Artemis Fowl - The Arctic Incident

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Cover of Artemis Fowl - The Arctic Incident

Author: Eoin Colfer

Series: Artemis Fowl

Publisher: Puffin

Published in: 2002

Age Range: Pre Teens+

Period: Contemporary

Setting: Fairy Underworld / Arctic

Genres:  AdventureFriendshipHumorousMagic


  • Artemis Fowl the rich genius, son of an old family of criminals
  • Holly Short is a young (80-year-old) Fairy, Captain in the Lower Elements Police
  • Foaly is the centaur responsible for almost all Fairy technology
  • Butler is Artemis' manservant and bodyguard, devotedly loyal and almost fatherlike.


Artemis Fowl wants to find his father, held hostage in Russia; Holly Short wants to find who's supplying the goblins with human technology; Foaly wants to find out who's disabled all the LEP Technology and pointed the finger at him.

Artemis has received a ransom demand for his father but is captured by the LEP who suspect him of supplying the goblins with dangerous Human technology (batteries). He convinces them he's innocent and agrees to help them if they help him free his father. Meanwhile, a rogue fairy is trying to take over the underworld by hijacking the technology which powers the LEP weaponry and framing Foaly.

Holly brings in Mulch Diggums, the dwarf thief who helped them break into Artemis' mansion to recover their gold and who's now living the life of a reclusive millionaire in America.


Literary Quality: Artemis Fowl seems an unconvincing 13-year-old genius. Without doubt, he's a genius, but his behaviour would suit an older character, and the fact of his age is not especially important to the plot. The half-professional, half-affectionate relationship between him and his bodyguard, Butler, is awkward. It's not really a brains-and-brawn partnership, nor is it father-son in spite of the occasional moments of sentiment, nor is it a man-and-wise-servant situation.

Other than that, the story is interesting enough, continuing to trade on the well-blended mixture of Fairy Magic and High Tech, plus occasional flashes of genius from Artemis Fowl. The cop-and-robber tension present in Artemis Fowl between Artemis and Holly is absent in this second book, and the brief intimations that Artemis might be about to fall for the attractive Holly don't really impress.

Family: A surprisingly strong element in Artemis' life; in spite of the trouble this might bring, he tries to save his father's life and to keep his mother happy.

Crime: Artemis' family are generations-long clever criminals, and he has no scruples about using his genius to get money any way he can when he needs it. However, we learn that his father's last — disastrous — trip was above board.

The fairy shuttle port at Tara was an impressive operation. Ten thousand cubic metres of terminal concealed beneath an overgrown hillock in the middle of the McGraney farm.

For centuries, the McGraney's had respected the fairy fort's boundaries and, for centuries, they had enjoyed exceptional good luck. Illnesses mysteriously cleared up overnight. Priceless art treasures unearthed themselves with incredible regularity, and mad cow disease seemed to avoid their herds altogether.

Having solved her visa problem, Holly finally made her way to the security door and slipped through the holographic camouflage. She had managed to secure a set of Koboi DoubleDex for the trip. The rig ran on a satellite-bounced solar battery, and employed a revolutionary wing design. Foaly was reluctant to let them out because he hadn't designed them. Professional envy. Holly had taken advantage of his absence from the lab to swipe a set from the rack

Thursday 21st August 2003