Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
Eoin Colfer

Review of Book

The second in Eoin Colfer's brilliant 'Artemis Fowl' series finds Holly, Root, Foaly, Mulch et al surprisingly joining forces with their arch-enemies, Artemis and Butler, in a kind of symbiosis! Both groups have to face separate crises - the threat to the life of Artemis' father on the one hand and a power struggle for "world domination" for the fairy folk on the other.

Ever since Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon lost a large chunk of fairy gold in The Artemis Fowl Affair, her position has been "under review". While she awaits her tribunal, she's been posted to dead-end stakeout duty for Customs and Excise, whose previously seized items include designer sunglasses, DVDs and cappuccino machines… The action soon kicks off when an organised criminal goblin gang is discovered to be involved in black market trading with humans for Class A contraband, in this case AAA alkaline batteries?!

There's a lot more detail to assimilate here than in the first book, and the action does jump around rather a lot - from Paris to the Arctic Circle to Los Angeles and back again - meaning you have to concentrate much more. But I do like the way Eoin Colfer progresses the relationships between the main characters, rather than making it an endless cycle of Artemis v The People. He slips in some Maths, some Geology and a bit of Physics, and the crucial details for an excellent lead-in to the third book, 'Artemis Fowl and The Eternity Code' appear right at the end.

We're introduced to yet more fairy technology such as… Dwarf Rock Polish, the Ret-Imager, the Moonbelt and Hydrosion shells. And when you have chapter titles like 'Mulch Ado About Nothing' and 'To Russia with Gloves', and sentences that begin "Help arrived just after the nick of time", you know you're in for just as much pleasure as with the first book!

Review of Nat's Reading

Listening to this the first time was just like meeting up with old friends again! (Although Nat's voices for a couple of the characters had changed slightly - disappointing, yes, but I forgive him anything)… Again Nat gets himself right in there with the characters, the humour and the excitement of the adventure.

He does several Russian accents, each of them quite distinctive from one another. For an unnamed warlock medic Nat uses a chirpy, and previously unheard, Geordie dialect! The 'American Dog' scene and dialogue is very funny, but the jury is still out on his Caribbean accent for "tempestuous Jamaican beauty" Maggie V, Oscar winner for her portrayal of… Precious, a tempestuous Jamaican beauty…! As with Nat's recording of the first book, there are more humorous moments made all the more memorable by his brilliant interpretation…

Holly to Root: "I think I know how to get you out of there"

Root: "How?"

Holly: "…I could tell you…but you're not going to like it."

Root: "Tell me, Captain. That's a direct order!" …

Holly told him… he didn't like it..!

Published by

BBC Cover to Cover/Chivers Press
ISBN - CD 1855498146
Cassette 0754063593 2002
Complete and Unabridged Running time 6 hours approx

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