Monday, 16 July 2012
Review: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer
Release date: 10 July 2012
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Summary (taken from Goodreads):
Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi.
In The Last Guardian, the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has somehow reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis’s little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don’t seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died—a battle against Artemis—is long over.
Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand?
New York Times best-selling author and comic genius Eoin Colfer will leave Artemis Fowl fans gasping up to the very end of this thrilling finale to the blockbuster series.
While I am a big Artemis Fowl fan, the last Artemis book I truly loved was The Opal Deception (#4), as they seem to be getting progressively worse. Of course, after almost a decade of following Artemis and the gang on their adventures, there was no way I was going to stop now.
I found the first half rather boring and hard to get into. The emergency - and it's the biggest, most disastrous one yet - didn't alarm me at all. It somehow just lacked the spark of Colfer's earlier novels, and I was pretty disappointed. To be fair, the second half was much more gripping, and I was surprised to find myself getting quite emotional at the end, but that was due to my affection for the series as a whole, not The Last Guardian itself.
This just fell flat for me, like books 5-7 did. I think that after so many books, the formula is getting a little old: Mulch's flatulence saving the day, jabs at Artemis' physical weakness, Foaly's paranoia, etc. While I love these characters, nothing new is really brought to the table here aside from pretty concrete proof of Artemis' soft side, which was already clearly established in the previous novels. Opal Koboi is once again the villain, and while she was a lot of fun the first two or three times around, I'm beginning to tire of her as well. Basically, the plot felt pretty stale. The plot twists, and Artemis' ingenious plans to deal with them, were also probably the least interesting/brilliant yet, with the exception of the one at the very end.
Because this is book 8, at this point there is probably little my review can do to influence your book-reading decision. Either you've followed the series till now and will most likely feel obliged/excited to read the final installment as I did, or you haven't read them (or stopped earlier on) and won't get to this for a while. If the former, I still advise you to read it - you may like it more than I did, and as the final book it definitely deserves to be read. If the latter, I really suggest you read the first four! Though at that point you will in all likelihood want to read the rest out of sheer curiosity, and will find yourself in my exact position. All in all, the magic of the first few books is still worth it.
All in all, this was a bittersweet end to a wonderful series that probably should have ended a few books ago. Will always love Artemis Fowl and Eoin Colfer, and I'm really looking forward to reading his next series.