Tuesday, July 24

The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Hyperion Books and is used solely as an aide to the review.

Artemis has recovered from his Atlantis Complex but all is not well. When Opal takes drastic measures to bust out of prison, she sends the world – both fairy and human – into a technological stand-still.

With Opal at large and more dangerous than ever, she has one objective – to kill all humans and become the Queen of the People. Unleashing the souls of fairy warriors, buried on the Fowl Estate, Opal has an army at her disposal – an army possessing every living body on the grounds...as well as some dead.

Can Artemis, Holly and Butler save the human race from Opal's terror? The stakes are higher than ever. Will Artemis' cunning be his triumph? Anything short of brilliant may prove fatal.

The Last Guardian takes place primarily at Fowl Manor, giving the series a full circle feeling, with some nice mirrored symmetry to the first book.

The crux of this book for me was, like the others, the characters. In the midst of all of Colfer's plotting and cleverness, the way he writes and develops his characters is why I loved this series and they were what held strongest for me in The Last Guardian.

The inciting incident of this book has some of the highest stakes yet, with Opal at her most cunning and vindictive. I was able to read some sample chapters from the beginning of the book – first on NetGalley and then a few more from a sampler at Book Expo America – which left me in a cruel desperation. Thanks to the world of digital books, by midnight of the release date I was listening to Nathaniel Parker read me the final instalment.

I was glad that I listened to the final book on audio, since that was how I experienced all the others. Parker lives up to his excellence. The only peculiar thing I noticed was that Chix Verbal's accent seemed to have changed.

For me what cinched the book was the end. There was so much tension and emotional investment that I was shaking in anticipation. How would everything play out? What would happen to my beloved characters? I am particularly attached to Artemis, Holly Butler and – yes – even Opal. She's fabulous.

I'm not a stickler for happy endings but I do desire a satisfactory one, whatever the requirements for that may be. Colfer definitely delivered and he left me itching to re-experience the series all over again.

I know that the Artemis Fowl books are ones I will be returning to again and again but in the meantime I will turn my attention to some of Colfer's stand-alone novels.

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