Artemis Fowl (series)

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This article is about the series. For the first book, see Artemis Fowl (novel). For the main character, see Artemis Fowl II.
Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl first edition cover.jpg
First edition cover of the first book
Author Eoin Colfer
Language English
Genre Fantasy, Young adult
Publisher Viking Press/Disney Hyperion/ Puffin Books
Published 2001 – 2012
Media type Print (hardback & paperback), Audiobook

Artemis Fowl is a series of eight science fiction fantasy novels written by Irish author Eoin Colfer, featuring the titular Artemis Fowl II. A teenage criminal mastermind, Artemis captures Holly Short, who is a Fairy and a captain of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Recon), in the first book and holds her for ransom to exploit the magical Fairy People and restore his family's fortune. In the sequel, Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, he allies with the Fairies to rescue his father from the Russian Mafia. The series introduces Artemis as an anti-hero and the fairies' enemy, but as the series progresses, he assists the Fairies in resolving conflicts with worldwide ramifications, with Artemis' character developing and changing throughout the chronology. The series concluded with Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, released July 2012.

The series has received positive critical reception and generated huge sales. It has also originated graphic novel adaptations, and a film adaptation is currently in the writing process.

Series overview[edit]

Main series[edit]

Artemis Fowl[edit]

Main article: Artemis Fowl (novel)

Artemis Fowl is the first book in the Artemis Fowl series. It follows the adventures of Artemis Fowl, a twelve-year-old criminal mastermind, as he kidnaps a fairy for a large ransom of 24 carat gold with the help of his bodyguard, Domovoi Butler and his sister, Juliet Butler, to restore the Fowl family fortune. After multiple attempts by the LEP (Lower Elements Police) fairy police, including sending a dwarf called Mulch Diggums, it concludes with Artemis finally releasing Holly Short, the elf fairy that he kidnapped, and having his mother cured from madness(in exchange for half of the gold he got).

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident[edit]

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident is the second book of the series. It follows the rescue of Artemis' father Artemis Fowl I from the Russian Mafia, alongside the battle against the B'wa Kell goblin gang who have allied themselves with brilliant but maniacal, evil genius Opal Koboi and the now disfigured officer Cudgeon helping her out. Holly Short, an LEP captain, Julius Root, the LEP commander and Foaly, a centaur, recruit Artemis to help them stop the goblin rebellion, with the help of Mulch Diggums half-way through. In the end they help Artemis find his father who has been missing for 3 years.

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code[edit]

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code covers Jon Spiro's theft of the fictional C Cube and its recovery. Jon Spiro is an extremely dangerous businessman who has his bodyguard injure Butler and steals Artemis's C Cube, which was a supercomputer that he made from stolen fairy technology. Butler, after almost dying, is cured by the elf fairy, Holly Short, but they are attacked by a gang that Jon Spiro hired multiple times. One member of the group was actually the dwarf Mulch Diggums, who upon hearing that they would attack Fowl Manor, decides to abandon the group and help Artemis. With the help of the dwarf and Butler's sister, Juliet, they raid Spiro Needle, the building and company of Jon, and retrieve the C Cube again. It ends with the fairies and Foaly mindwiping the 3 humans, and Artemis gives to Mulch Diggums, a medallion that Holly gave to Artemis in The Arctic Incident, while secretly there was a disk inside of the medallion that would bring back his memories of the fairies.

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception[edit]

The fourth book, Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, covers pixie Opal Koboi's second attempt at world domination, after her first unfruitful attempt in the second novel. Koboi uses magic to persuade Giovanni Zito, a fictional environmentalist, to send a probe into the ground, which could lead to the uncovering the fairy world, thrusting the city haven for fairies into human clutches. In the process of stopping her, Commander Root is killed and the mind wiped Artemis and Butler are saved from her bio-bomb. The two have their memories restored from the medallion, and Mulch, Artemis, Holly and Butler take away the charges for the probe, as well as escaping trolls sent after them.

Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony[edit]

Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony involves bringing the demon island Hybras back from "Limbo," with the help of N°1, a powerful demon warlock. Artemis, Butler, Holly, Mulch and Foaly reunite after Artemis encounters a demon from the island Hybras, and Holly and Mulch capture the pixie fish smuggler Doodah Day. Foaly tells them about how after the Battle of Tailte, the war for land against fairy and human, the demon fairy family sent themselves out of time on the island Hybras, and that on their island their time can be anything on ours. The time spell is now breaking, and demons are appearing on earth without warning, and if the humans discovered the demons, they would uncover the rest of the fairies. Artemis and his now close friends go after the demon No1, who finds out that he is actually a demon warlock, and has extremely dangerous powers. They are stopped multiple times by the 12 year old prodigy Minerva Paradizo, who in the end joins them after a dangerous man called Billy Kong attacks. Artemis, Holly, No1 and a demon warlock that No1 frees from a statue called Qwan, accidentally travel through time and space to Hybras, where the leader Leon Abbot and his army of demons fight the elf, human and warlocks. They knock Leon unconscious and create a bomb explosion powerful enough for them to send the island back to earth, where 3 years have passed because of the time spell. It is noted that Artemis and Minerva are now very close in age. The book ends with Holly finding out that Mulch has recruited Doodah Day, and Artemis finds out that he is the brother of the toddlers, Myles and Beckett.

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox[edit]

The sixth book of the series, Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox, was released in the United Kingdom on 7 August 2008 and in the United States on 15 July 2008. Artemis' mother, Angeline Fowl, becomes ill with Spelltropy, and the only cure lies in the brain fluids of the silky sifaka lemur, the last of which Artemis selfishly killed when he was ten to procure money to fund the expedition to search his father. N°1 sends Artemis and Holly to the past, where Artemis must battle his former self to recover the last silky sifaka lemur before the younger Artemis kills it in a business transaction with Damon Kronski, the leader of the Extinctionists. Things get more complicated when Opal Koboi is revealed to be controlling the Extinctionists, feeding on the fluids of many extremely rare animals, in order to grant her special abilities and extraordinary prowess in certain fields. The chase finally leads to the two Artemises reaching an agreement, whereupon they are teleported to the future. Near to the ending it is revealed that Koboi possessed Angeline Fowl.

Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex[edit]

Artemis contracts Atlantis Complex, the fairy equivalent of a combination of obsessive compulsive disorder, extreme paranoia, and multiple personality disorder.[1] The story follows Turnball Root, the criminal brother of Julius Root breaking out of Atlantis jail and sending probes to destroy his enemies, including Artemis, his fairy friends and Butler, whom Artemis sent away due to paranoia being one of the symptoms of Atlantis Complex. After Butler, Artemis and his fairy friends reunite, along with being saved by Mulch Diggums from a gang of dwarfs sent by Turnball, they hunt down Turnball, tracking him with a computer orb connected to the probes that Artemis found underwater, along with being attacked by a giant squid-like creature, and find out that Turnball has kidnapped demon warlock No1 to force him to reverse the aging of Turnball's wife, Leoner. In the end, Leoner and Turnball are killed in an explosion and Artemis is sent to a fairy clinic to be cured of Atlantis Complex.

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian[edit]

The final book of the series, Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, was released on 10 July 2012.[2][3] Opal Koboi opens the Berserker's Gate, a portal located on the Fowl estate, behind which dwell the spirits of Fairy soldiers, the last victims of the Battle of Tailte, the final blow in the war that sent the Fairy People underground. Artemis, after his last session of being cured of Atlantis Complex, rushes to stop her along with Holly and Butler. They fail, and Opal opens the first gate, which releases the spirits of the warriors who begin to possess other people and animals around them, including corpses, animals, and Artemis's toddler brothers, Myles and Beckett. After escaping Opal and the possessed beings, they are helped by Mulch Diggums, and they attempt stop Opal from opening the second gate, which destroys every human on the surface. While doing so, they battle (reluctantly) Artemis's possessed toddler brother Myles, who reveals to them Opal's plan after the fairy warrior spirit left his body. While they fight, Opal has also sent a dangerous fake present to Foaly's wife to make him suffer. Her plan fails when Foaly comes to save her from goblins that Opal sent as well. Artemis and his friends fail to destroy the second gate with a laser he created, and Mulch saves them from possessed pirate corpses by riding the oldest troll in the world and knocking out most of them, causing the spirits of fairy warriors to leave their bodies to heaven. They then enter Fowl Manor where Artemis decides to sacrifice himself in order to stop Opal from opening the second gate. Foaly sends the clone of Opal that she created in the 4th book, and using her hand he is able to make the clone close the gates since the magic recognizes the clone's DNA as Opal's. Everyone in that area, including the spirits, immediately go to heaven, excluding Artemis, who uses sheer willpower to stay on earth. 6 months later, with the saliva that Artemis produced when he kissed Holly on the forehead, they extract his DNA and make a clone of Artemis Fowl, which is then taken to the now overgrown gate. Artemis' spirit then takes control of the clone, and is human once more.

Other works[edit]

Published 4 October 2004, The Artemis Fowl Files is a companion book to the series.

Electronic Arts has brought the first six books in the series to the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi as parts in its Flips kids' range which was released 4 December 2009.[7]

"Artemis Fowl: The Seventh Dwarf" is a story written for World Book Day[8] set between the first and second books.

The audiobooks were narrated by Nathaniel Parker.[9] Adrian Dunbar and Enn Reitel narrated certain versions from different audiobook companies.

Film adaptation[edit]

In 2001 plans were announced for a film adaptation of the series.[10] Miramax Films was named as purchasing the film rights, with Lawrence Guterman signed to direct.[11] In 2003 Colfer stated that a screenplay had been finalized and that casting was due to start the same year, but expressed skepticism over whether or not this would come to pass.[12] Colfer also revealed the film was in pre-production.[13] The film remained in development and was assumed to be in development hell until 2011, when it was reported that Jim Sheridan was interested in directing the movie.[14][15]

In July 2013, Walt Disney Pictures announced that an Artemis Fowl film covering the events of the first and second novels of the series would be produced by Disney and Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company, with the screenplay developed by Michael Goldenberg (Peter Pan, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal signed onto the project as executive producers.[16]

On September 1, 2015, Variety reported that Kenneth Branagh had been hired to direct the film for Disney, with Irish playwright Conor McPherson as screenwriter and Judy Hofflund as an executive producer.[17][18] Eoin Colfer confirmed this in a video to Artemis Fowl Confidential,[19] and spoke with RTE Radio 1 about meeting Branagh several times to discuss this prior to the announcement.[20]

Major characters[edit]

Artemis Fowl[edit]

Main article: Artemis Fowl II

Artemis Fowl II uses his intelligence to build his family fortune through crime. This stems from his family, who have been criminals for generations.[21] Artemis is cold, cynical and often outright ruthless in his manipulation of people for his own ends. Following his father's presumed death at the hands of the Russian Mafia, and his mother's subsequent descent into madness, Artemis stopped attending his boarding school, assumed control of the Fowl criminal empire and embarked on a crime spree to restore the family fortune and fund Arctic expeditions to rescue his father. His investigation into the supernatural eventually leads him into contact with the People in the first book. Due to a strict upbringing, and a lack of any intellectual equals to ground him, Artemis is socially awkward, his best friend and bodyguard Butler being one of the few individuals who Artemis trusts. He is very pale with raven black hair and blue eyes. In The Lost Colony, he and Holly Short switch eyes, leaving him with one blue eye and one hazel eye. Artemis is famed for his intelligence; he claims to have the "highest IQ tested in Europe", but is also known for a lack of coordination and athletic ability. Throughout the series, he learns profound morals from the Fairy People and becomes more compassionate and trustworthy, but still maintains much of his intelligence.


Butler is the Fowl's loyal manservant and Artemis' bodyguard, and accompanies him around the world on his adventures. He is the third most skilled martial artists on the planet (the first is a monk on a Pacific Island and the second is his uncle, the deceased bodyguard of Artemis Fowl I), a formidable marksman and has immense experience of the criminal underworld, often providing help for his charge through his many contacts. He also has a little sister, Juliet, who appears in some of the books. Butler is rendered clinically dead temporarily in The Eternity Code, but is rescued by the ingenuity of his principal and the healing powers of Holly Short.

Holly Short[edit]

Main article: Holly Short

Holly is a determined, forthright elf and the only female captain of LEPrecon, the recon division of the LEP (Lower Elements Police). Holly is three feet tall and slender, with nut brown skin and crew-cut style auburn hair. She has helped Artemis save the world on countless occasions, and is one of Artemis's only friends.


Main article: Foaly

Foaly is a centaur, technical genius, and computer geek. He works for the LEP, the fairy authorities, and is in charge of preventing humankind from discovering the fairy civilization. He designs most of the weaponry, wings, and other technical gadgets that the LEP use, such as the 'Iris Cam'. His sarcasm and talkative nature often annoys LEP officers, though his greatest pleasure outside of his engineering is aggravating the notoriously bad-tempered Commander Root. He 'hitches' or marries a centaur named Caballine in The Lost Colony while Captain Short and Artemis are in Limbo, and apparently has foals. He has a rivalry with Opal Koboi, which she sporadically mentions throughout her dialogue.

Opal Koboi[edit]

Main article: Opal Koboi

Opal is a deranged, paranoid pixie whose dream is world-domination and the destruction of the LEP. A prodigy, she built Koboi Laboratories, a technology company, which she used to crush her father's company. Featured in several of the Artemis Fowl books as the main antagonist. She detests Foaly, as he won a science competition in college over her, and she believes the judges chose Foaly instead just because he was male.

Mulch Diggums[edit]

Main article: Mulch Diggums

Mulch is a kleptomaniac, criminal dwarf who has been involved in crime for about 300 years. When considered with the average Dwarf life span he is not that old, making him nice and spry, a good advantage for a criminal. He once was a mining dwarf, but later decided that stealing from Mud Men (in other words, humans) suited him much better. Because he has stolen from 'Mud Men' Mulch no longer has any significant magic powers of the usual fairy, however he has retained the gift of tongues, and has even shown his ability to speak 'American Dog' in the The Arctic Incident. He insists that humans were stealing from fairy-kind and the earth and that he is simply taking them back or repossessing the items. In the early books, he assisted the LEP against Artemis Fowl, although later, he sides with Artemis Fowl. But eventually, when the fairies and Artemis are on stable ground, he joins forces with The People on many adventures, acting as a LEP helper at the beginning of The Time Paradox.

Julius Root[edit]

Julius Root commanded the reconnaissance branch of the LEP, and was in charge of all activities related to the tracking of those who leave fairy civilization, to prevent them making contact with humans. Known for his ruddy face (hence his nickname, "Beetroot") and extremely short temper, he led the LEPrecon on missions until Koboi killed him using an explosive in The Opal Deception and framed Holly Short. He taught Holly to do what is right, even if it means to stop being a LEP captain and instead become a major, being confined to deskwork. However, Root also seems to have been a lot like Holly Short when he was younger; a book states that Holly Short had recently beat the speed record, a speed record that had been set 500 years ago by Julius Root. Julius Root seemed to hate it when Foaly called him by his first name. Julius Root also had a brother, Turnball Root, who was the main antagonist for the seventh book.

Briar Cudgeon[edit]

Antagonist, plans to overthrow Commander Root along side Opal Koboi who he plans to kill.


Colfer has said in interviews that the series is about Artemis growing up.[22] Themes of greed, trust, and the difference between good and evil are also present in the books.

Critical reception[edit]

Colfer summed up the series as "Die Hard with fairies."[23] Critics call the series "the new Harry Potter",[24] although Colfer does not agree.[25] Kate Kellaway of The Observer called the first book "a smart, amusing one-off. It flashes with hi-tech invention – as if Colfer were as much an inspired boffin as a writer".[25] said, "Artemis Fowl is pacy, playful, and very funny, an inventive mix of myth and modernity, magic and crime",[26] while The New York Times Book Review said that "Colfer has done enormously, explosively well".[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Atlantis Complex, Artemis Fowl #7. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Eoin Colfer signs three-book deal with Disney Publishing Worldwide". Gamut News. 24 May 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (16 February 2012). "Exclusive excerpt: Artemis Fowl Book 8, 'The Last Guardian'". USA Today. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Artemis Fowl #2: The Arctic Incident Graphic Novel". Amazon. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Artemis Fowl #3: The Eternity Code Graphic Novel". Amazon. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Artemis Fowl #4: The Opal Deception Graphic Novel". Amazon. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Jon Jordan (10 September 2009). "EA brings Artemis Fowl, Too Ghoul For School, Cathy Cassidy and The Magic Faraway Tree to DS". Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  8. ^ YouTube – Eoin Colfer reads from The 7th Dwarf (World Book Day 2004). Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "Audiobooks narrated by Nathaniel Parker". Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Court, Ayesha (8 August 2002). "Author's 'Fowl' play includes sequel, movie". USA Today. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Miramax Has Rights To Make Movie Of Book Artemis Fowl'". Star-News. 19 February 2003. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "A moment with ... 'Artemis Fowl' author Eoin Colfer". Seattle PI. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Artemis Fowl Movie Casting". Eoin Colfer - Author. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  14. ^ "Irish fantasy role raises Saoirse's elf esteem". Irish Independent. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Artemis Fowl Film Attracts Director Jim Sheridan And Star Saoirse Ronan". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Vejvoda, Jim. "Disney, Harvey Weinstein Team for Artemis Fowl Movie Adaptation". IGN. 
  17. ^ "Artemis Fowl Confidential Eoin Colfer Interview (August 2008)". Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  18. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 1, 2015). "Kenneth Branagh Developing 'Artemis Fowl' Adaptation for Disney". Variety. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  19. ^ Wall, Matt (September 2, 2015). "Eoin Colfer reacts to the Artemis Fowl Movie announcement". YouTube. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  20. ^ Wall, Matt (September 2, 2015). "Eoin Colfer on RTE Radio 1 talking about the Artemis Fowl Movie". Artemis Fowl Confidential. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  21. ^ Colfer, Eoin (26 April 2001). Artemis Fowl. Artemis Fowl series. Viking Press. pp. 28—29. ISBN 0-670899623. OCLC 46493219. 
  22. ^ Al's Book Club for Kids: Author Eoin Colfer Discusses "Artemis Fowl" (Television production). Today New York Studio: NBC news. 1 August 2008. Event occurs at 03:20. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  23. ^ Frederick, Heather Vogel (23 April 2001). "'Die Hard' With Fairies". Publishers Weekly. 248 (17). Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  24. ^ "Film Runs Afoul on Artemis – Fi Sci – Your Source for Sci Fi Goodness – Sci fi/ Fantasy News". Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Kellaway, Kate (13 May 2001). "Elf and happiness". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  26. ^ Shields, Elinor (7 May 2011). "A Magical Myth". Time Magazine. Vol. 157 no. 18. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  27. ^ Maguire, Gregory (17 June 2001). "Children's Books". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 

External links[edit]