Myles and Beckett are twins with opposing character traits and quite diverse skills. Myles is a certified genius, a master planner and tactician with nerves of steel. Beckett is a gung-ho adventurous hero, with tremendous physical skills (judo, gymnastics etc) and a preference for action, gutfeel, and intuitive response. Like two halves of a whole, together they are an unstoppable team.
The 12-year-old twins borrow the Fowl family jet and embark on a hair-raising flight. These opening chapters, written in trademark Colfer cinematic style, set the pace for the entire book and give the reader all the background we need to understand these two very different, but very loyal, brothers.
The escapade results in their house arrest under the watchful surveillance of their pixel parole officer, Lazuli. When Myles is abducted, Beckett and Lazuli mount a rescue mission immediately. Held captive by unidentified forces, Myles wracks his brain to determine the instigator and the reason.
Meanwhile, Beckett and Lazuli must overcome several obstacles to their progress, some of which seem insurmountable. Will Beckett be able to formulate a genius plan without Myles? Will Myles solve the various mental puzzles to plan an escape? Can Myles overcome the physical challenges of his incarceration and find freedom? Will the rescuers need rescuing themselves?
Featuring an AI minder, dwarves, fairies, elves, strangling vines, and a toy troll, there is magic and technology, loyalty and betrayal, friendship, and family love, and good versus evil.
This book is Eoin Colfer’s second foray into the adventures of the Fowl Twins, and it is a rollicking adventure through the magical world he created for Artemis Fowl. Artemis is currently on a mission to Mars. His younger brothers are now the same age he was when we first met him, right back at the very beginning of the Artemis Fowl phenomenon, which entails 8 books, graphic novels, video games, audiobooks and a movie.
Colfer creates characters that are multi-faceted. There is legacy in fairy history that drives their prejudices and decisions, and it is hard for us Mud People to predict their responses which creates plot twists and unexpected diversions.
The action sequences are jam-packed into this book. It almost feels like Colfer dialled-up the craziness to maximum levels in a kind of literary challenge. I particularly enjoyed the irreverent humour, some of which I suspect many young readers will miss but it will delight adult readers.
I would thoroughly recommend this book for readers 8+. All the Artemis Fowl books are excellent for read-aloud together, and readers/listeners will eagerly await the next chapter reading. There’s also great scope for discussion about the characters different traits and skills, exploring themes of collaboration, synergy and diversity.