I'm reading Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books starting from the beginning thanks to the folks at Disney Hyperion, who are offering them through NetGalley at the rate of two a month in preparation for the launch of the final Artemis Fowl book at the end of the summer. I've just finished Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, the fourth book in the middle grade series, and so far, it's my favorite of the lot.
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As the book opens, Artemis and his faithful bodyguard Butler have had all their memories of the fairy world erased after being determined too much of a danger to the creatures living underground. Artemis being Artemis, however, he left himself a trigger to remember later. The only problem is, his friend Holly may need him sooner, as the pixie bent on world domination -- Opal Koboi -- already has her plans underway to overthrow the fairy world, and Artemis may be the only one smart enough to stop her.
The Opal Deception requires you know the back story of the characters and how they've worked together before this -- I woudln't recommend trying to start the series here at book four -- and it's almost as if the series is beginning to find its stride here. Colfer finds the guts to let one of the characters die here, and you realize that you want the rest of this motley crew to succeed as a team -- and to stick together and not be separated again.
Of the four books, this is the one that I spent the least amount of time taking breaks from reading, simply because I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
And while the fairy theme might have you thinking "girl book," this is definitely a series geared toward boys, although my daughter enjoyed it as well while she was still reading middle-grade books.