Saturday, 1 December 2012
Audio Review: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Author: Eoin Colfer Website|Twitter
Narrator: Nathaniel Parker IMDB
Published: 15 July 2002 (BBC)
Format: Audio download
Running time: 6 hours approx.
Amazon: Audio CD|Alternative Narrator
Waterstone's: Audio CD|Alternative Narrator
Source: Borrowed from e-library
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories—they're dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.
I first read this book as a kid and I have only fond memories of this and the other books I read from the series, but I was a little rusty on the book after so long! When I saw my library had the e-book available to download I just had to check it out. Artemis Fowl is a gifted twelve-year-old, highly intelligent and willing to use that intelligence to get what he wants, which in this case is knowledge of the fairy universe.
I was instantly won over by the narration of this story. Nathaniel Parker has a fantastic voice and I was totally drawn in to the story. What impressed me most was the wide range of accents. We have Artemis and his assistant Butler who are Irish, as well as British, American and even Chinese accents which all sounded flawless! This book has a great sense of humour about it and that sarcasm really came through in the narration. Each character's attitude came across perfectly. There wasn't anything I could find fault with in the narration!
Listening to the story really made me feel like I was immersed in the wonderfully imaginative world this book takes place in. We have the human world, from Ireland to China, as well as the deep underground layers of the Earth where the fairy race resides. Each place felt vivid and exciting.
Upon writing this review I saw that another narrator has done the abridged version of this book. This unabridged version seems slightly harder to track down but I'd highly recommend it!
Audio rating: 5/5
I've recapped the plot above so I'll jump straight in to what I thought of it! What I really enjoyed was the way the story flits between Artemis' point of view and other characters, mainly Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon unit. Both characters had really great voices and it was great seeing both sides of the story, from the good side and the bad side! It made the drama even more exciting.
The world the book takes place in really draws you in There's something for everyone and it makes fantasy fun. Colfer has created this fantastic way of giving each race of creature different personality traits etc. that shakes it up and makes it feel really unique. I loved all the magic, fairies, centaurs and gnomes contrasting nicely against the human world Artemis himself inhabits.
The humour is one of the strong points of the book. I was laughing throughout and the sarcasm was fantastic. Artemis himself is so intelligent that he comes out with some brilliant snippets, but Holly Short was definitely my favourite character. Her observations on the world were witty as well as getting across information about the story really well.
The only thing that let the book down for me was the pacing. It felt like I was waiting a while for the climax and although I enjoyed what was happening, I was getting impatient for the end! A lot of the action takes place in the same place towards the end of the book and I felt it got a bit stuck. I did really enjoy the ending though and I'll definitely be looking to do a re-read of the rest of the series and read for the first time the books I haven't got round to yet. It's tickled my taste buds for sure!
I loved this book as a kid and I loved it as an adult. A great read for all ages!
Plot rating: 4/5
What to listen to next: Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer
Books like this: Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone by J. K. Rowling