Children's fantasy novel written by Eoin Colfer
, tipped by publishing insiders to be the Next Big Thing
and the answer to That Other Fantasy Series
. Soon To Become a Major Motion Picture Event, etc.
protagonist is a twelve-year-old Irish
boy and the world's greatest criminal mastermind
. In this, the first book in a heavily foreshadowed
series, his object is kidnapping a member of the fairy
kingdom's elite security forces and holding her for ransom. The action plays out almost exactly like a cross between a Die Hard
and a Tom Clancy
thriller, only written for ten-year-olds and featuring a lot of magical creatures
that seem to be written with action figures
in mind. Artemis, ostensibly the hero of the book, is always at least one step ahead of the bumbling fairy security forces, who work just like the LAPD
in the first Die Hard. The book's hook
is that we are supposed to be rooting for the bad guy, but personally I found it hard to root for Artemis, for two reasons:
A - the kid is a spoiled billionaire genius who gets absolutely everything he wants, even if he has to bribe, poison or drug people into giving it to him. He's a fairly nasty character.
B - there's no thrill at all in seeing the hero's flawless plan fall into place. He works by the numbers, manipulating his opponents' rulebooks, and everything goes perfectly. I've never found plots like this interesting. Where's the suspense?