Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Artemis Fowl (#3): The Eternity Code

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code  by Eoin Colfer
Read:  2005

Link to Artemis Fowl website
Eternity Code page on Eoin Colfer's website

This time out, Artemis Fowl, Sr. is recovering and getting ready to return home. The criminal mastermind is very different after his ordeal. Artemis II isn't sure that it's a natural occurrence, or a result of the fairy magic that saved him. His father was missing for a year or two and wound up kidnapped by Russian mobsters and left for dead, before being rescued by the younger Artemis, Butler and their faerie friends. Not only does his father have a new lease on life, but he intends to spend the rest of his days as a better man. He's ready to end his career as a criminal and become a family man.

Artemis II considers this great dilemma. He can't help but be pleased that he is going to have a real, proper family again.  However, he's a child criminal genius and he's not excited about giving that up. So, Artemis figures he's got enough time for one last money making criminal caper before his father makes him go straight.

Artemis has been dealing with the faerie people in the Lower Elements. Using their technology, he created a super computer cube, which would make all existing human technology obsolete. Artemis plans on using his cube to make himself a fortune. So, he sets up a meeting with Jon Spiro, a man with criminal connections, who made his fortune in computers and cell phones. His company, Fission Chips (just one example of Mr. Colfer's plays on words, forcing me to alternately groan and giggle), is an ecological nightmare.

Artemis' plan is for Spiro to pay him to keep the technology off the market for one year. He meets Spiro in a restaurant, but the meeting doesn't go as planned. In the end, Spiro runs off with the cube, and Butler, Artemis' bodyguard is fatally shot. Not to mention that the Lower Elements goes into shutdown because they fear humans have discovered them. It seems Artemis pinged them when he did his test of the cube to show Spiro its capabilities. Foaly, the paranoid centaur in charge of security realizes that someone has tapped into the Lower Elements satellite and security systems.  He doesn't know that it's Artemis, or even that Artemis has the technology to hack into Foaly's system. Artemis, on the other hand, in a show of great maturity and even humanity, didn't realize that his system could put the faerie people in jeopardy and did his best to end their exposure.

Artemis puts Butler on ice, literally, to buy some time to save him and put in an SOS call to be heard by the faerie people.  He has no reason to believe that he deserves any help from the faeries, but Butler is a different matter. Butler had been a great help to the faerie people and their hidden world.

Captain Holly Short of the LEP Recon was sent out in response to Artemis' cryptic message. She was not pleased to find Artemis. She uses her magic to revive Butler, but with some consequences. Butler is brought back from the dead, but he's prematurely aged and has some Kevlar added to his cell make-up, making his days as a bodyguard numbered. Artemis has to explain what he's done, how he's screwed up and figure out what has to be done to save the faerie people.

A plan is set up to get the cube back from Spiro.  However, while Artemis is coming up with a plan, Spiro has hatched his own plan and contracted with the mob to bring Artemis in.  Luckily for Artemis, the dwarf, Mitch Diggums, is one of the mob's men. Because of their history, Mitch doesn't want to harm Artie and joins forces with him, the Butlers and the Lower Elements Police.

Once again, Artemis gets involved in a huge caper, depending upon the kindness of others to get him out of whatever horrible mess he's gotten himself and everyone else into. He is finally developing a moral compass and becoming  so much more human, which I found very pleasing.  However, the book leaves his future open before him with the distinct possibility that next time out he could be just as rotten as he was at the very beginning of the series, and that would be a shame.  The other characters have definitely become more sympathetic, but Artemis, although constantly improving, is still the least likable of the bunch.  I'm crossing my fingers that Mr. Colfer keeps Artie on his present path.  I really despised Artemis in the first book. I continued with the series because of how much I liked the other characters and was so pleased that Artemis either improved, or started to grow on me. I've enjoyed his progress and I'd really hate to seem him fall back on his old ways.

And, here's a link to an interview with the author, Eoin Colfer.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

interesting, thanks for sharing.