The Last Will And Testament Of Artemis Fowl II

Just over a month after the release of the eighth and final Artemis Fowl book, ‘Artemis Fowl And The Last Guardian‘, I have acquired (from the library) and finished it!

Actually, that’s exactly right – while I did spend some of my holidays skulking around Whitcoulls and reading the first couple (39) pages of the book, I did not have the time, nor the invisibility abilities to finish the novel. While Borders, a chain that was recently bankrupted and swallowed by Whitcoulls, had quiet nooks where you could settle down and read, the bookshops nowadays don’t even have seats, and to read more than a few pages you must sit on the floor and cringe self-consciously whenever someone passes by.

But I finished the book today, and all I can say is YAY!!! and okay…. (bad rhymes) I was a bit apprehensive about reading the last book, as I fear badly-written endings a lot – they just wreck the book series, for me. Thankfully, Colfer ended on a high note, and has written the conclusion to Artemis’ story very well in my opinion, incorporating a fear that troubled us humans back at the start of the millennium – OMG what if all the electricity stops working and we don’t have light and computers etc, etc – and made it a reality, creating an “Armageddon” in the words of 4 year old Myles. I especially loved his humorous little excerpts with Artemis’ twin brothers, Myles and Beckett, and all the other usual jokes and snappy comebacks. This book is, I think, certainly better than the 7th, Artemis Fowl and the Atlantic Complex. As for the ending, well…. it was a little obvious, once you’d read up to about the middle. I kind of expected it to happen. I can’t really say anything more, because it would ruin it for those of you who haven’t read the series, but er, um, I did believe it, and I knew there was a plan B as soon as Colfer mentioned that little snippet. So I didn’t die of surprise when it happened. It was, nonetheless, a good ending, and I loved how Colfer linked it back to the very first book.

The Artemis Fowl series are great – I always laugh aloud or talk to the book at least twice “I knew it! Hah! [all you doubters, I knew it]”(causing my friends to pause in conversation and try to grill me as to why I am being so dorky now. I never tell them, unless they’ve read the book too. Usually they haven’t, so I just snigger to myself). In the teenage fiction section, shelves are now filled with depressing apocalypse stories, vampire and werewolf romances, and OMG-I-need-a-boyfriend-ooh-he-actually-likes-me “realistic” fiction, not to mention the really VERY graphic Phillipa Gregory style of historical fiction. I think Artemis Fowl is classified as tween fiction, which is possibly why it gets away with strong, smart female protagonists, an antihero, a more-original-than-usual plot in most cases, lots of cool gadgets, action, and witty comments. That seems to be reserved for tweens – apparently, once you hit high school, that type of thing is too young for you, and you’re forced into the boredom of Jane Austen classics and the like (but that’s just my highly biased opinion). I like that type of book. I happen to find that type of book to be extremely enjoyable – so I curl up in bed and read Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson, Evil Genius, Alex Rider… and I don’t think that I should be reading other more “serious” books. I read because I love it- it is a hobby/zeal/slight obsession (according to my parents). And if you do too, then I think that this is a great series for you. You can check out my blog entry here for a recap of the Artemis Fowl series and Eoin Colfer, the author.

But onto the exciting part! In each novel, on the bottom of the pages are symbols, otherwise known as gnommish, the language of The People, from which the ancient Egyptians derived their hieroglyphics. Apart from versions one of book 2 and 3, which have Centaurean and Eternean respectively. I still remember my letters, so I translated Book 8’s missive during my spare time (i.e. while under the pretence of watching the movie in French).

I have taken the liberty of inserting punctuation and capital letters, as well as a few missing words.

The last will and testament of Artemis Fowl the second. Being the final wishes of Artemis Fowl in the event of his death at the hands of the pixie Opal Koboi. Should he survive for forty eight hours after the date of writing this will becomes null and void and shall have no legal weight in court human or fairy. I, Artemis Fowl the Second, being of sound mind and reasonably sound body, bequeath my estate and advice as follows.

  • To my father I leave the three hundred million dollars in (typo error, I think, as the translation of the next word was bearr) bonds that are hidden, believe it or not, under my own bed: the last spot anyone would think to look and possibly the most booby trapped place on earth. Butler will know how to disengage the security measures.
  • To my darling mother, I leave my stocks portfolio including my shares in ethical funds and registered charities which I know she will manage with her usual moral determination, and I also bequeath to her the department store on New York’s Fifth Avenue which I had planned to give to her on her birthday.
  • I wish my brother Myles to inherit my laboratory and all its equipment, with access to the special projects room to be granted on his eighth birthday when he will be mature enough to deal with other dimensions, aliens and time travel.
  • For my brother Beckett I have purchased a lifetimes supply of slime so he can coat himself in grunge as often as he pleases. I also wish Beckett to have the ant farm provided he promises not to eat any of the ants.
  • My faithful bodyguard Butler is of course entitled to his generous severance (which is actually a real word – at first I thought it was a typo) package and is under no obligation to stay on but it would be greatly appreciated if he renewed his contract and remained in the employ of the Fowl family. Apart from his pension I wish Butler to become the legal owner of the apartments in which he has lived since I was born and the dojo where he tried to teach me to fight.
  • To Juliet Butler, who has protected my brothers so faithfully I leave my sound system, which is based on gel speaker technology and which should make even her collection of modern music sound reasonably nonoffensive. I also leave to Juliet the three sports cars and a lifetime subscription to the wresting channel.
  • To my friend Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police I leave the thirty seven solid gold bars that were the price of her release when I kidnapped her all those years ago. I know that I can never make up for that crime but hopefully you can think of me as a friend when you do think of me. To the dwarf Mulch Diggums I leave the refrigerator warehouse in London Docklands that is stocked with enough frozen chicken to satisfy even his appetite for several decades.
  • To the centaur Foaly I leave the blueprints to an interstellar craft that is so advanced that it makes his spacecraft look like hot air balloons. I have hidden the designs inside his own system where he would never think to look for them. To find them Foaly must open his own security file on me, blink eight times and say the words “Artemis Fowl is smarter than I am”. If this does not work then at least I will smile in the afterlife.

This took 115 pages, and then began repeating itself as usual. It was, however, a longer cipher than in any of the other books.

So, I’d love to hear you opinions on the book  – did you think it was a good ending, did you hate it, did you scream in surprise at the end, did you feel it let down the rest of the series, do you wish he’d write another one?

Whatever they are, feel free to comment (you are free to eat. But the last dumpling is mine.)

Let’s call me Lily

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33 thoughts on “The Last Will And Testament Of Artemis Fowl II

  1. Alexis hernandez says:

    I just finished the series. It was amazing, although I was hoping for the stereotypical him getting married and what not. I know those stories can be cliche but this is a classic for me.

    • I actually liked that it didn’t have that! Although, I reckon Colfer should have rounded things off after The Lost Colony, the books started going downhill quite rapidly after that one in my opinion….

  2. Jean-Paul says:

    The main problem I have with Colfer’s writing in the later books is that so much is contradictory to the writing in the earlier books, and yes, the point that other commenters brought up about the unsolved plot-holes are somewhat unnerving as well. First off, I remember somewhere in the Last Guardian where Artemis doesn’t recognize the soldier’s sign or something. But, in the Lost Colony, I distinctly remember that Artemis knew the symbol. Very annoying. And another thing: After book 3, the thing about the kevlar fibers in Butler’s chest and his aging is completely ignored. Seriously? In the Opal Deception, at the end, it is stated Butler leaps down the stairs, “three at a time”. WUUUUT? I’m sorry if this isn’t wholly referencing the last book, but I feel as if this is a good opportunity to acclaim the book and let out all my problems with it in one blow. I feel as if the endings of Harry Potter and AF should have been “switched” in a way- AF could seriously have used a good epilogue to clear things up, and IMO in HP, it would have been better to leave the reader envisioning and imagining the events after the Final Battle. Now, for my final points- Opal Koboi is used WAY too much as a villian. Sure, she’s certainly one of my favorite fictional villians of all time, but she gets incredibly boring after, what, four books of her being a main antagonist, right? Another thing- certain topics are thrown in randomly as the book progresses. Of course we wait until the last book that it’s revealed there are hordes of fairy spirits in Fowl Manor. Yep, all that time, the LEP tracking Artemis through all those years, they never realize that there is a potential evil waiting to be released into the world. Fun. And lastly-apologies for the long and boring rant-what’s with the Mulch Diggums business in the Time Paradox? Sure, Mulch promises he won’t reveal that Holly and Artemis are time travelers from the future. Obviously, Colfer wrote the book way after he finished the first couple of books. But I for some reason feel as if Mulch, at this time, isn’t as generous or as light-hearted as he is in the later books. A change has taken place in the later books, pioneered by his “accidental” involvement in just about every plot involving Arty. So, I feel as if it’s really unlikely that Mulch would somehow keep his mouth shut all this time, and suffer through multifarious near-death experiences involving the past Artemis Fowl. Either that or I’m just being a little bit crazy. I hope you take the time to read my post, and respond to it as fitting, and perhaps argue against my points, because I want to see what others think about my analysis of AF.
    -Thank you very much!

    • Hi Jean Paul! Comments are always welcome, and to be sure, everyone needs to rant about it sometimes 🙂
      I agree that a lot of characterisation seemed to go out the window every couple of books, and that there are plot holes – but these happen to every writer, so it’s rather unavoidable. I think Colfer’s are just rather more noticeable. I agree that Opal is overused as a villain, especially since she is a very stagnant character – she doesn’t grow, or have deep motives, or develop at all, in my opinion, which makes her a very shallow antagonist. However, I happen to disagree with you in regards to the epilogue – I think that The Last Guardian did just fine without it! I only wish that JK Rowling hadn’t written one either. Hers was much too short and slapdash, I thought, especially given that we are meant to believe that Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione, all stayed together for 19 years, and that Harry would name his children after dead people (and Luna), when he knows what it is like to be burdened by others’ expectations – which would certainly arise from the connotations of the names. Anyhow, we weren’t talking about HP, sorry 🙂

      I can offer you an answer on Mulch, though! The thing about the paradox is that until it happened, it hadn’t happened yet – so Mulch’s behaviour can’t be accounted for because there was nothing to account for, until Artemis went back in time. Which means that until the Time Paradox, there hadn’t been anything for him to keep his mouth shut about, because it hadn’t occured yet…if you get what I’m saying? So the Mulch Diggums you were meeting in the Time Paradox was much more abrasive because he’d never met Artemis before, hadn’t formed a relationship with him or anything like that – he was just there because a mysterious person had offered him a large sum of money. That’s why in the other books he’s characterised differently.
      I hope that helps!

  3. mr mcnerdy says:

    sorry i forgot! pixie henchman go to jail, and opal probably wasn’t bothered in breaking them out

  4. mr mcnerdy says:

    what happens to opals pixie henchman from books 4 and 6? why does she suddenly use gnomes, which have never been mentioned in the whole series? just pointing that out

  5. Andrew? says:

    So whatever happened to Minerva?
    She appears in the Lost Colony and you’re thinking,
    “Oh, finally a suitable match for Artemis. This could be quite interesting.”
    And then she winks out of existence entirely.
    I mean I get Colfer didn’t want to surrender to the forces of contemporary pop literature/young adult fiction, but I kinda would have liked that loose end to be tied up.

    • Well, actually, we do know that she and Artemis occasionally play chess together, and at the end of The Lost Colony we find out that she and Butler have become fast friends… But yes, she does rather drop out of the picture.

  6. emsytraut says:

    I loved this series since book one and each book was quite enjoyable on it’s own. However the ending of the series was a bit, for *lack of a better phrase, “cycle-ish” for me.

    I finished it yesterday and I’m trying to play out in my head how that concludes which I could certainly guess but I’m only left with assumptions and a repetitive loop.
    Agreeing with a few other reviews on here I very much would have liked to see how Artemis’ various relationships concluded and what’s more what he is doing “now.”
    I’ve been trying very hard not to spoil anything too much for those who haven’t read the finale.
    Those who have read it will likely understand the vague review a bit better and to those who haven’t read it I still **strongly recommend you do.

    *I make up my own words though I might be nervous using them on a review for this particular series

    **I’d definitely suggest reading this series in chronological order. While the books CAN be read as “stand alones” it’s one of those series that’s much more fulfilling when you know the previous happenings in detail (vs. the quick recap explanations you get through out the follow ups) and it also makes the finale ending a bit more justifiable.

    • Haha, well, as the series has been out for a couple of years now in its entirety, I think it’s all right to talk about it? I’m not sure how long the courtesy period for spoiling something is, though…

      The last book was, yes, a sort of “coming full circle”, (neologisms are good, embrace them!) which I quite liked, but yes, some development would have been nice, A proper resolution, at least.

      However, I have to say that what initially lured me to the series was Artemis’ role as an anti-hero, and so some of me still grieves quietly that he had to grow up.

  7. Rumer says:

    Artemis fowl has been my favorite series since 6th grade. But I wasn’t happy with the last book at all. It just seemed to have a different feel and tone than the other books. Plus not putting any closure on holly and artemis’s relationship really bothered me. I get that it’s a tween book so it doesn’t need romance but for all the death he had in there, he could of included a little love.

    • Hmm, well, I’ll have to disagree, in that I liked that there wasn’t much romantic love in the series, and it focuses more on platonic and familial bonds such as those shared by the Fowl family. However, yes, I feel as though the series seriously deteriorated in quality after the 5th book (and I am a long time fan too), and that this has spread to Colfer’s new series WARP, which, after reading the travesty of the first book, I kind of discarded completely. I love his earlier stuff, though!

    • mr mcnerdy says:

      agreed. there should have been a proper kiss at the end.

  8. Red X says:

    This book kind of disappointed me with the ending and it also felt rushed but to answer your questions, it is not a plot hole that even though young Opal died in the future, she didn’t disappear in the past, Artemis and Opal herself addressed this point very clearly and that is the fact that the timeline’s diverged due to 2 things and that’s Artemis traveling into the past and young Opal coming into the future and staying there, so the Artemis of that timeline took a completely different route than our Artemis.

    • When Artemis travelled in time, it didn’t create a divergence – there were no alternate universes or splinter worlds. He simply created (arguable, apparently) a paradox. So that doesn’t really make sense, in my opinion.
      Thanks for stopping by! Have you tried his new series, WARP? I think its even worse, like his writing is just rolling down a hill, getting further and further away from quality stuff as he becomes more popular. I loved his earlier stuff better – Airman was amazing.

      • ykolchin says:

        Reading your comment I was like– “Oh, new series, I should check that out! Actually… maybe not.” I didn’t like Airman. Really the only Colfer books I like besides Artemis Fowl are Benny and Omar/ Benny and Babe. But speaking of new series, Lemony Snicket has just started one: “All the Wrong Questions.” (I figured if you’re an Artemis Fowl fan you might be a Lemony Snicket fan.)

      • mr mcnerdy says:

        airman is one of my favourite books. the wish list is pretty good though

  9. ykolchin says:

    Lol– it was obvious you had read the book. I meant the spoiler alert for anyone who might have stumbled across this site and hadn’t.

    My problem with The Time Paradox is that Artemis went back in time because his mother was sick, and she got sick because he went back in time. But let’s go to the moment before Artemis’s mother was sick. Would Artemis go back in time now? No, because he has no reason to. Would he go back the next minute? Or the next? Again, no, because his mother isn’t sick yet. The default behavior is for Artemis not to travel back in time, and for his mother not to get sick. In order for his mom to get sick, Artemis would have to have some other reason for going back in time in the first place. The reason for Artemis’s going back in time has to be independent– it can’t be a result of his going back in time.

    Here’s the same explanation as a mathematical proof:

    Let ‘a’ represent ‘Artemis goes back in time’
    Let ‘b’ represent ‘Mom is sick.’

    a because b.
    b because a.
    Therefore: a because a.

    Conclusion: Artemis goes back in time because Artemis goes back in time.

    Which doesn’t explain anything.

    The book is still fun– it just doesn’t make sense

    As for the Holly-Artemis-Minerva thing– it’s not that I’m “one of those.” It’s that I have a problem with the fact that throughout the series Colfer will raise an issue in one book and then decide he doesn’t want to deal with it in the next. For instance, at the end of Book 4, Holly resigns from the LEP because of Sool. Then when he starts Book 5, Colfer realizes that Holly isn’t nearly as exciting without a gun and a mission to save the planet, so he circumvents the problem by inventing Section 8, which conveniently isn’t under Sool’s supervision. And then, extra-conveniently (if Shakespeare can invent words, I can too), Sool isn’t around anymore by the time Holly gets back from demonville, so she can just go back to being Captain Short. Way to slither out of that one.

    Btw, notice how she also manages for the rest of the series to avoid the problem of being promoted to Commander, which was also raised in Book 4?

    Then the Atlantis Complex. Colfer introduces it in book 7, and at the end of the book Artemis is finally going to seek treatment. But Colfer doesn’t actually want to deal with the problem in the next book, so he conveniently cures Artemis in the first chapter.

    It’s the same thing but worse with the Minerva-Holly-Artemis triangle. Even though I like the Holly-Artemis pairing, I’m ok with their not ending up together. I just want some closure as to why Minerva dropped out of the picture and as to what will be the status of Holly and Artemis’s relationship at the end of the series. And I think it’s the author’s duty to supply that closure by dealing with the problems he raises, instead of circumventing them or ignoring them.

    Despite its flaws and plot holes, I still love the Artemis Fowl series and will reread it into oblivion.

    • Ah, makes sense 🙂
      Right…not sure I got the maths, and paradoxes make my head twirl, but I think I get you. Possibly just a huge plot hole that Colfer didn’t see?
      Yes, okay, I surrender. There are quite a lot of holes and convenient wa-jiggies. Not to mention Mulch, who in a bit of self irony says something like “do you notice I’m always here to save the day” several times throughout the series.
      I think Colfer just assumed that we’d assumed that Holly and Artemis stay close friends forever more, and that Minerva was just a one-book anti hero to reflect how Artemis had changed….or something 🙂

    • mr mcnerdy says:

      holly got asked to be promoted to Major, not Commander

  10. Jessica says:

    I find the last book sort of depressing. It doesn’t clarify anything and it just ends. Yes, the final line does sound good, but come on. Does Artemis ever get his memories back. And has he just lost them momentarily or are they gone for good. I also agree with the lack of romance. Colfer should have either done something with it or at least concluded the relationship with Holly and Minerva. I didn’t want them together, but it seemed perfect that after being in limbo for three years, Artemis and Minerva are the same age. I also thought that another death-and-come-to-life was too much. Btw, Butler technically doesn’t die. Holly and Artemis do. It’s so annoying. On one hand we have Rowling, who kills all her characters, and on the other there’s Colfer, who doesn’t want to let any of them go, but still wants an exciting story

    • Personally, it sounded like Artemis’ head was a little jumbled up from being bodyless for a while, but he’d be fine in no time. Also, I think I explained my view on the HAM situation in a previous comment, but the way Colfer summed it up, Minerva is out of the picture, and Holly and Arty remain close friends for life, which is fine by me. Yeah, not very original – again, I explain my views in another reply. And I protest – Rowling doesn’t kill them all! She just makes them marry their second ever girlfriend/boyfriend…

  11. ykolchin says:

    While I love the series, I was disappointed in the ending to Artemis Fowl, and here’s why:

    (Oh, btw, this comment contains spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book yet, go do that now.)

    1) This book, like The Time Paradox, made no sense in its conception of time. The theory behind The Time Paradox, is that Artemis went back in time because when he went back in time, Opal Koboi piggybacked along to the future with him and made his mother sick, so that he would have to go back in time to get the cure. Wait, did you catch that? He went back in time because… he went back in time. If he hadn’t gone back in time, he wouldn’t have gone back in time. Makes no sense. I guess that’s why they call it a “paradox,” but it isn’t really– it’s just a hole in the plot.

    This story continues that hole. In The Time Paradox, Artemis posits that in the present we are already feeling the effects of our future time travel to the past. So going back to the past won’t change our present because it already has. But in that case, according to the series’s own logic, the events that took place in The Last Guardian would negate the possibility of The Arctic events or any other events in the series occurring. This is because young Opal disappeared from her time into the present of The Last Guardian and was killed there, so she wasn’t in the past to lead the goblin uprising or do any of the other stuff she supposedly did. Which means it couldn’t have happened. No offense Eoin Colfer, but this plot has more holes than dwarf’s cheese

    2) When you kill off your characters, they really need to stay dead. I’m sorry, but this is the third time in the series that a major character has died and come back to life. You should only get to do that one time per series. Not that I really want Artemis or Butler or Holly (certainly not Holly, she’s my favorite character) to be dead, but if you’re going to do it, you need to follow through. And it would have been a smart way to end the series, because as I see it, the character Artemis Fowl is never going to stop having adventures as long as he lives.

    Having him sacrifice himself but then come back to life is a cop out… and is also sneakily similar to how the Harry Potter series ended.

    3) Artemis shouldn’t have died just because he had a fairy eye. The magic should have just destroyed his eye. Or, if it was going to kill him because of his eye, he should have cut his eye out. Painful and gross? Yes. Life-threatening? No. Especially if Holly can immediately heal him, or at least get him some professional medical attention.

    4) At the end of the series, Holly and Butler start telling Artemis everything that has happened, because he forgot it all. Being dead takes its toll, you know. Slight problem: Holly already tried to do this in book 4, when Artemis had amnesia. Didn’t work, remember? Due to his stupendous intellect, Artemis won’t believe anything anyone else says– he’ll just think it’s a major conspiracy and all– until his own self tells him what happened.

    5) Okay, I’ll admit it… I wanted Artemis and Holly to end up together. I kind of get why he didn’t do it, but I would have liked at least a little more closure to that aspect of the series– I wanted the book to at least acknowledge the romance in their past and deal with it in some way. It kind of just sidestepped the whole issue.

    Btw, does anyone remember Miranda? Whatever happened with her? Artemis disappears for a year, and never has any conversation with her to tell her he’s back. And she, the genius, just disappears and never gets involved in any adventures again? Not that I wanted to see her again because she was really irritating, but still, it’s strange that she disappears completely.

    So that’s the story. P.S. Don’t hate on Austen, she’s awesome. And definitely check out the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on youtube if you want to see the coolest Pride and Prejudice adaptation ever.

    • As to your first point – it was a paradox, because the only reason he went back in time was to save his mother. He didn’t just up and decide to do it for fun. So I’ll have to disagree with you there, as I believe it was a proper paradox. However, you do bring up something that bothered me quite a bit. I’m not sure how young Opal dies in the future but then doesn’t disappear in the past; that is kind of a large plot hole.
      Hmm…yes, I saw a lot of similarities in that scene with HP as well…the only big difference was that Eoin Colfer actually wrote the word dead in relation to Artemis, whereas JK Rowling didn’t. And yes, I agree with you about the lack of originality, but imagine if he had killed Artemis for real. Imagine all the hate-mail the poor man would probably get!
      Third point: I think this a a bit like “why couldn’t Harry and his friends just sneaked up to Hogwarts before Term started and asked Dumbledore everything????” I think the answer is that it would just wreck the story. There would be no story. In the same way, you have to just enjoy AF, because if you start looking for all the unreasonable/illogical things, you would end up hating the series, as it is about fairies, and farting dwarves 🙂
      4: Artemis still has the memories this time – they’re just a bit messed up. Plus, it’s a great line to end the series, in my opinion.
      5: I have a friend who is obsessed with HAM. Heard of it? Holly-Artemis-Minerva (it’s Minerva, btw) She wanted Holly and Artemis together too. I personally don’t care, so it wasn’t really an issue.
      Apparently, Minerva gets together with Butler every once in a while, and plays internet chess against Artemis. That’s all I know…

      • Katherine says:

        Not sure if you’ll see this as I’m a super late comer, but I’ll put it here anyway.

        Young Opal doesn’t disappear in the past, as there was a time split. I remember it being mentioned at the start of the last book 🙂

        • Hey! Nice of you to comment, if you weren’t even sure it would get to me 😀
          Whenever someone comments you get a little icon thing that lights up, so don’t worry about that.

          I’m afraid you’ll have to explicate a bit more, as I’m a bit blurry on details now, and also because I’m not sure what a time split is, exactly?

          Thanks for pointing it out to me!

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