I finished The Last Guardian.
Inescapably, finishing the series made me think back to middle school, when I first started Artemis Fowl. For a moment I was back in time as my young self. I only read the first book once. Now, on the brink of starting my new life in medical school, I feel sad about the passage of time, about change and loss, and about how mundane all of what passes for drama in our lives actually is. Thanks, Colfer.
Book thoughts and spoilers below.
There were a lot of hand-wavy moments—e.g. Opal reassembling the nuked quanta of her pure golden essence by sheer force of will, Caballine randomly being an expert martial artist, Mulch becoming a troll wrangler all of a sudden, Artemis reinstating his soul by sheer force of will. Some parts were more gruesome than I remember the other books being, like Mulch crunching down a live herd of rabbits and half a live dog, and Artemis ripping “a layer of flesh” from his arm as he wrenched it free. I almost expected him to dig out his eye to escape the gate (not really). The crickets were hilarious (Butler: “Artemis, these crickets are giving me attitude”). And being attuned to spotting Chekhov’s revolvers I saw most of the ending coming. The very last chapter was way rushed just to get to Artemis’ revival. Besides attempting to rehabilitate a post-apocalyptic world in a few strokes, it totally glosses over the Fowl family’s grief, with only Butler mentioned as even being in denial. I want to know what happens to Beckett and Myles (with Artemis as a paranormal bodyguard?). On the whole I enjoyed it, much better than Atlantis Complex certainly.
For those saying the “real” Artemis remains dead because the clone doesn’t have his memories and experiences, in spite of having them recounted by Holly… I guess Colfer implies that only the soul and a physical form are necessary and sufficient to make a whole person. So long as the clone (already genetically identical) is inhabited by Artemis’ original soul, it is Artemis. He has memory loss after 6 months whereas the Berserkers didn’t after millenia because of how they were magically sealed and Artemis was a free-floating spirit, or something. I like to think that with Holly’s prompts, his neurons reconfigure, and he regains his memories and becomes his old self. Such is the magic of—well, magic.