Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Coffer © 2005 Hyperion Books for C

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    Artemis Fowl:  The Opal Deception  by  Eoin Coffer  © 2005  Hyperion Books for Children  ISBN  078685289-5  Hardbound  342 pages    $12.99 (U.S.)  Ages 9 to 11

    Okay, time for one of my patented admissions here.  I have seen this series around for a bit, and had even considered trying to get a book or two for review, but when my wife urged me to get it from a book club so I could pass it on to one of our “adopted grandchildren” I finally decided to take her advice.  After all, I have been reviewing several books for Pagan youngsters (although this is the only series I have tackled for this age group so far), and I did want to see what the general public had available to it.  So, enough about how I came to be reviewing this book.  Now, on the actual review.

    I was grateful for the recap in the first chapter.  Not having read the three previous books, it was beneficial to have the background laid out early.  Not all authors take the time and effort to do this, but it is a nice touch.

    It is seldom that the “hero” of a series, especially for younger readers,  is seriously flawed, as is Artemis Fowl.  At fourteen Artemis is a thief (and a good one).  Perhaps some might not consider an occupation as a thief to be a character flaw, but it is hardly a role model approved by the average adult.

    I must admit to having a weakness for likeable rogues.  And, for all his mercenary attitude and desire to thumb his nose at authority of all types, Artemis is likeable; not admirable, but likeable..  He looks out for Number One; does his best to show a profit; and still manages to be personable.

    Predictably, there are adventures to be had; villains to be overcome; authorities to be outwitted; and lost friends to be mourned

    By the end of the book Artemis has had a change of heart (or has he?)  The instincts have been there for quite a while, just waiting for the proper stimulus).

    Now I have to pick up the first three books in the series.  Not necessarily for review, but simply because I enjoy fun stories and have a few youngsters I know who will be ready for this series in the not-too-distant future, and I want to make sure they are available for them to read..

    If you know youngsters in the pre-teen to early teen age group, do them a favor, and make a present of one or more of these books.  They will enjoy them.  And you can enjoy their enjoyment.  This is a fairy tale with a high tech twist.


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