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Artemis Fowl is a series of fantasy novels written by Irish author Eoin Colfer, starring the teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl II. The series is written in half-serious language, alternating dark moments with humorous ones, a style favored by a number of popular children's authors, including J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter) and Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
Artemis, the main character, is a ruthless and extremely intelligent young criminal whose main goal is the acquisition of money through a variety of often illegal schemes (although his values change towards the 5th book). The author summed up the series as: "Die Hard with fairies.
There are six novels in the series; the first was published in 2001 and the sixth released in the United States on July 15, 2008. A film based on the series is also in development, although most details are unclear.
- Artemis Fowl II, a child prodigy and a ruthless master criminal, takes charge of rebuilding his family fortune following the disappearance of his father. In Artemis Fowl, the first book in the series, he kidnaps Captain Holly Short, a member of the reconnaissance unit of the fairy police force, LEPrecon. His object is the gold which the fairy government has set aside to ransom captured officers. In spite of this introduction, Artemis later works with Holly to save their worlds from impending doom on several occasions, and little by little, his moral character and emotional disposition improve. Most readers, although Artemis is never fully described in the books, think that he is mysteriously handsome, in that he is pale, cold, but charismatic. On more than one occasion, he has been likened unfavorably to vampires. Despite his absent-minded personality, he is shown to be quite lonely on occasions. He does, however, display romantic inclinations towards Holly in The Time Paradox (book six), when they both become adolescent again.
- Domovoi Butler is Artemis's butler and bodyguard. The Butler family has served the Fowl family for generations, with a Butler being assigned to a new Fowl at birth. He has a comprehensive knowledge of weapons and extensive training in martial arts, enough so as to be able to survive an encounter with a troll. The second book, The Arctic Incident, asserts that there were only two men on the planet better educated in the various martial arts than Butler, and he was related to one of them. Butler is more than what he seems and follows Artemis around the world on his adventures. He is also one of Artemis' few good friends. Domovoi means, literally, "he of the house". Domovoi is a house spirit in Slavic folklore).
- Juliet Butler is Butler's baby sister and until The Eternity Code (book three) is a bodyguard in training. The following quote from the third book describes Juliet's departure from the normal teenage girl's standard quite well: "For her eighteenth birthday she asked for, and received, a ribbed Judo crash vest, two weighted throwing knives and a World Wrestling Grudge Match video. At the age of eighteen, she could hit a moving target with any weapon you could care to name and she could throw most people a lot further than she trusted them." Juliet is introduced in the first book. She plays an important role in The Eternity Code, and is mentioned in The Lost Colony (book five).
- Captain Holly Short, the only female LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance) officer so far, is more skilled and has more field experience than most of her fellow officers. Her talents are under-appreciated because of her gender. Holly looks up to Julius Root, her LEP commander and something of a father figure, who has high expectations of her. Holly, who has an unwavering moral code, typically operates on intuition, rather than on protocol, a trait that often leads her into trouble. Artemis captures her in the first book, and her tenacity and creative intellect help her to escape not only her cell, but Fowl Manor as well. Throughout the series Holly and Artemis understand each other on a very personal level, and consequently recognize each other as friends. Despite their obvious differences, as of The Time Paradox (book six), Artemis has developed romantic feelings for the elf, which are reciprocated by Holly, though after Artemis admitted to having deceived her into coming with him back in time, their budding romance appears to be at a standstill temporarily.
- Foaly, a centaur, is the LEP's technological genius. He is paranoid about discovery by humans, choosing to wear tin-foil hats to protect his brain from the mind-probing rays he claims to believe are following him, although he knows they have yet to be invented. He is also quite vain about his work and appearance. His inventions keep Holly one step ahead of the game. He has a tendency to make sarcastic remarks and his remarks cause him trouble on more than one occasion. He marries Caballine, a journalist.
- Commander Julius Root of LEPrecon has the personality of an old soldier, and is a mentor to Holly Short and others. He smokes noxious fungus cigars, and his short temper earns him the nickname "Beetroot". Julius follows protocols more closely than Holly, but driven by his concern for his subordinates and the fairy People he serves, he bends rules where necessary. He is murdered by Opal Koboi in The Opal Deception (book four). Holly Short is held responsible for his death until the end of the fourth book where Artemis, with the help of the People, clears her name.
- Mulch Diggums is a kleptomaniacal dwarf with explosive flatulence. He's brought in by Commander Julius Root to break into Fowl manor in the first book, having already lost his magical abilities due to entering human dwellings without invitations. Like all male dwarves, Mulch is adapted for tunnelling, and his unhingeable jaw and accelerated digestion have proved vital on many of his criminal ventures. An amoral thief who loves luxury and cares little for the law or the environment the People hold dear, he nevertheless develops sentiments towards Julius, Holly, and Artemis, eventually risking his life on their behalf.
- Minerva Paradizo debuts in The Lost Colony (book five). She is a second teenage criminal genius who captures the imp No1 and tries to present him as her project for the Nobel Prize in Stockholm. She is younger than Artemis and believes she can outsmart him when he tries to save the magical world from discovery. According to Butler at the end of The Lost Colony, she has developed feelings for Artemis.
- N°1 is a very powerful imp warlock who serves as Qwan's apprentice in The Lost Colony (book five). He helps to save Hybras, the lost colony of the title. Before that, however, N°1 gets involved with Artemis Fowl and is kidnapped by Minerva Paradizo. In The Time Paradox (book six), he transports Holly and Artemis through time so they can save Artemis' dying mother.
- Qwan was the most powerful of the original seven fully-fledged warlocks who lifted Hybras out of time. The only warlock who survived in his petrified form, he brought Hybras back to the real world outside the Limbo with help from Artemis, Holly, N°1, and Qweffor (his apprentice who was believed to be deceased, but was actually trapped in N'zall—a.k.a. Leon Abbot).
There is no obvious villain for the first book, as it is Artemis Fowl vs. the LEP; Fowl could himself be considered the villain or anti-hero, an unusual stance for a children's book. A minor villain is Briar Cudgeon, who attempts to kill Artemis, Butler and Juliet with a troll.
- Opal Koboi is a narcissistic pixie genius and the main antagonist of the series. She masterminded the Goblin uprising in The Arctic Incident but was defeated by Artemis with the help of Holly and the LEP. She returned in The Opal Deception, the collapse of her previous plan and her year long coma having reduced her to a paranoid madwoman bent on revenge. She also planned to mobolize humans and fairies in a cross-species war and conquer the world. Opal made her vast fortune by forming "Koboi Labs" after bankrupting her father's company and driving him and her mother into insanity. Opal was a rival of Foaly, with whom she held a bitter grudge over her loss of a contest much earlier in their lives. At the end of The Opal Deception she is robbed of her powers and arrested. Her younger self returns in the sixth book, by traveling to her future (Artemis's present) to wreak havoc upon Artemis.
- Briar Cudgeon was a power hungry officer in the LEP driven by ambition and planning to ascend the Council. He was a centuries old friend of Julius Root but by the end of the original Artemis Fowl incident however he was found to be corrupt. After Foaly exposed him, Cudgeon attacked the centaur in a rage. Root incapacitated Cudgeon with a poisoned dart which reacted badly with the illegal brain enhancing chemicals he had been taking, leaving him physically deformed, partially robbed of his magical power and quite insane. He was also demoted to the rank of lieutenant. In Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, consumed with rage and bitterness, he planned to get back at the LEP by allying himself with Opal Koboi in her plan to take over The Lower Elements. He co-headed the B'wa Kell rebellion but had plans of eliminating Opal rather than retaining her as his "empress", knowing that she would not be satisfied to share power. At the end of the rebellion, he was killed when he fell into a plasma conduit and was incinerated.
- Jon Spiro is the villain of Book III. A shady and powerful businessman from Chicago, he formed and headed the company Fission Chips which was backed by the mob. Instead of paying Artemis off to with-hold the C-Cube from immediate market, he instead robbed Artemis of the mini-computer while critically injuring Butler in the process. Spiro captured Artemis when he could not crack its "Eternity Code" encryption, but ended up playing into Artemis and LEPrecon's plans to recover the C-Cube which had been built from stolen fairy technology. He has a bodyguard named Arno Blunt.
- Goblins are a species of fairies who have lizard-like bodies and can conjure fire. In spite of their incredible lack of intelligence, they have a highly competitive gang, B'wa Kell, which does pose some threat to the tourists who stray into their paths. They become a threat in The Arctic Incident, with the aid of Opal and Cudgeon who supplied the brainwaves of the revolution along with the weapons that would keep working when the LEP's goes off line.
- Leon Abbot is the villain of Book V. He is the self-proclaimed savior of the demons, who venerate him for bringing a bad romance novel and an old crossbow from the human world. He is believed to be the only demon to journey to leave Limbo and survive, though both N°1 and Qwan also survived the trip.
- In the book Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony, demons are arguably antagonists, but characters like N°1 and Qwan are ambivalent due to the aid they render to Artemis and all inhabitants of the Earth, magical or not and for the fact they are Warlocks.
- Billy Kong is the alias of Jonah Lee, a villain in Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony. He is a former bodyguard of Minerva Paradizo and betrays her when she chooses to postpone her research on demons. When Jonah was a child, his older brother Eric claimed to be a demon slayer to cover his illicit activities. When Eric was killed by a gang, young Jonah thought that demons were responsible. Though his belief in demons waned over the years, it was revitalized when Minerva showed Billy that demons truly existed. This made him dangerously fanatical in his pursuit of demons and all fairies, which he believes are also demons.
- Ark Sool replaces Julius Root as the new Commander of the LEP. Foaly holds him in high contempt, and his distrust for Holly drove her to quit the LEP. He was sacked as LEP Commander during the time when Holly and Artemis were at Hybras (the demon island, lifted out of time by the demon warlocks) in Book V.
- Arno Blunt Jon Spiro's bodyguard from Book III . Blunt attempted to shoot Artemis, instead shooting Butler and killing him. Artemis called upon Holly to save Butler, then Butler (with Foaly & Holly's help) tricks Blunt into giving a confession. He wears a cut off t-shirt and silver pirate earrings, and towards the middle of the book, ostentatious pairs of false teeth.
- Artemis Fowl I is the master criminal father of Artemis the Second. He lost his leg in an incident with a ship loaded with cola during his latest and last scheme in the Bay of Kola, Russia, where he was kidnapped and imprisoned for 2 years by the Russian Mafiya. Artemis II was able to save his father at the end of the second book, during which Artemis I realizes his prior mistakes and starts to develop stronger morals, deciding to go legal.
- Angeline Fowl is the mother of Artemis the Second. She was driven to insanity after her husband, Artemis Fowl the First, went missing. LEPrecon Captain Holly Short restored Angeline's sanity by making a deal with Artemis in Book I. The deal consisted of Artemis returning half of the ransom gold he received after Holly's kidnapping and Holly granting Artemis one "wish" which was apparently the returning of his mother to a normal state.
- Beckett Fowl is one of Artemis' two-year-old (as of Book VI) twin brothers. He was first mentioned, though not by name (only referred to as one of "the twins") at the end of Book V. Beckett is the more down to earth, fun loving, but still extremely intelligent one of Artemis' baby brothers. He also is known to have very strange tastes, such as espresso sachets and treacle-in the same cup.
- Myles Fowl is Artemis's little brother and also Beckett's twin brother. He was first mentioned, though not by name, at the end of Book V. Myles is shown to be the slightly more intelligent twin, having built a step ladder out of encyclopedias and potty trained himself at fourteen months. Myles is also known to call people (mainly his older brother, Artemis) "simple-toons".
- Giovanni Zito is a dedicated and rich environmentalist. He is chosen by Opal Koboi as her adopted parent in book IV which she uses to achieve her evil scheme to reveal the Lower Elements to the humans, and is mentioned very briefly in the 5th book, now a friend of Artemis'.
- Pex & Chips, Two of Spiro's "henchmen". Their nicknames result from Pex's large pectorals, and Chips's liking of chips. Both "strongly" lack intelligence.
- Aloysius "Loafers" McGuire, a hit-man sent by Spiro to capture Artemis Fowl in Book III. He is later relocated by the fairies (after having his memory modified) to a Kenyan tribe to prevent further trouble.
In the Artemis Fowl
" is a generic term for all supernatural creatures.
- Trouble Kelp is an LEP major, later commander, who appears to be a good friend of Holly. His younger brother gave him the nickname "Trubs".
- Wing Commander Vinyáya is the head of Section Eight. A supporter of Julius Root, she offered Holly a job in the secretive Section Eight department in Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony. She was one of the first to believe that Holly did not kill Root in Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception. She was also Holly's flight instructor in the LEP academy and said that Holly "could fly a pod through the gap in your teeth". During the B'wa Kell uprising and attack on Police Plaza, she was the only council member not to retreat to the operations department; she demanded to be given an electric rifle and did not miss once.
- Corporal Grub Kelp is Trouble's younger brother who is a coward and often refers to his "Mummy."
- Chix Verbil is a sprite in the LEP whose life was saved by Captain Holly Short in Book II. He also lent his starter chip for his shuttle to Mulch Diggums in Book IV in order to save Holly, somewhat reluctantly but understandably so.
- Doctor Jerbal Argon is a psychiatrist in Book I and the owner of a medical clinic in Book IV.
- Doodah Day is an illegal fish marketing pixie. He took a great disliking toward Mulch, due to being swallowed up and cocooned inside slimy Dwarf spittle. He was later granted amnesty. He worked as Mulch's PI partner during the time period when Holly and Artemis disappeared in Book V.
- Mervall (Merv) and Descant (Scant) Brill (referred to as the Brill Bros.) are the pixie twins that are accomplices to Opal Koboi in Book IV. Working as janitors of the medical institution at which Koboi was kept, they helped wake her from her self – induced coma, just as she had instructed prior to her "condition". They return in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox as Opal's henchfairies eight years prior.
Books in the series
- Artemis Fowl
- Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
- Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
- Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
- Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony
- Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
After the success of his London West End show, Eoin Colfer is holding a UK National Live Tour from 10-17 August 2008, entitled Fairies, Fiends and Flatulence
Eoin Colfer is currently touring America.
An Artemis Fowl movie has been confirmed by Eoin Colfer
. In a recent AFC interview, Colfer stated that the screenplay was still being written, but pre-production was at a standstill because of the recently-ended WGA strike
. He stated that it would be finished "two years after he died."
In recent interview Colfer stated that "we are finished writing it, now we are just waiting for the green light"
That was in late August.
In addition, at the 2008 Hay Festival Colfer stated that a dispute was being settled over whether the film should be a CGI production or shot in live action, with Colfer apparently favouring the latter.