- Paperback: 326 pages
- Publisher: Puffin; 8 edition (10 July 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141344334
- ISBN-13: 978-0141344331
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 358 g
- Customer Reviews: 576 customer ratings
Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian Paperback – 10 July 2012
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About the Author
Browbeaten by constant encouragement from his family, Eoin continued to write as an adult. His first novel, Benny and Omar, was an instant bestseller in Ireland, and Artemis Fowl, his first book featuring the brilliant young anti-hero, was an immediate international bestseller. It was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year and was winner of both the WH Smith 'People's Choice' Children's Book of the Year and of the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year.
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Top international reviews
First of all, thanks to Eoin Colfer for putting together a truly imaginativeand memorable series. Some of it has required some serious concentration to disentangle the story, a great deal of suspension of disbelief, and sometimes an infuriating resorting to convenient story lines to get from one point to another (my personal bugbear was the squandered opportunity of Artemis' memory wipe circa book 3 which could have led to all sorts of fun and conflict, but was reversed far too quickly)
But what has kept me hooked throughout is the development of character and elegance of writing style. Artemis Fowl starts as a precocious, mean spirited, cold and calculating 11 year old who sees an opportunity to gain supremacy at the expense of an entire race of people. It takes considerable literary guile to develop him into a multi-faceted and admirable anti-hero who ,by the end of AFLG, has no hesitation in carrying out the ultimate act of selflessness. I've also been drawn in by the colourful and sharp-witted team around him, his loyal elf ally Holly Short, ever self-sacrificing bodyguard Butler, and the many characters who 've come and gone along the way. The death of Holly's commander Julius Root was a poignant and painful reminder that this was no child's play that Artemic Fowl frequently found himself drawn into.
Mulch is welcome light relief here as he has frequently been. It has been noted that his appearances in AFLG have been somewhat convenient for our heroes' escape from peril, but there has rarely been a literary hero who hasn't relied on a little luck to emerge victorious.
To the book itself, and with some relief I read the first few pages to be met with the reassurance that, following the disturbing lack of our hero through Atlantis Complex, (I've reviewed that elsewhere, and found it more than a little disappointing) Artemis is well and truly back with us, and this time we're straight into the action as all the jetsetting and dimension-hopping has been discarded in favour of getting back to the place it all started, the Fowl Manor outside Dublin, where super villainess Opal Koboi is preparing her ultimate plan for world domination. In true Mission Impossible 4 style, our heroes are cut off from their high-tech support system and have to rely on their own wits and courage to save the day.
Unlike some of the other books, I found the narrative quite straightforward and direct this time. No space-time continuum quandaries or paradoxes to deal with here. There are enough clues from the start to piece together how Artemis will try and outwit his opponent, but it is still satisfying to see him stay one step intellectually of everyone including his firends, and they all recognise this, but this matured Artemis recognises also the qualities of his friends that he has come to rely on in his many adventures.
I've noticed that some were hoping for more loose ends to be tied up - I'm not sure this necessarily leads to a more 'satisfying' conclusion than otherwise it might be. JRR Tolkein spent a lot of time on loose ends with LOTR and that just resulted in a great story that went on for far too long. Would we be happier if the last chapter of AFLG hadn't been written? Is 'The Sopranos' any less of a TV show given that we never find out what happens to Tony? Personally, I think the nuanced and complex relation ship between Artemis and Holly makes far more interesting reading than any Mills and Boon nonsense.
So, 5 stars to Eoin Colfer for delivering the characters we love, doing what they do best, and for coming up with the goods with AFLG after coming off the rails a bit with the previous book. Artemis Fowl, boy genius, we'll miss you
There are some great ideas here in this last book, but there's not time to develop them. The potentially fascinating idea of Earth grounding to a halt after the destruction of all technology unknowingly reverse-engineered from Fairy tech is never explored beyond a single paragraph as Colfer seems to be only interested in getting to the end as fast as possible and putting this successful series behind him forever. I critisized The Atlantis Complex for being 'phoned-in'. That isn't the case here, but you can still tell that he's grown tired for the character.
It is still a mostly satisfying ending, but I really would have liked the love between Artemis and Holly to finally come to something, but it doesn't. The end goal is all Colfer is interested in, and while it's a fun ride getting there I can't help but feel if his heart was in it more it could have been the explosive finale that the series deserved.
No one will really be disappointed, though I would have preferred a slightly slower pace and a bit more room for developing (and finishing off) characters we have been following for 10 years.
It has included faeries and pixies, trolls and demons....as well as cool bodyguards and dangerous adventures....Through it all Artemis has been a dangerous criminal mastermind.....fleet of mind but not of body.....his childhood has been one big adventure....
However, Artemis has changed through the stories....he has developed friendships and now seems more loyal to those around him....he cares!....
In this story we see the last of Artemis....its an epic adventure to save the world from Opal Koboi evil pixie.....and to save Atemis's two little brothers...Myles and Beckett....both as interseting as Artemis but only four years old.....
We meet all the usual characters from Mulch to Holly and they just can't help working together as a team...Butler and Juliet are there too, of course...
So, what else is there to say except READ THESE BOOKS!! start at the beginning and don't stop .....I've loved every story and I am sorry to see them end....but maybe.....just maybe ...... we could now start on more of the adventures of Myles and Beckett????? I hope so.....
The story was enjoyable from start to finish - once again I had difficulty in putting down the book as the story was so intense. I carried the book everywhere so that I did not waste a minute.
I am sad that Artemis has now grown up and "retired" as his adventures were entralling to read, and always guaranteed to make you gasp in wonder or laugh out loud. All the characters were unique and believable.
Thank you for giving me entertainment and laughter for many years. I hope Eoin Colfer can provide us with another series to continue.
Great sadness comes in to play at the end, and there are many moments where characters make important decisions to save others. The whole adventure is fraught with a new kind of peril, one that threatens the entire world in a very real way. This book really does bring Artemis close to utter defeat, and a battle of intelligence between Artemis and the devious Opal Koboi runs throughout. The beginning is top class, the content creates great tension as well as featuring some particularly spectacular action scenes and the ending is both heartbreaking and fantastic at the same time.
Read this book if you are a fan of Artemis.
Read this book if you are a fan of adventure.
Read this book if you are ready for the ride of your life!
Yes, we do see a revisiting of all our favourite casts from this series and even if for brief couple of pages, it was enough to sate one's curiosity as to the future of certain characters. As always Eoin Colfer brings each character spectacularly to life with the odd but dynamic group interactions between the humans and fairies. Eoin has upped the pace of this last and final book with the in book time span being a little more than 24 hours. Readers will be held by the fast paced action and won't want to stop reading till the adventure is all done.
However, the disappointments do become more noticeable as you read on. My main issue is with Artemis Fowl himself. It has been great to watch this anti hero grow up across the previous books, but in this final instalment it is disappointing to see his intellect pale in comparison to his younger days. One can argue that his intelligence is still there (as he does pull off, rather spectacularly, one last trick out of the hat in the concluding chapters), but rather he had lost a lot of his initial ambitiousness which truly defined him in the earlier days.
I do not wish to admit this, but the premises that Mulch Diggums just so happens to be at the right (or wrong) place and the right time just doesn't quite explain his increasing presence at Artemis's side. I do love reading when Mr Diggums enters the fray, yet one too many times he 'just so happens' to be there that it can no longer be considered coincidence. I just feel that this lovable character could deserve a different dynamic entry of sorts.
Overall, a good book, but not necessarily one that would captivate a first time reader of the Artemis Fowl series thus author Eoin Colfer deploys a rather genius technique towards the end(as hinted by the last few line of the ending). Albeit a bit rushed, this book does a nice job wrapping up most loose ends. An interesting ending(?) to the series.
It pains me to say this, it really does, but for the first time ever Eoin Colfer has, as an author, disappointed me.
Don't get me wrong, the final adventure is superb: an end-of-the-world armageddon-tastic adrenaline rush fit to round off the whole series. Artemis's considerable intellect is called into action to devise an ingenious plan, Holly's determination and field skills are required to pull the heroes over seemingly-unassailable obstacles, Mulch's numerous and varied dwarf talents are at the forefront of every scrape the motley crew get into, Foaly's technical expertise saves the band's (and several others' besides) skins, and Butler kicks butt. The pacing and dialogue are up to Colfer's usual outstanding (an oxymoron?) standards, and the story is the kind of melodramatic, outlandish nonsense we love (yes, that was a compliment) which nicely finishes a series that started when I was but a wee nipper.
Unfortunately, what pains me and angers me and infuriates me is not any of those things above, for those are what Eoin Colfer has always excelled at, but is the simple fact that almost none of the major story arcs which have taken more than one book to build up was resolved.
To my mind, it should be a capital offence to write a book series and leave plot threads hanging loose, on which the reader should "make up their own mind". I mean, I never expected a C.H.E.R.U.B.-style complete map of each and every character's, no matter how minor, life after the events of the series; but at the same time, I didn't foresee a Series of Unfortunate Events-style abrupt ending which answers none of the questions posed by the author throughout the books and which simply leaves the reader thinking the worst thought someone can think about any creative output: "is that it?" I'm ashamed to say it but I genuinely flicked straight past the sneak preview of Colfer's next book hoping for the rest of the book. As another reviewer elsewhere has put it, "if you're looking for closure, you won't get it". For me, it is not the story which has ended - Eoin Colfer has simply picked a point somewhere well before that end and said "I'll stop here", regardless of what else needs to be told.
A very entertaining read, thoroughly enjoyable and definitely worth getting to have the well-that's-over-with feeling, but with an ending which is sure to leave you wanting something more substantive.
It is a shame that this was the last book in this amazing series, but 'The Last Guardian' was an amazing read; Colfer keeps to all the things that have made Artemis Fowl brilliant throughout the years and provides a satisfying conclusion with an exciting plot with twists and sudden turns, making for a good read, as well as giving every character some focus and allowing us to see them at their absolute best.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to any Fowl fans as it is a fitting and satisfying farewell to a genuinely fantastic series.