Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Artemis Fowl Files by Eoin Colfer – Book Review

Publisher’s write-up:

‘How much do you know about the infamous Artemis Fowl and the People? Become an expert on everything in Artemis’ world, with this hilarious and essential guide to the Artemis Fowl books.

·         Two brand-new short stories starring Mulch, the flatulent dwarf, and the irrepressible elf Holly      Short
·         Interview with all the characters
·         A complete guide to the fairy code
·         A spotter’s guide to the People
·         Fairy quiz: how to tell if you are a dwarf, troll, elf or pixie
·         Map of all fairy transport locations
·         Manual of Foaly’s inventions
·         Fairy word searches and crossword puzzles
·         Interview with Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl Files is an ancillary book in the Artemis Fowl octet written by the Irish author Eoin Colfer. It was released during the gap between the release of Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code and Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception.

It contains interviews, some puzzles, the Gnommish script decoder, interviews with the characters and the better part of the whole thing, two short stories. One of them is an event that takes place before the start of the series, which is Holly Short’s promotion to the rank of a captain and also her admission into the Recon. The second story, The Seventh Dwarf is a recollection of an event that takes place after the completion of book one but before Arctic Incident where Mulch and Artemis, together, try to steal a tiara.

I found the stories to be good, especially the first one – Holly was her usual self, as good as ever. While the idea of the second one was good, I felt it to be logically inconsistent – for in the Arctic incident, while neither Holly nor Artemis say anything to indicate that they’ve not met during the interim period, nevertheless, one of what Butler said was clearly indicating how he had no idea about Mulch after the Fowl Manor siege.

I found the additions, quite boring, especially when I read it after five years. Yes, when I was a thirteen year old, the puzzles, the flashy diagrams of Foaly’s inventions did have me fascinated but when I read it the second time, I found the interviews dull (did Colfer interview himself or did he get someone else to do it for him?), and I was particularly disappointed with the BIG REVEAL – that is the Gnommish script. Before reading the Files, I expected something different, something a little more complex, like Tengwar in The Lord of the Rings but Gnommish just happens to be the Latin script with different symbols and decoding requires no skill whatsoever.

While I liked the two stories, there is nothing special about this otherwise overpriced supposed ‘ultimate’ guide to the Artemis Fowl books. For the sake of those two short stories, I’d rate it a little more than ‘bad’, to a neither here nor there rating – that is five on ten.

Rating – 5/10

Have a nice day,

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