By Eoin Colfer
Published by Puffin
Reading Artemis Fowl And The Atlantis Complex is a bit like chatting to an old friend about his adventures and suddenly realising he's a bit tired. This is teen super-criminal Artemis' seventh adventure, and it shows. There is a lot to enjoy in the novel; but the comedy is a bit forced at times, the plot takes a while to get going and there are bits of the book where nothing seems to be happening. The Artemis Fowl series is all about story, and this is a bit fat around the middle as if our hero is getting ever so slightly middle-aged.
But Master Fowl has a lot of fans out there and they might forgive the seventh episode its shortcomings. After all, Artemis is a superb youth fiction creation and we have come to expect a lot from him. Eoin Colfer has said this is the penultimate Artemis Fowl novel. Let's hope he can go out with a bang.
Artemis has decided to put all his skills and his considerable fortune into a scheme that will save the world. We always knew he wasn't all bad. The teen felon is somewhat concerned about global warming and he's come up with a plan that will save the planet. He has arranged a meeting with Captain Holly Short, Foaly and Commander Vinyaya of the Fairies to unveil and demonstrate his planet-saving invention.
They are impressed when Artemis demonstrates his fake snow crystals that reflect heat, but all does not go well at the product launch. Holly notices that Artemis is behaving a little bit strangely. He looks tired and seems to be oddly obsessed with numbers. But before Holly can get to the bottom of Artemis' alteration, an unexpected fairy spacecraft crashes down, breaking up the demonstration party. Is this a deliberate attempt to sabotage Artemis' grand scheme?
Despite the interruption, quick-thinking Holly soon works out what's wrong with her pal. Artemis is suffering from Atlantis Complex, a type of obsessive compulsive disorder. Holly doesn't know what to do, but she does know that an Artemis Fowl with AC will be more of a liability than a help.
Meanwhile, volcanoes under the icecap are under attack from mysterious robot probes, and the one person who can save the world is out of commission. Can Holly and her fairy cohorts get the real Artemis back before all is lost?
The uneven Artemis Fowl And The Atlantis Complex is the least satisfying of the series so far, but it still has enough thrills and laughs to satisfy Fowl fans if they close their eyes to the cracks that are starting to appear.
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.com