Eoin (pronounced "Owen", btw) Colfer is probably one of my top ten favorite children's authors. I think the Artemis Fowl series is so clever and I love the characters. His other books (like The Supernaturalists, The Wish List and the recent Airman) are great as well, but the AF series is still my favorite EC fare.
I've been wanting to read book 6 in the series, Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (Hyperion Books for Children, 2008) for quite some time (in fact, I received it as a gift for Christmas and I'm just now getting to it... quite the reading backlog next to my bed, let me tell you!) I was not disappointed.
In this episode, Artemis' mother has fallen ill with what appears to be a mysterious, and thought-to-be eradicated fairy plague. The only thing that will save her is a cure made from the brain fluid of a particular species of lemur that just happens to be extinct. Oh, and it just so happens that the person responsible for the extinction of that particular lemur is none other than Artemis himself.
The only solution is for Artemis and Holly to go back into the time stream and return to the time when 10-year old Artemis stole and sold the lemur to a group of Extinctionists in order to fund the expedition to the Arctic in which he saved his father. (PANT PANT). You can see this is going to be a complex web of a story.
And it is. But it's a wonderful ride filled with revelations about the time-space continuum and how things turned out the way they did in the future for a reason. It's all done very well and I admire Colfer very much for being able to pull off such a complex plot without having it unravel.
Anyone who is a fan of the AF books is going to love this. The series is probably best for kids 10 and up, and the issues of extinction are rich grounds for discussion. 4 1/2 bookmarks!
Watch a video about the book here.