Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer

(Cover picture courtesy of the Reader Store.)

When Artemis Fowl’s mother contracts a life-threatening illness, his world is turned upside down.  The only hope for a cure lies in the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur.  Unfortunately, the animal is extinct, thanks to the money-hungry deeds of a younger Artemis.

Though the odds are stacked against him, Artemis is not willing to give up.  With the help of his fairy friends, the young genius travels back in time to save the lemur and bring it to the present.  But to do  so, Artemis will have to defeat a maniacal poacher, who has set his sights on new prey: Holly Short.

The rules of time travel are far from simple, but to save his mother, Artemis will have to break them all…and outsmart his most cunning adversary yet: Artemis Fowl, age ten.

Ah, time travel.  It’s definitely a complicated subject in fiction and very few writers can truly pull it off, but for the most part, Eoin Colfer is one of them.  What’s interesting is that when Artemis and Holly travel back in time, they age differently.  As a result, Artemis is suddenly older and Holly is suddenly younger, as in the human equivalent of a teenager.

If you haven’t guessed what’s going to happen already, I’m disappointed in you because it’s so typical of YA: romantic tension.  When I first read The Time Paradox, I was pretty angry about Eoin Colfer forcing the tension between Holly and Artemis, but now I’m just slightly disappointed.  It felt like he caved in to the demand that romance has to be part of every YA book, although thankfully things were sorted out in the end.

We learn a lot more about Artemis’ ‘childhood’ and why he was quite the sociopath when we met him in the first book.  With a childhood like he had, assuming the role of man of the house at the age of ten, wouldn’t you be a sociopath too?  Having the older, more human Artemis meet his ruthless younger self was one of the highlights of the whole novel.  In addition to Artemis’ expanded backstory, we also get to learn more about Holly and how her mother died.

There were a few rough spots (see the aforementioned ‘romance’), but overall I enjoyed The Time Paradox.  It had an excellent plot that sets up the next two books, helped expand on the backstories of main characters and showed just how far Artemis has really come since the beginning of the series.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

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