a review by Nalini Haynes
Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian is the final in the comedy adventure Artemis Fowl series that my son grew up with, reading and rereading since primary school. Of all the books my son read growing up, this series stands out as a series he still loves without reservation, aged 19. I’ve read the full series as well, although not nearly as many times.
Artemis Fowl is a boy genius who grew up in a crime family. After kidnapping a fairy, Captain Holly Short of Leprecon – the fairy police – the following adventures build an uneasy truce and later friendship between Artemis and the fae. In this, the final instalment of the series, Artemis is on the cusp of adulthood. As with Harry Potter, Artemis and his adventures have ‘grown up’ over the course of the series, aiming at a little higher age group, but I think the later books are still suitable for advanced primary school readers. I think the entire Artemis Fowl series is suitable to be read to children too young to read themselves as stories like these will inspire a love of books.
Every Artemis Fowl book looks at current issues in the world, often from a a conservationist perspective without being preachy. This final book explores the idea of obsolete conflict – like the Japanese soldiers stranded after World War II, still fighting the war because no-one told them it was over. Eoin discusses this in our interview. As always, Mulch Diggums (a very original dwarf) farts his way through adventures, slap-stick comedy routines abound like parts falling off zombie minions at inconvenient moments, camaraderie and high jinks abound.
I’ve enjoyed this series so much so that I recommend it to adults even if you don’t have children to whom you read. If you read stories to children, this series is a must have.