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Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox

Review

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox

A lot has changed in the three years that Artemis Fowl was missing, battling demons in Limbo. In the sixth installment of Eoin Colfer's series about the teenage genius, we find that the ruthless Artemis has turned over a new leaf. He now has two little brothers to teach the ways of the world and friends he cares about. But his new and tranquil world is thrown into swirling chaos when his mother contracts a rare disease, a disease that can only be cured by the brain fluid of an extinct lemur --- an animal that was wiped off the face of the earth by a younger and desperate Artemis.

With the help of his fairy friends, Artemis and Captain Holly Short travel back in time where they must match wits with a younger Artemis. Colfer uses the battle of the Fowls to show just how much Artemis has changed over the course of five novels. The young boy genius is utterly ruthless. He will do whatever it takes to save his father, demonstrate his intelligence and, most importantly, win. Older Artemis is also desperate to save a parent, his mother, but he retains a basic humanity.

While the younger Artemis has the loyal super agent Butler on his side, Artemis the elder has a familiar cast of friends like Captain Short and the flatulent dwarf Mulch Diggums. Possession of the last lemur on Earth changes hands between the two Artemises until the younger Artemis is willing to let the lemur go. He's after bigger and even more rare prey, like a real-life fairy, that he can sell at a significant profit.

Dr. Damon Kronski is the leader of a new group of villains in the Fowl mythos. The Extinctionists are a cabal of super wealthy tycoons from around the world. All the traditional thrills and vices hold no more excitement for The Extinctionists. They get their kicks by extinguishing the last flame of life from an entire species. They are after the lemur for their yearly meeting, but Kronski knows that a new species of intelligent life will get even more attention and press coverage for the gathering. The younger Artemis is going to sell not only the lemur but Captain Holly Short herself to the lunatic Kronski. Only the future Artemis can save Captain Short, his mother and the entire planet. When Artemis infiltrates The Extinctionists, he realizes that Kronski is only the front man for an even more dangerous opponent.

Colfer is at his best here, with his trademark blend of sly humor, fairy magic and a dynamic and fast-moving plot. He is a master at keeping readers on the edge of their seats. Almost every chapter ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, as Artemis and friends continue to escape from a myriad of impossible situations. The book, humming along so nicely, falters a bit with the revelation that a hidden enemy is the secret mastermind behind the entire plot and Colfer isn't quite able to neatly tie together a very complicated conclusion. Some fans might also be disappointed in the new and more mature Artemis Fowl. Although we get treated to a vintage 10-year-old Artemis, the older Artemis has lost his trademark witticisms and smug manner.

Still, there is much to enjoy here for fans of the series, and Artemis continues to grow and mature right alongside his readership. Colfer has indicated on his blog that this may be the final installment in the series, and it is definitely the last Artemis Fowl book for at least three years as he concentrates on other projects.

Reviewed by Jonathan Snowden on April 20, 2012

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
(Artemis Fowl #6)
by Eoin Colfer

  • Publication Date: December 4, 2018
  • Genres: Children's, Fiction
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 1368037003
  • ISBN-13: 9781368037006