Artemis Fowlby Eoin Colfer, Nathaniel Parker (Narrated by)
Artemis' interest in mythology and an obsession with the Internet leads him to discover proof
Artemis Fowl is a one of the greatest criminal minds the world has ever seen. He is heir to the Fowl family empire—a centuries old clan of international underworld figures and con artists. He is arguably the most cunning Fowl of all. He is also twelve years old.
Artemis' interest in mythology and an obsession with the Internet leads him to discover proof of the existence of "The People"- otherwise known as fairies, sprites, leprechauns and trolls. He learns every fairy has a magical Book. If he can find the Book, it will lead him to "The People's" vast treasure of gold.
With his brutish sidekick, Butler, he sets his plans in motion. Artemis tricks a drunken old fairy woman into loaning him her Book, a tiny golden volume, for thirty minutes. He scans it with a digital camera and emails it to his Mac G6 computer. Back in his mansion in Ireland, he is the first human to decode the secrets of the fairies.
Artemis needs a leprechaun to help him with this plan. He and Butler hunt down Holly Short, a tough, female LEPrecon, part of a gung-ho Fairy commando unit, who is on a reconnaissance mission.
He kidnaps her, and a major battle begins. It's satyr against gnome, man against elf, and for the first time in his life, Artemis must decide what he values most.
For fans of J.R.R.Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Philip Pullman, Artemis Fowl is a high-tech fantasy, mixing faries, leprechauns, and computers, in a brilliant, thrilling story that is destined to become a cult favorite.
The main character, a boy named Artemis, is the greatest criminal mastermind that has ever lived. Now the Fowls have been criminals for centuries -- pirates, forgers, gunrunners, robbers, con men, etc. -- but Artemis is something special. He's as cool as a cucumber, with an authority well beyond his 12 years. He has a commanding persona that's as smooth as China silk and is merciless in achieving his goals.
Is he pure evil? No, he has a conscience -- not that he lets that get in the way of what he wants. In a back alley in Saigon, Artemis and his manservant Butler (deadly hand-to-hand fighter, weapons expert, driver, medic, cook, and Artemis's constant and only companion) find what they've being searching the world for: a real live fairy. In this case, an alcohol-addicted fairy.
A deal is struck. In exchange for her life, the sprite will turn over a very important book. The Book is the key to all the secrets of the magic world: the fairies' laws, regulations and secrets. It is the Bible of the fairies.
The translation of the Book would take the work of a genius. Obtaining the Book itself would be the achievement of the century! But for Artemis Fowl, it is merely the first step in a bigger plan, one that will restore his family's fortune. He would be the first human to actually succeed in stealing fairy gold -- one ton of fairy gold to be exact! It's a bold, villainous, ambitious, audacious and rude plan (I need to mention again that Artemis is only 12 years old). But mixing crime and magic proves to be a dangerous matter, and the People (fairies) guard their gold fiercely.
The stronghold of the People is far underground, far away from the Mud People (the fairy name for humankind). It's a human-free zone, and the People intend to keep it that way. Their borders and the places they walk have been hidden from mankind for centuries. Human nature being what it is, if discovered, they would be hunted down and killed.
Captain Holly Short is an elf as well as a cop, a Leprechaun. More accurately, Holly is a member of the LEPrecon, the Lower Elements Police -- a formidable military force with a long, distinguished history. Their magic has been heightened by highly advanced technology, and Holly carries enough firepower to level a mountain.
LEPrecon is a dangerous and unforgiving assignment, and Holly already has one disaster on her record. But at the moment of her dismissal, she is the wrong elf in the wrong place at the wrong time. Four hundred pounds of enraged muscle have broken onto the surface in the form of an angry berserker troll -- a disaster in the making. The death toll in the human population would be high, and the consequences to the People would be devastating: discovery. Holly has to mount a retrieval mission, but she has neglected her rituals; and at the moment she will need it the most, her magic will come up short. Before the night is over, events will be set in motion that will place Holly in the sights of the notorious Artemis Fowl.
Colfer's novel was a joy to read. It was smart, fun, adventurous and full of humor. (Jim Killen)
The Christian Science Monitor
"Kids will absolutely love it."--Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 2By now, you must have guessed just how far Artemis Fowl was prepared to go in order to achieve his goal. But what exactly was this goal? What outlandish scheme would involve the blackmailing of an alcohol-addicted sprite? The answer was gold.
Artemis's search had begun two years previously when he first became interested in surfing the Internet. He quickly found the more arcane sites: alien abduction, UFO sightings, and the supernatural. But most specifically the existence of the People.
Trawling through gigabytes of data, he found hundreds of references to fairies from nearly every country in the world. Each civilization had its own term for the People, but they were undoubtedly members of the same hidden family. Several stories mentioned a Book carried by each fairy. It was their Bible, containing, as it allegedly did, the history of their race and the commandments that governed their extended lives. Of course, this book was written in Gnommish, the fairy language, and would be of no use to any human.
Artemis believed that with today's technology the Book could be translated. And with this translation you could begin to exploit a whole new group of creatures.
Know thine enemy was Artemis's motto, so he immersed himself in the lore of the People until he had compiled a huge database on their characteristics. But it wasn't enough. So Artemis put out a call on the Web: Irish businessman will pay large amount of U.S. dollars to meet a fairy, sprite, leprechaun, pixie. The responses had been mostly fraudulent, but Ho Chi Minh City had finally paid off.
Artemis was perhaps the only person alive who could take full advantage of his recent acquisition. He still retained a childlike belief in magic, tempered by an adult determination to exploit it. If there was anybody capable of relieving the fairies of some of their magical gold, it was Artemis Fowl the Second.
It was early morning before they reached Fowl Manor. Artemis was anxious to bring up the file on his computer, but first he decided to call in on Mother.
Angeline Fowl was bedridden. She had been since her husband's disappearance. Nervous tension, the physicians said. Nothing for it but rest and sleeping pills. That was almost a year ago.
Butler's little sister, Juliet, was sitting at the foot of the stairs. Her gaze was boring a hole in the wall. Even the glitter mascara couldn't soften her expression. Artemis had seen that look already, just before Juliet had suplexed a particularly impudent pizza boy. The suplex, Artemis gathered, was a wrestling move. An unusual obsession for a teenage girl. But then again she was, after all, a Butler.
Juliet straightened hurriedly. "My own fault, Artemis. Apparently I left a gap in the curtains. Mrs. Fowl couldn't sleep."
"Hmm," muttered Artemis, scaling the oak staircase slowly.
He worried about his mother's condition. She hadn't seen the light of day in a long time now. Then again, should she miraculously recover, emerging revitalized from her bedchamber, it would signal the end of Artemis's own extraordinary freedom. It would be back off to school, and no more spearheading criminal enterprises for you, my boy.
He knocked gently on the arched double doors.
"Mother? Are you awake?"
Something smashed against the other side of the door. It sounded expensive.
"Of course I'm awake! How can I sleep in this blinding glare?"
Artemis ventured inside. An antique four-poster bed threw shadowy spires in the darkness, and a pale sliver of light poked through a gap in the velvet curtains. Angeline Fowl sat hunched on the bed, her pale limbs glowing white in the gloom.
"Artemis, darling. Where have you been?"
Artemis sighed. She recognized him. That was a
"School trip, Mother. Skiing in Austria."
"Ah, skiing," crooned Angeline. "How I miss it. Maybe when your father returns."
Artemis felt a lump in his throat. Most uncharacteristic.
"Yes. Perhaps when Father returns."
"Darling, could you close those wretched curtains? The light is intolerable."
"Of course, Mother."
Artemis felt his way across the room, wary of the low-level clothes chests scattered around the floor. Finally his fingers curled around the velvet drapes. For a moment he was tempted to throw them wide open, then he sighed and closed the gap.
"Thank you, darling. By the way, we really have to get rid of that maid. She is good for absolutely nothing."
Artemis held his tongue. Juliet had been a hardworking and loyal member of the Fowl household for the past three years. Time to use Mother's absentmindedness to his advantage.
"You're right of course, Mother. I've been meaning to do it for some time. Butler has a sister I believe would be perfect for the position. I think I've mentioned her. Juliet?"
Angeline frowned. "Juliet? Yes, the name does seem familiar. Well, anyone would be better than that silly girl we have now. When can she start?"
"Straight away. I'll have Butler fetch her from the lodge."
"You're a good boy, Artemis. Now, give Mummy a hug."
Artemis stepped into the shadowy folds of his mother's robe. She smelled perfumed, like petals in water. But her arms were cold and weak.
"Oh, darling," she whispered, and the sound sent goose bumps popping down Artemis's neck. "I hear things. At night. They crawl along the pillows and into my ears."
Artemis felt that lump in his throat again.
"Perhaps we should open the curtains, Mother."
"No," his mother sobbed, releasing him from her grasp. "No. Because then I could see them, too."
But it was no use. Angeline was gone. She crawled to the far corner of the bed, pulling the quilt under her chin.
"Send the new girl."
"Send her with cucumber slices and water."
Angeline glared at him with crafty eyes. "And stop calling me Mother. I don't know who you are, but you're certainly not my little Arty."
Artemis blinked back a few rebellious tears. "Of course. Sorry, Moth - Sorry."
"Hmmm. Don't come back here again, or I'll have my husband take care of you. He's a very important man, you know."
"Very well, Mrs Fowl. This is the last you'll see of me."
"It had better be." Angeline froze suddenly. "Do you hear them?"
Artemis shook his head. "No. I don't hear any - "
"They're coming for me. They're everywhere."
Angeline dived for cover beneath the bedclothes. Artemis could still hear her terrified sobs as he descended the marble staircase.
The Book was proving far more stubborn than Artemis had anticipated. It seemed to be almost actively resisting him. No matter which program he ran it through, the computer came up blank.
Artemis hardcopied every page, tacking them to the walls of his study. Sometimes it helped to have things on paper. The script was like nothing he'd seen before, and yet it was strangely familiar. Obviously a mixture of symbolic and character-based language, the text meandered around the page in no apparent order.
What the program needed was some frame of reference, some central point on which to build. He separated all the characters and ran comparisons with English, Chinese, Greek, Arabic, and with Cyrillic texts, even with Ogham. Nothing.
Moody with frustration, Artemis sent Juliet scurrying when she interrupted with sandwiches, and moved on to symbols. The most frequently recurring pictogram was a small male figure. Male, he presumed, though with the limited knowledge of the fairy anatomy he supposed it could be female. A thought struck him. Artemis opened the ancient languages file on his Power Translator and selected Egyptian.
At last. A hit. The male symbol was remarkably similar to the Anubis god representation on Tutankhamen's inner-chamber hieroglyphics. This was consistent with his other findings. The first written human stories were about fairies, suggesting that their civilization predated man's own. It would seem that the Egyptians had simply adapted an existing scripture to suit their needs.
There were other resemblances. But the characters were just dissimilar enough to slip through the computer's net. This would have to be done manually. Each Gnommish figure had to be enlarged, printed, and then compared with the hieroglyphs.
Artemis felt the excitement of success thumping inside his rib cage. Almost every fairy pictogram or letter had an Egyptian counterpart. Most were universal, such as the sun or birds. But some seemed exclusively supernatural and had to be tailored to fit. The Anubis figure, for example, would make no sense as a dog god, so Artemis altered it to read king of the fairies.
By midnight, Artemis had successfully fed his findings into the Macintosh. All he had to do now was press Decode. He did so. What emerged was a long, intricate string of meaningless gibberish.
A normal child would have abandoned the task long since. The average adult would probably have been reduced to slapping the keyboard. But not Artemis. This book was testing him, and he would not allow it to win.
The letters were right, he was certain of it. It was just the order that was wrong. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Artemis glared at the pages again. Each segment was bordered by a solid line. This could represent paragraphs or chapters, but they were not meant to be read in the usual left to right, top to bottom fashion.
Artemis experimented. He tried the Arabic right to left and the Chinese columns. Nothing worked. Then he noticed that each page had one thing in common - a central section. The other pictograms were arranged around this pivotal area. So, a central starting point, perhaps. But where to go from there? Artemis scanned the pages for some other common factor. After several minutes he found it. There was on each page a tiny spearhead in the corner of one section. Could this be an arrow? A direction? Go this way? So the theory would be, start in the middle then follow the arrow. Reading in spirals.
The computer program wasn't built to handle something like this, so Artemis had to improvise. With a craft knife and ruler, he dissected the first page of the Book and reassembled it in the traditional Western languages order - left to right, parallel rows. Then he rescanned the page and fed it through the modified Egyptian translator.
The computer hummed and whirred, converting all the information to binary. Several times it stopped to ask for confirmation of a character or symbol...
Meet the Author
Eoin Colfer is a best-selling author in his native Ireland, where he lives with his wife and son, and works as an elementary school teacher. His first novel, Benny and Omar, was #1 in the UK. This is his first American publication. Miramax has acquired the film rights to Artemis Fowl, which will be produced by Jane Rosenthal at Tribeca Films Company.
- Wexford Town, County Wexford, Republic of Ireland
- Date of Birth:
- May 14, 1965
- Place of Birth:
- Waterford City, County Waterford, Republic of Ireland
- Bachelor of Education, 1986; Education Diploma, 1987
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I didn't expect it to be so good. Great story with colorful characters. Liked it a lot and days later I still hadn't forgotten it, nor have the kids. Have recommended it to everyone.
The first in the fowl series. This book packs a high flying adventure against mans long lost friends: The Fairies. No not just any fairies but ones with technology far superior than our own. One Irish genius challenges them and proves a worthy foe. He is out to seek their most prized possession: GOLD. Artemis Fowl is a book i loved as soon as i read the first page.
Enhanced means that it includes either sounds, movie clips or pictures.
The Fowls have been notorious criminals since the time of the Norman Conquest, exploiting and out witting others for monetary gain. Artemis being a Fowl follows his forefather's footsteps and embarks on exploits of his own; though this time he decides to exploit a new people, the fairy race. The book Artemis Fowl is wonderfully written and seamlessly carries you from the fairy world to the world we all know. The fairy race is very well developed and their way of life along with their underground world seems very real. The story itself is very technologically oriented and really entertains the inner geek in all of us with the very detailed descriptions of the advanced fairy technology used against Artemis and Artemis' own use of electronics to outwit the fairies .The plot is something you would get if you crossed The Bourne Supremacy and The Lord of The Rings, very technologically oriented, action centric, and full of magic and lore. The mix of technology and fairy magic is not something that is very commonly seen in most books and movies, paired with a great writing style this book really stands out from others. The book is full of many twists and turns as Artemis, unexpected to the fairy people outwits and counters everything the fairies seem to throw at him. This book is a great read and can entertain people of all ages with its detailed scenes and a very well developed back story. I strongly recommend this book to people of all ages looking for something fast paced and fresh.
This is one of the best best books i have ever read. Read it if you ike Fantasy Adventure Mystery
Very good fast read. I was surprised at the entire idea of a technologically advanced fairy world. Great characters that I am looking forward to getting to know better in future books.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer is a fantastic fantasy novel, with daring feats and incredible and magical discoveries. This is an excellent book because it is a little bit of everything. It has some action, mystery, and a lot of fantasy. Not to mention the prodigious mind of young 12 year old Artemis Fowl. It takes place in modern day Europe, including England, Ireland, and an underground fairy world with goblin gangs, fairies, and incredibly angry dwarfs of all species. The thing is Artemis wants the fairy power, and to do that Artemis needs to muster a secret object. This object tells about the fairies and if he studies about them he can get a hint to capture the power. To get this object he must travel around the world searching for sprites (old fairies). All this could threaten war between the two worlds. The sprite Artemis finds is all the way in Vietnam. He makes her give him the book using his amazing mind. He realizes what he really needs is a fairy. Later he kidnaps a fairy. She was doing a ritual of magic when Butler, Artemis' man servant and only friend tranquilized her. Eoin tells this story in 3rd person omniscient really giving you a good grasp at the character's thoughts and feelings. He makes Artemis probably the smartest person on the planet. He needs diversions for plans he only knows. Also Butler is trained in the deadliest martial arts and weaponry, a feel bad for the poor soul who tried to pick pocket him. This is for anyone who likes fantasy and action. This is the first in the series so I recommend reading this first. The other ones only get better.
When i first heard of it my mom was reading it. She told me it was about a 14 year old criminal master mind so i was like not my kind of book not enough magic ( this is what happens when you don't actually look at the description) then a while past and i started running out of things to read (my mom NEVER takes me to the public library) so i thought i might as well and i read it i was not disaponted i say if you don't like this book YOU ARE CRAZY!!! SO READ IT NOW!!!!!!
This serise was one of my favorites. I thought it was cool how the fairies are not the girly ballerina type fairies you find in many books. This book was also pretty funny. I give it 5 stars. :)
In Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer, the intelligence of youth is taken to a whole other level. Beautifully written and a real page turner, this book is a unique combination between science and magic. The reader will be transfixed by the border line of fantasy and magic. The protagonist of this story, Artemis Fowl, is a youthful criminal mastermind fixated on restoring his family's fortune. But as his plans to hold hostage a magical creature for ransom, he runs into some truly magical problems. Readers will laugh and gasp as they progress through the story which offers a surplus of comedy and drama. This book is great for young minds all the way up to adulthood. The excitement of this book will have you turning the page just as well as the delightful and diverse characters will. If you love adventure with a spike of magic or a pinch of Science Fiction, Artemis Fowl is for you.
A wonderfully written story, Artemis Fowl is unique, and very hilarious-it's the greatest teen-children's novel I have ever read. This is a book that will stay with you throughout your life...an unforgettable adventure...
This book is great! The plot keeps the reader reading the book no matter what, making it a big favorite of mine!
I was apprehensive about this book because the title character is a devious teenage thief who doesn't care at all about others. I worried that the book would glorify those traits. I was pleasantly surprised. this is written at about a fourth or fifth grade level. The main character is, surprisingly, somewhat sympathetic. The book is clean, without any language, and is engaging. I found myself interested in the storyline, without worrying about my children reading anything inappropriate. I appreciate books like this.
I first saw this on a shelf a couple years back and was intrigued by it but hadn't picked it up to read it until my 8 year old insisted that it was an awesome story and that I'd love it. So, with him continually asking how I liked it, I read Artemis Fowl. When asked by my wife about the plot, my best quick answer was that it is sort of an "evil Richie Rich carrying out a dastardly scheme against the world of fairies." (For those unfamiliar with Richie Rich, he's the super rich kid with tons of fun gadgets and crazy adventures to save his family/friends/world). In this case, the rich kid is 12-year-old Artemis Fowl, and his motives are less altruistic. Overall, I enjoyed Colfer's unimaginative tale and found it a fun and enjoyable read. One of the violent fight scenes (the main one) and a handful of (human) swear words, make me a little uneasy about letting my kids read the rest of the series unsupervised (historically, series books tend to get grittier as they go on), but I'm definitely willing, and in fact intrigued enough, to pick up book two and read it myself and then possibly hand it on to my kids. With so many similar books flooding the market lately, I don't see this necessarily becoming a classic to endure for decades or beyond. But it's worth picking up and taking a glance at for a bit of escapism and it's a fun adventure that kids will enjoy as well.
I loved this book! It has tons of action and some adventure. Even though some of the book is slow it is still great! If you liked this you would definatly ove the 007 novels. Like Moonraker by Ian Fleming.
Artemis Fowl is almost the evil twin of Harry Potter. Instead of wanting to become friends with fairies and Leprechauns, he's after their gold for his own personal enjoyment. Artemis is suave, cunning, and smart all around. He knows what he's doing and how to do it(even if mistakes come along). This book does become slow at the beginning, but it will grab on to you until you finish the book. THis was a great book and if I had to describe it in one word it would be "Smart".
The fact a book was written with children in mind does not excuse writing so poorly composed it would have embarrassed me when I was a child. The story may or may not have been any good, but the writing itself was quite simply bad.
Is this book in SPANISH or ENGLISH?! Because the summary is in Spanish. If you know PLEASE respond back to Tallia. Thank You
This series was amazing. I love how you are put in a world with fairies but instead of it beeing the old times it is very futuristic. Great series again. This is a must read to anyone into sci fi.
If you see any reviews that say this book sucks, its not true. Artemis Fowl is a stunning book with amazing character and awesome feats of strength and brain. I don't normally read anything with fantasy in it, but I love spy novels and this had everything I was looking for. It also taught me that a little bit of magic makes everything better. Ready this. Oh, and I have some questions I need answered. In a battle Butler vs. Raven (if you have read Artemis Fowl and H.I.V.E.) Kermit vs. Elmo (I say Kermit) Artemis vs. Otto Malpense (same stuff as question one) Oh, and read this book and H.I.V.E. Please!
Very confusing. I had to do it for a class book report. I flunked because I was so confused I had no idea what was going on and it was just boring.
Some people thought the book was hard for 10 and 11 years old; I was not cofused or thought it was long and I am 11. I loved it and I bet you will too. I just love how Artemis figured everything about faries. I also loved how he figured out something the fairies haven't figured out. Even with Foaly they didn't know how to do it till Artemis figured it out!! Can you belive a 12 year old is smarter then a whole race of faires? Since he figured out, something a genius likeFoaly didn't even know!
One of the best books I have ever read! ;)
Fpaly, Arty, Holly, and Butler.
Artemis Fowl is my favorite series. I have read all the books and haven't been dissapointed yet. I recomend this for anyone over 10 so you can understand some of the vocabulary better.