Summer Series: The Fowl Twins
By Eoin Colfer
This is my last sci-fi / fantasy summer review. It's time to hit the books, head back to school. Next week, and for the month of September, I'll feature reviews of back-to-school and school related titles.
I've never reviewed an Artemis Fowl book because my kiddos read through them at an alarming speed early on (in elementary school) and by the time I was book blogging, they were in high school and totally out of the series. But I saw this at the library, pre-COVID shutdown, and thought, ah, what the heck, I'd give it a shot for old times sake.
It was far better than I remember the Artemis books being!
The premise was already well-established. The Fowl twins are Artemis' younger brothers, all born to a crime-boss family whose father turned his life around, not really, but at least 120-degrees to a slightly more above-board approach to life, although you can never forget all the enemies you've made as a crime boss, so you educate and prepare the heck out of your kids in case they're ever kidnapped.
Which sounds great, until the Fowl parents do the "incredibly stupid-parent thing" and leave the twins alone with NANNI, the family AI that manages all their compound security.
Eleven-year-old Fowl twins Myles (the brains) and Beckett (the brawn) are playing on the beach -- do these boys actually play? No. Well, they're on the beach of the Irish coast where their parental compound is located, when a "toy" troll burrows up from the inner depths of the earth and splutters onto the sand.
Beckett sees it immediately after nefarious criminal mastermind Lord Teddy Bleedham-Dry (wink! wink!) shoots it with a shrink-wrap bullet, that wraps the little guy in plastic and Beckett mistakes it for an action figure. A plastic toy. He names it Whistle Blower.
NANNI senses the gunshot and whisks the boys off to the saferoom, via drones, with the troll still tucked in Beckett's pocket, and issues a full-blast EMP.
Fairy Lazuli Heitz, a specialist with the Lower Elements Police Force, just happens to see it all happen and ... makes Dalkey Island, the entire Island, disappear. Using super-advanced fairy technology, of course. Or you can just call it magic and leave it at that. It's her duty to retrieve the troll, at any cost. Well, not any, but a lot of cost, most of it to her career, if she gets this wrong. Plus, the EMP did a number on her regenerative suit, so she can't fly -- not until her suit recharges. Which takes forever.
Lord Bleedham-Drye is perturbed, and the disappearance of the entire island sets of the radar of one nun who's out to prove the existence of fairies and exploit them. Soon Sister Jeronima Gonzalez-Ramos de Zarate is on the Fowl doorstep and kidnaps the boys, while Lord Bleedham-Drye bides his time, like a true hunter.
They both seriously underestimate Myles and Beckett, time after time.
I won't go any further than this, but it was full of truly smart twists and turns and a few I didn't see coming. My daughter read it, but it's a bit young for her now.
Enjoy this light summer read, especially if you caught the Artemis Fowl movie release on Disney Plus earlier this year! We didn't, but I've explained it's a bit beyond my two kiddos by now, and we generally don't watch movies we know are based on books, ever. My daughter says they ruin the "pictures" in her mind from reading the books. Think Percy Jackson. For us, it's better to play it safe and just abstain.
The Fowl Twins, by Eoin Colfer
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