Artemis Fowl is enjoying the quiet life with his family…until his mother falls fatally ill. She has contracted a fairy plague that was thought to have died out years ago and her saviour – a lemur – is now extinct, at a younger Artemis Fowl's hands.
Artemis must now travel eight years back in time to stop his ten year old self from selling the lemur to extinctionists, a group of people who thrive on killing off the last of a kind. Can Artemis outwit his cleverest foe yet – himself?
Once I started listening to 'The Time Paradox' on audio book, I knew that it was shaping up to be the best written novel in the Artemis Fowl series by far. I was not let down. Flitting from humorous moments Artemis spends with Beckett and Miles to the heart-wrenching hopelessness he feels when he sees his mother's rapidly withering condition, this series is even more emotionally powerful and rewarding than before.
Artemis may be changing for the better but he is not beyond ruthlessness when it is needed. His relationship with Captain Holly Short was one of my favourite aspects in the book. Just when their friendship is at its peak, it's placed in the highest jeopardy. This time, while there were definite life-threatening stakes, I liked that the emotional stakes were what really propelled the story.
The comparison of Artemis and his younger ten year old self was fascinating. This was a boy who had only just lost his father and whose mother was starting not to recognise him. He was at the start of the ruthlessness we see in him in the first 'Artemis Fowl' novel. Yet, we were still able to see the emotionally complex side of the younger Arty.
So much was interconnected in this book because of the paradox caused by the time travel. I was in constant wonder as to how things were going to pan out. After all, Artemis has come into conflict with his younger self and a younger Butler. It was even more than that when the fairy magic weaved its way into the plot. Just when I thought I had one thing worked out, something else happened instead. Brilliant
If you're a fan of Doctor Who, as I am, you'll be familiar with the fascination of a time paradox but this novel will not be dull. It isn't anything close to hum-drum or predictable. I was riveted throughout. In Doctor Who reference, I must say that Butler is the Rory Williams of the Artemis Fowl series. The just can't keep that man down, no matter how hard they try…and they really, really try.
One of the most heart-felt moments was when Holly speaks to a certain someone from her past through the hologram. I have to admit I was tearing up a little and I do not cry when I read books. Not often, from recollection.
'The Time Paradox' trumps even 'The Opal Deception' which was my favourite of the series so far and which was full to the brim of the fabulous Opal Koboi. I don't usually give my star ratings unless they're really good but this novel gets top marks!
"Fabulosity isn't a word, by the way. In case you're thinking of writing how wonderful I am in your diary."
Oh, how I love the characters and wit in the Artemis Fowl series. I am pained to know that there are only two installments remaining in the series and only one written and available, 'The Atlantis Complex.' I shall devour it and wait...
If you have yet to read 'The Time Paradox' then I suggest you listen to the audio book, read by Nathaniel Parker, since it is full of fabulosity. Although, fair warning that the American that introduces it pronounces Eoin's name as "Ian."