I don't know where this book has been all my life. I would call it a hidden gem, but the movie adaptation is coming out this year and apparently everybody in the universe has already read it, so maybe I've just been living under a rock. If you've already read it—well, nuts. Keep reading anyway.
I found Artemis Fowl during my stint of middle grade fiction research, but put off reading it for months. I've been disappointed so many times by middle grade novels—especially the ones that are trumped up as masterful pieces of literature—that I think I was a little more cautious when I picked this one off the library bookshelf.
It sat in my room for three weeks. I got a notice from the library reminding me it was due. I still hadn't so much as read the first page. But I renewed it anyway and finally cracked it open.
From that point on, my hands were shackled to this book.
Every spare minute for days was spent devouring it. I've never laughed so much while reading a novel. Colfer's witty dialogue, outrageous characters, and captivating imagination had me glued to the pages. It's the first novel I've ever read where the villain is the hero, and I couldn't have enjoyed it more.
To summarize the story, Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old rich kid with the intellect of a 40-year-old genius. He is the last remaining Fowl in his family line, and with his mother confined to her bed, he wields the full spending power of his father's estate, assisted by his private butler, a giant of a man named (of course) Butler.
Artemis is a paradox—he is clearly the main hero of the story, but he is technically a mastermind villain with a criminal plan. But he is such a captivating, put-together personality that you can't help but root for him.
I don't want to spoil the plot, because it's so much fun to figure out as you read. But yes, I give this book a 10 out of 10.
As far as any content warnings, just know that there is a sprinkling of course language here and there, but nothing above PG. There is also a humorous but crude description of one of the character's particular—er—skill sets—that is hilariously worded but excrement-related. Nothing vulgar or perverted ... you just don't want a weak stomach. How's that for vague? (You'll know once you read it, it'll be fine.)
So don't make the same mistake I did. Don't put off reading this book. I can't think of anyone that I wouldn't recommend this book to—it has universal appeal. So get up. Check it out. Let me know what you think of it!