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Monday, September 3, 2012

The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8) by Eoin Colfer

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.

Released: July 10th, 2012        Pages: 328
Publisher: Hyperion                Source: Library

How does one review an Artemis Fowl book? 
Where do I even start?  I haven't ever reviewed one of these before, so I haven't ever had this problem.  Because Eoin Colfer is a genius.  Seriously.  He's written a book series that is so good, I can't possibly begin to do it justice with a review.  So this review will probably be more like a rant. 
In this series, you can't help but love the characters.  Throughout the first seven books, each of them has grown.  They've changed (just like real people!  *gasp*) and in some cases (Hi, Arty!), matured.  Example A: Artemis Fowl is a nice guy who wants to do good in the world.  In the first book, he was a greedy little preteen who kidnapped fairies.  And yet...Colfer laid the groundwork for this current Artemis all along.  There were little hints all along the way to show us...maybe Artemis isn't a horrible person at heart.  Maybe, just maybe, he did the wrong things for the right reasons.*
“Either that boy is the sanest creature on Earth...or he is so disturbed that our tests cannot even begin to scratch the surface.” 
Oh, Artemis.  Your characterization is simply brilliant, and I am forever in awe of Colfer's character development skills.  I don't know of a better way to sum that up. 
The other major thing I love about Artemis Fowl books is the signature Eoin Colfer humor.  This book made me laugh out loud.  Literally.  Even more so than the other Artemis Fowl books.  The series is intense and suspenseful and action-packed, but yet there's always room for something hilarious.  Always. 
What truly brought this book together, though, was the sheer level of emotion.  There were moments that might have had me crying, if I was that type of reader.  You'd think that the words "touching moment" and "Artemis Fowl" would never be found remotely near one another, but....  It's like that moment in Inheritance, when you finally realize just who Murtagh is in love with.  You want to go and grab some random passerby and shout this glorious news at someone.  You want to go cry for a decade or two.  You want to give Murtagh a good, hearty slap.  And you want to high-five the author.  All at the same time. 
Eoin Colfer masters this same technique of taking the reader's heart, ripping it to shreds, then putting it back together.  Like....
“Artemis looked at Holly and felt a tremendous affection for her... he could properly appreciate how fierce and beautiful his best friend was...
She is truly magical, thought Artemis. Perhaps her qualities are more obvious to me now that I have decided to sacrifice myself.”
Aww, that's cute.  But wait!  There's more!  Before I got my hands on a copy of this, I decided to look at the quotes on Goodreads.  Just to see what witty, amusing things were in store for me.  In addition to amusement, I found stuff like this:
“Don't hate me forever, Arty," whispered Holly. "I couldn't bear that.” 
Which then begs the question...what on Earth is going on?  But when I read the book, it made sense. 
“How could you...? How?"
"Logically you have no right to be angry. I simply followed your lead."
...He is really going through with it.  "No," she managed.
"There is no other way.”
And then, I was reading along, and Artemis came to a decision.  I slammed the book shut, and I was basically like "No.  This is not happening.  This will not happen."  Then I opened it again,
The ending.  Oh my goodness, the ending.  Who would've known Artemis would pull something like that?  It was a spectacular ending to the series.  The ending was actually surprisingly Pendragon-esque.  Something I like to call "the loop ending".  In one of my other reviews, I described the end of Pendragon like this: "OH-MY-GOODNESS-WHAT-IN-HALLA-JUST-HAPPENED, Oh-that's-adorable!, I-DON'T-UNDERSTAND-THIS-AT-ALL-BUT-I-LOVE-IT-ANYWAY....NO-WAIT-IT'S-PERFECT!"  The end of the entire Artemis Fowl series was a bit in this same vein, for me.  Just maybe without the "I don't understand this" part. 
And here lies the end of my rant review.  This book is awesome, people.  I didn't even begin to do it justice.  The series is awesome.  Just...go read it.  Please. 
*By the way, this is an interesting concept that I'm pretty sure will be a major theme of my next book.  I also think that pretty soon, I'll announce what this next book is, in case you are wondering.

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  1. I know, right? Eoin Colfer is a master storyteller. At the end, I couldn't tell if I wanted to laugh, cry, or scream. It rocked my world off its hinges. (If metaphorical worlds HAVE hinges.) I don't understand how my friends have never heard of this series.

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post:
    Artemis Fowl + that ending = epic.

  2. Yay! I was wondering if you'd do a review on it :)
    I've read the series so many times, yet I still get choked up (and into hysterical laughter). And Eoin's writing style is so unique too ^_^
    Actually, I think I need to go and read it again now :)


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