I’ve owned The Artemis Fowl Files for several years, probably since it was first released back in 2004. Imagine my surprise when I picked it up and started reading…only to realize that I had never read it before. What a great, new experience!
The first section of The Artemis Fowl Files is a short story titled “LEPrecon”. It tells us the story of how Holly was first initiated into Recon, which turned out to be quite an entertaining read. We are introduced to a character that we wouldn’t normally meet until later in the series, which is interesting (though I don’t remember how he’s introduced later, so the continuity might not quite line up).
Colfer sticks with his formula of communicating an important message to his readers, and this one has to do with doing what you’re told versus doing what is right. Not much else to say about that, but it’s definitely another good lesson to learn.
“LEPrecon” is short, but I enjoyed it a lot.
Rating: 4 (out of 5)
There’s not really much to talk about in the large middle section of the book. There is a diagram of how the LEP use magma flares to ride pods to the surface that’s kinda cool, and there’s a couple of equipment diagrams and “interviews” with the main characters and with the author. None of that is too important, though; the real treat is the Gnommish decoder. In case you’ve never picked up an Artemis Fowl book before, you may not know why you’d need a Gnommish decoder. What Colfer does is provides a code in “Gnommish” along the bottom of most of the books in the series. These codes tell stories or convey secret messages and whatnot, and it’s the first real code to be provided to the readers; previously, you’d have to compare symbols and letters with a translation of a passage written in Gnommish in the first book of the series. Quite a handy tool for those who are interested.
Though the decoder is nifty and the other stuff is mildly interesting, nothing in this section is necessary. I personally would have preferred another short story or something like that. Oh, well – beggars can’t be choosers.
Rating: 2.5 (out of 5)
“The Seventh Dwarf”
The book ends with another short story titled “The Seventh Dwarf”. Despite being a decent read, I had one main issue with it. It takes place between the events of the first and second books, but it almost seems to ignore the second one. The story has appearances from all of the main characters, which is the problem: none of these characters were supposed to interact with each other in between these two books. In The Arctic Incident, Holly talks about “the last time she saw Artemis” and stuff like that. While Colfer did a good job with making sure that Mulch was still considered dead by the People, though.
An entertaining read, but it doesn’t feel “canon” – I think that’s the proper word here.
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
It doesn’t contain much to justify the title The Artemis Fowl Files, but it’s worth the purchase for the short stories alone, especially “LEPrecon”.
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)