The Artemis Fowl books were love at first read. I loved the characters, the writing style, the world – and I recommended the books to anyone and everyone. Seriously, what was there not to love? There was a criminal mastermind / boy genius, fairies, a tech genius centaur and a bodyguard named Butler – and those are just the characters. So I can honestly say, nothing makes me sadder than the fact that “The Last Guardian” is the final book of this eight book series.
In “The Last Guardian”, Artemis Fowl once again faces off against his arch-nemesis Opal Koboi who is out to destroy the entire human race and wreck havoc on the fairy community in the process. So Artemis must once again use his superior intellect to try to save his family and save the world.
In this book, we are really able to see how far Artemis has come. He is no longer the petulant young criminal mastermind that wants nothing more than money and power. He has grown a heart, so to speak, and it’s a progression we’ve been able to see throughout the entire series. And I think this character growth is what makes Artemis so much more of a likable character than Harry Potter, for example. Don’t get me wrong – I liked reading the Harry Potter series. But to be honest, I never really liked Harry. Time and time again he seemed to be Voldermort with nothing but his mother’s love and courage. I didn’t feel like he was particularly good at magic, particularly smart or particularly crafty. In fact, by book five I was almost ready to give up on the whole series – he was so whiny and frankly annoying.
This is not the case with Artemis Fowl. Although he starts out the series as a clear anti-hero, he develops into a real hero, several times over. He’s not a stagnant character, trapped in the same endless battle and approaching the problem in the same way – he grows and develops into a man (well, maybe not a man but a mature sixteen year old). We also see him grow as a person, learning to form bonds with people, fairies and dwarves that are more about power and money but about friendship.
I also love how easy it is to jump back into the series. It’s been several years since I’ve read the first seven Artemis Fowl books but I was able to just pick up this book and quickly re-immerse myself in the universe – without feeling like there was a lot of useless repetition and rehashing of past events.
The only critique I have about this book is the very end. I won’t give anything away, but I do wish that the novel would have stopped two or three chapters earlier – I think the book would have been more powerful (although I suppose less of a children’s book then) . I know why Mr. Colfer did what he did, but I still wish he had chosen another path.