WARNING: If you haven't read Artemis Fowl, book one in the Artemis Fowl series, then it would probably be a good idea to stay away from this review.
The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl #2) by Eoin Colfer
The world's youngest, brightest, and most dangerous criminal mastermind is BACK.
Artemis Fowl receives an urgent e-mail from Russia. In it is a plea from a man who has been kidnapped by the Russian Mafiya: his father. As Artemis rushes to his rescue, he is stopped by a familiar nemesis, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. Now, instead of battling the fairies, Artemis must join forces with them if he wants to save one of the few people in the world he loves.
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"I love Artemis Fowl, I love Artemis Fowl," repeats Asher in a sing-song voice. So my favorite antihero has returned! Or rather I've returned for more of him! My first dive into the Artemis Fowl series left me stupefied and amazed. While things were a bit more mellow in this second book, it still packed a pretty hefty punch. I admit, it did take me a bit to submerse myself this time around, but once I'd read a few pages in, the book hooked its claws into me. And I have to say that I certainly missed Artemis Jr., Butler, and their nemeses - Captain Holly Short, Commander Julius Root, and Foaly, LEP's head techie!
Even though Artemis danced to a contrarily mellow tune in THE ARCTIC INCIDENT, his slight shift in demeanor didn't take away from his sheer brilliance, cunning, and inherent dry wit. Artemis is just as devious, as intelligent as before, only in this installment I got a closer look at his vulnerable side. As mentioned in the synopsis, his father's life is at stake, hence the emotional frailty. Still, Artemis isn't a blubber and he most certainly isn't stupid enough to go forth completely unguarded. And despite the fact that it was kind of nice to see that he isn't a total operator, completely devoid of emotions, I missed Artemis's supreme ruthlessness. It makes sense that he's prone to childlike sentiments given his age, but I missed Artemis, the brainy bad boy I know and love. I hope to see his - ha ha - inner Moriarty reemerge.
The action definitely climbed to new heights, which made it all the more intense and entertaining to read! This time part of the threat lies with the B'wa Kell goblin triad, who plan to override the Lower Elements Police force! Not to mention the dastardly threat of the Mafiya, and the chilling fact that their is a wicked mastermind orchestrating the destruction of the LEP! There was extensive goblin-fighting action, radioactive train-dodging, random appendage-severing, and added to that: alliances with old criminals and moments of unexpected heroism from one of my all-time favorite antiheroes!
Speaking of my beloved Artemis, I loved seeing the Holly-Artemis banter resume. There's nothing like watching a know-it-all get punched, again, in the face by his female archnemesis. Whoop! I love Holly! She's shrewd and marvelous at combat - especially when said combat involves guns. Plus, she has ridiculously awesome skills when it comes to piloting just about anything, be it LEP shuttles, wings, anything! I admire her so. Commander Root as comical as ever, though he'd turn beet-red if he ever heard. He's always looking to a pick a bone with someone and unleash his wrath. And I adored Foaly, LEP's technical genius, more than yesterday, as he's doubly equipped with super intellect and a penchant for being annoying. He's arrogant, with cause, and strangely paranoid of assassination and/or Mud Men - human - invasion (o_O). I can't help but love a character who wears a tinfoil hat all the time! And of course I can't forget Butler, who's as terrifying and intimidating as he was before! More than handy in a fight, clever, and honorable, Butler continues to be another of my favorite characters. I was immensely happy to see that he spoke up more in this novel.
Besides the sometimes bothersome pacing, I've got no true complaints for THE ARCTIC INCIDENT. Brimming with all of the best aspects of its predecessor, I'm pleased to report that this second novel did not disappoint. Rather its left me with unshakable excitement for the remaining books. I can't wait to watch Artemis grow not just age-wise but in intellect and as a character. Will he, somewhere along the way, turn into a hero? I'm dying to find out. Just like I can't wait to see a romance flourish between Artemis and Holly. I'm hoping for one - no, it's not guaranteed but merely implied, at least to my eyes. I can sense these things. With seven books already out, I'm more than ready to catch up!
Artemis grabbed her shoulders, for once abandoning his shell of icy composure. "Holly. Holly, speak to me. Your finger. Is it okay?"
Holly wiggled her fingers, then curled them into a fist.
"I think so," she said, and whacked Artemis right between the eyes. The surprised boy landed in the snowdrift for the third time that day. (154)