Friday, March 15, 2013
Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian
Let me just say that finishing a series that I've invested so much in, both emotionally and time-wise, always comes as a shock. Some people call this feeling of being drained after reading a book a book hangover. Well, that book hangover is infinitely worse when it's an entire series.
When I read the final page of Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian yesterday evening, I closed the book and didn't really know what to do with myself. For a little more than a month now, I'd just close one book and begin the next. Granted, this experience is different than reading, oh, Harry Potter, because I was with that series from the beginning, so I had long waits between books. (Agonizing waits....) But even though I didn't have long to wait for any of the Artemis Fowl books, having gotten lucky at the library when almost the entire series was in at one time, I still don't really know what to do.
This series is not on the emotional level of Harry Potter, nor even quite as high as The Hunger Games. But I invested a lot of feeling in the characters. After the shaky start with the first two books, I was thrown headlong into the world of Artemis and the fairy people, and I really didn't think I could look back. Artemis, Holly, Butler, Foaly, and even Mulch became my friends. There are other characters, too, whom I came to know.
I don't even think I should share much of the storyline of The Last Guardian, because almost anything I share would be giving too much away. Suffice it to say that Artemis' arch nemesis, Opal Koboi, is back, and has an elaborate plan to infuse herself with enough dark magic to take over the world. And, of course, ground zero is the Fowl Estate in the countryside of Ireland.
Ten thousand years ago, where the Fowl Estate now stands, fairy warriors were buried at the Berserker Gate, their souls trapped by an immensely powerful enchantment until such time as someone opens the gate and floods the world with the power of Danu to rid the earth of all humans. At least, this is what Opal plans to do. And it's up to Artemis and friends to stop her.
Only this time, it truly may be the end for the small band.
Knowing the end of this book already (thanks to Maggie, which was totally okay) really didn't change how I felt while I was reading it. No, I didn't feel like my heart was ripped out or anything; it wasn't quite that powerful. But it was heart-wrenching all the same. When an author is able to write in a sacrifice correctly, I always applaud them. And in this case, Eoin Colfer did it well.
I do applaud you, Eoin Colfer, I really do. Your series was excellent, poignant, funny, and all too human. Do I think your books will ever reach the modern classic status of a few other children/teen series I've read? No. But that's okay. I think I like it better when the fandom is low key because then not everybody jumps on the bandwagon. So if no films are ever made, I'll be just fine with that. In fact, with the way Hollywood screws up books these days, we're all a lot better off without the adaptations.