Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Review: The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer

Buy from the Book Depository
Title: The Atlantis Complex
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Hyperion
Series: Artemis Fowl, book 7
Hardcover: 357 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Artemis Fowl has lost his mind...just when the world needs him most.
Artemis has committed his entire fortune to a project he believes will save the planet and its inhabitants, both human and fairy. Can it be true? Has goodness taken hold of the world’s greatest teenage criminal mastermind?
Captain Holly Short is unconvinced, and discovers that Artemis is suffering from Atlantis Complex, a psychosis common among guilt-ridden fairies -- not humans -- and most likely triggered by Artemis’s dabbling with fairy magic. Symptoms include obsessive-compulsive behavior, paranoia, multiple personality disorder and, in extreme cases, embarrassing professions of love to a certain feisty LEPrecon fairy.
Unfortunately, Atlantis Complex has struck at the worst possible time. A deadly foe from Holly’s past is intent on destroying the actual city of Atlantis. Can Artemis escape the confines of his mind -- and the grips of a giant squid -- in time to save the underwater metropolis and its fairy inhabitants?

Overall Rating: 4/5

I have to preface this by saying that I am extremely partial to child/teenage genius stories. Add in some fairies and magic, and this is pretty much the coolest series EVER. The last book, The Time Paradox, was by far my favorite in the series, so as always with a series that goes past 4 books, let alone 6, I was worried by adding yet another one. I know it won't be for everyone -- my sister, who is also a Fowl fan, didn't like this book at all, but I really enjoyed it.

With all the guilt of his past crimes and the exposure to fairy magic, Artemis is finally beginning to lose his mind. He has what is called the Atlantis Complex, which gives him OCD, excessive paranoia, and a multiple personality disorder, among other things. So when he and a committee of important fairy members are attacked during a demonstration of an invention that Artemis believes will save the world, Holly and Foaly must step up and figure out what is going on.

The first few chapters are a bit slow, but I ended up really liking it. Lots of action and drama. Butler and Juliet almost get beaten to death by a crowd of wrestling fans, Artemis goes crazy and reveals another personality -- Orion, and Foaly's space explorer bots start attacking a fairy committee. And that's before the halfway point! We get to see old friends (Mulch!), meet a couple of awesome new villains, and are introduced to some awesome new fairy gadgets. And I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that this follows a new villain, and not Opal. The new villain is Julius's Root's evil brother, so it gives us a bit more background on Holly and Julius, which I enjoyed.

The crafting is also genius. This must have been a hard book to write, due to Artemis's failing mental faculties, but Colfer does a great job. Artemis hates the number four, and tries to group everything in fives. If you do a word count on his dialogue, you'll see he he speaks in multiples of five (kudos to Colfer for keeping such an attention to detail!).

Colfer really upped the stakes in this one. Sure, things have been really bad before, but Artemis has always been able to rely on his  mind. Now, they're facing a master criminal and Artemis doesn't even have that to rely on anymore. It makes the other characters have to become a bit tougher, and Artemis become a bit more humanized. I don't want to hint at what the ending is, but I thought it was perfect. Even half-insane, Artemis is a smarty-pants.

*I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*