The third instalment of high-tech, criminal whiz-kid adventures set in the fairy-magic-filled world of Master Artemis Fowl may be reassuringly familiar but it is also bulging with author Eoin Colfer's trademark wit and thrilling seat-of-the-dwarf-pants adventure. Following on from Artemis's opening encounter with the fairy underworld in Artemis Fowl
and its thumping sequel Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Encounter
, The Eternity Code
takes the books' eponymous young anti-hero, who with each successive adventure turns out to be a little less bad after all, on his most dangerous mission yet.
Artemis and his bodyguard Butler have set up a meeting in Chicago with dangerous international businessman Jon Spiro. In his latest eager attempt to make money, using a priceless futuristic cube of purloined Fairy gadgetry that can do just about anything, Artemis has underestimated Spiro and arrived at the rendezvous under-prepared. Big mistake. It is an ambush, and though Artemis escapes with his life, Butler is mortally wounded.
The cube may be lost but Artemis refuses to accept his friend's demise and quickly deep freezes Butler in the restaurant kitchen. He calls on the only people he knows who might be able to get him back--Holly Short of the subterranean Fairy police and her race's super-advanced technology. Holly and Artemis must find a way to bring Butler back from the dead and retrieve the lost Eternity Cube that could change the balance of power between humans and fairies forever. It is a Herculean task and the price exacted upon Artemis for such assistance is very high indeed.
What Colfer's latest plot may lack in depth or sophistication is more than made up for by the sheer verve and energy of his settings, characters and action. These books are very entertaining indeed and hugely readable, and once you're a Fowl fan you'll be hooked until Artemis decides to go straight. Recommended for ages nine and above. --John McLay
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-Antihero Artemis Fowl, now 13 years old, is back. He has used stolen fairy technology to create a supercomputer known as the "C Cube," which will render all existing technology obsolete. He meets with Jon Spiro, head of "Fission Chips," with a proposition. For a price, he will suppress his cube, and allow Spiro time to sell his potentially worthless stocks and buy into Fowl Industries. Spiro double-crosses Artemis, and in the ensuing melee he steals the C Cube and Artemis's bodyguard, Butler, is murdered. The scene is totally out of James Bond; one fully expects to hear the familiar theme music and to see the credits as it concludes. The action does not let up as Artemis teams with the fairy policewoman Captain Holly Short and other companions to bring Butler back to life, and then to retrieve the Cube from Spiro's Chicago fortress. The plot is filled with crosses and double crosses, unmarked vans, and impenetrable security systems. It's exciting stuff, but the writing is often clichd at worst, and merely workmanlike at best. Butler's death scene is particularly hackneyed, echoing every overly dramatic death scene one can think of. Still, this latest adventure is sure to be popular with fans of the series.Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
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