Artemis Fowl – The Opal Deception

This is the fourth book about Artemis Fowl, the boy genius and his escapades in the fairy world. Like the other three titles, the sub-terranean world is a high-tech realm with high security and a cast of characters with varied talents and agendas. Artemis continues to be the only human who has a hope of outsmarting them. However, this time rather than being a fairy foe he is enlisted as a fairy friend. Artemis is prompted to unite with his old adversaries, LEPrecon Police Officer Holly Short, Foaly the Centaur and dwarf Mulch Diggums as they attempt to defeat the evil pixie Opal Koboi. There is no doubt that it is an action-packed read that races along. It has plenty of plot twists and humorous asides to keep a young reader turning pages but the story is lacking in any real characters or character development. All of the characters are one dimensional and Artemis, the only human, grows less and less believable. The criminal mastermind of the earlier books has developed an unbelievable soft centre. A more stable home environment is credited as the reason for this new kinder Artemis, but we see so little of Fowl Manor that this change of heart is unsupported. His greed and ambition, so evident in the earlier stories, is mostly disregarded here. Attempts to summarise action from the earlier novels don’t always run smoothly, though a notable exception to this is the witty prologue written as an anonymous web-blog. The constant array of new gadgets, weapons and particularly the antics of the dwarf Mulch Diggums do keep the pace fast and at times furious. Existing Artemis fans will certainly enjoy this instalment.