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Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code

Artemis Fowl – The Eternity Code: Eoin Colfer, December 23—29, 2015

My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

img_0603The latest instalment of the Artemis Fowl series didn’t live up to the standard of its forerunners.

Artemis has some fairy technology nicked by super-bad businessman Jon Spiro and has to enlist the help of the LEP to get it back.

Though there is a little trickery and posturing, all of the regulars are broadly on the same side. It’s a very different affair from the original, which was rammed with double-crossing and power shifts.

Instead, this is far too sentimental. From the outset, it is thick with touchy-feely commentary and dialogue concerning the Artemis/Butler friendship, then the Holly/Artemis dynamic. It’s saccharine sweet. It might be that Colfer is trying to move Fowl on, but it’s so abrupt and unnecessary that it feels overdone.

Compounding this are the flashback sequences which deal with Fowl reuniting with his father following his rescue in The Arctic Incident. Once again, it’s all very serious and goodie-goodie and each of the scenes pretty much repeats the ideas of the scenes before. The book would have been better without them; the events are addressed in present-time dialogue anyway.

The introduction of Spiro adds yet another superlative layer to the story. He is the baddest ever businessman, fighting the smartest ever teenager, who is protected by the best ever bodyguard, aided by the most talented dwarf thief. It’s all too much. That every character is the best of their kind reduces the extremity of each one, because it isn’t unique. Yes, it’s about fairy spies, but this over-egging the pudding makes it harder to believe than suspending disbelief over the setting.

Eternity Code also misses Commander Root, who falls from being a supporting character to a mere cameo in a couple of scenes. His huffing and puffing might have taken away from the sentimentality and posturing if he had been allowed more page time.

The exception to this is Mulch Diggums, who becomes the standout character. He is still self-absorbed and crafty, and has the same snappy dialogue as always. His scenes are hilarious and he, more than most, retains the charm that endeared us to him in the first place.

The other key character is Juliet Butler, who has an expanded role in this volume, having sat Arctic out. Her inner conflict between the seriousness of personal protection, and her fun-loving excitable nature makes her interesting. In other words, she isn’t the best in her field. She’s just a normal – if gifted – character that we can actually relate to on some level.

Though Artemis’s development continues, from his implied better nature in Arctic to more actively considering his moral compass, it’s perfunctory. While character development is good, it’s laboured when the outcome is predictable, and there is a risk he could lose his edge if he just joins the swarm of good guys. He began as an anti-hero, bordering on antagonist. What is his place in the eponymous series if he ceases to be so?

It’s a fast-paced adventure, perhaps the most fast-paced so far. There’s some genuinely funny moments, and a few twists you won’t see coming. But Eternity Code lacks the sharpness and indulgent badness that the first story did, and the series runs the risk of softening its edges so much that it no longer has one.


One comment on “Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code

  1. Pingback: Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception | Simon's Bookcase

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This entry was posted on December 29, 2015 by in 3 star, Artemis Fowl and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare