Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
Artemis Fowl – The Arctic Incident: Eoin Colfer, December 24—29, 2014
My rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
Artemis Fowl returns in The Arctic Incident, and this time joins forces with his former opponents, Captain Holly Short and Commander Julius Root, in an unlikely alliance. The fairies need Fowl’s help when it seems a traitor is operating in their midst, and his price is their help with the rescue of his father.
The Arctic Incident tips its hat more than once to the original, but is very much a story in its own right. Fowl in particular is affected by the events of a year ago and his character development is consistent.
All of the four main characters – Fowl, Butler, Root and Short – are strong personalities. Even when the band becomes five, Colder bestows ample individuality on each that there is no confusion. A lesser writer may have struggled with a bloated ensemble lead, but here each of them is indispensable; abilities, attributes and rank are carefully considered and utilised.
There’s also more opportunity to see Foaly and the Kelp brothers in action. Foaly in particular is rewarded with a bigger role. No character is wasted.
Arctic introduces us to Opal Koboi, the evil genius who makes Cudgeon’s revenge on Root and LEP possible, while settling a score with Foaly. She is corrupt and ruthless, and joins the series at a timely point that emphasises Fowl’s reformation.
The narrative is still humorous, with Root and Foaly excelling and the hallmark tongue-in-cheek comments from Colfer continuing to abound. The pace is excellent, maintaining several interesting plot lines in another story taking around 24 hours. Like the original, Arctic doesn’t have a boring page.
Every ingredient that made the first instalment a success is evident again: colourful characters, clever plotting, good storytelling and a satisfying, air-punching conclusion. Arctic builds on the ideas of its predecessor and delivers an even better sequel.