find themselves. However, Artemis is nowhere to be found.

Being shot has inadvertently triggered the onset of yet another effect of Artemis’s advancing Atlantis Complex --- multiple personality disorder. A new personality named Orion Fowl has emerged in Artemis’s stead. Unfortunately, it becomes clear quickly that Orion is no Artemis…the new personality appears to be naïve and guileless, and primarily focused on making gallant, chivalrous and romantic overtures to Holly.

The story alternates between the predicament of Holly, Foaly and Artemis in Iceland, and the adventures of Artemis’s bodyguard Domovai Butler in Mexico. Butler has gone to Cancun, Mexico, in the mistaken belief that his kid sister Juliet needs his urgent help --- something engineered by Artemis who in his paranoia wanted to send Butler away. Once in Cancun, Butler finds himself and his sister to be in real and serious trouble, not the least of which includes a finger-biting toddler. The adversary behind the emerging situations in both Iceland and Mexico turns out to be the same unknown enemy who is intent on destroying the fairy metropolis of Atlantis. Now the group must work fast to learn who has targeted them, how to take out their opponent and save Atlantis, while protecting Artemis from his worst enemy --- his own mind.

From the very first page, THE ATLANTIS COMPLEX manages to grab the reader’s attention with its thrill-a-minute pace and complex plotting. The plot line is humor-filled (the scenes with Orion are among the funniest) and sophisticated, with an enemy who is focused on something bigger and better than power or money. This is a fast-paced, engaging and hilarious sci-fi novel for readers of all ages, and a worthy addition to the blockbuster series.

Reviewed by Usha Reynolds on April 20, 2012

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex
(Artemis Fowl #7)
by Eoin Colfer

  • Publication Date: August 3, 2010
  • Genres: Children's, Fantasy, Fiction
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
  • ISBN-10: 1423128192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423129721