(Cover picture courtesy of Sarah’s Reviews.)
Artemis is at boarding school in Ireland when he receives an urgent e-mail from Russia. It is a plea from a man who has been kidnapped by the Russian Mafiya: his father. As Artemis rushes to his rescue, he is stopped by a familiar nemesis, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon fairy police. But this time, instead of battling fairies, he is going to have to join forces with them if he wants to save one of the few people in the world he loves.
The Arctic Incident is the second book in Eoin Colfer’s bestselling Artemis Fowl series and it really improves upon the first novel. It picks up with a plea from Artemis’ father, who has been missing for the past two years and because of this, we really see the side of Artemis that is still a twelve-year-old boy. This vulnerable side gives him a lot more depth and makes him much easier to relate to than he is in the first book. Holly Short, who joins him on this quest after he helps the LEP with the goblin rebellion, is also given more depth. Her dislike of Artemis is evident (he did kidnap her after all), but by the end of the novel she has warmed up to him a lot more. The dynamics of their ‘friendship’ are very interesting and Eoin Colfer plays up this “unlikely friends” angle a lot, much to his readers’ delight.
As for the plot, well, what can I say? There’s always a sense of urgency and the point of view switches at all the right places to keep the novel moving along very quickly. Seeing the story from a few different perspectives is really interesting because each one is so unique. when it comes to switching writing styles quickly, Eoin Colfer is king.
The characters and plot are excellent, but what I love most about The Arctic Incident is all of the technology the fairies have developed. In most fantasy, creatures that have magic are far behind in science and technology, but this is definitely not the case. The Neutrino 2000, the Moonbelts and even the suits the LEP use for above-ground missions are truly amazing. Yet it’s magic, not science, that heals Holly when she’s badly hurt in Russia. This combination of science and magic is probably my favourite part ofThe Arctic Incident.
I give this book 4.5/5 stars.