My favorite book. Read the whole series, it gets better!
In this book, the author (Eoin Colfer), makes Artemis seem heartless at first. As you read the whole series, you will understand why he does what he does. (Somewhat spoilers next...)
Artemis's father was a criminal who was lost at sea when he was ten. Because of what his father had taught him, it lead Artemis to believe that wealth and the family's fortune was very important.
When his father was lost, his mother started to become extremely depressed; even to the point where she wouldn't even recognize her own son. This gave Artemis Fowl the freedom to do whatever he wanted. He chose to become a criminal so that he could pay for the expeditions to find his father, who Artemis still believed was alive, even when everyone else said he was dead.
Yes, Artemis may be a 12-year old crminal mastermind, genius and anti hero, however, as you read the whole book series, you learn that he's a dynamic character.
There is minimal violence compared to a pg-13 movie. Artemis kidnaps Captain Holly Short (a protagonist, and an elf), which is main story in this book. Butler fights a troll, which (in my opinion), wasn't that bad. There was a bomb when Artemis tries to make his point to the LEP that he is dangerous (no one was killed, it was a warning). Holly punches Artemis in the face after she escapes (this is one of my favorite moments in the first book because of the lollipop part).
As far as the drinking, drugs and smoking catagory go, there was a drunk fairy in the beginning, and Julius Root smokes a cigar. Also, under the circumstances, Artemis had to put tranquilizer in a drink to escape a time stop and a bio-bomb. Artemis used champane to do this, which I personally didn't like to see in this book.
There is also Mulch Diggums, who is a dwarf. He can't resist the urge to steal gold and other precious items. In this book, dwarfs are able to tunnel by eating through the earth. Let's just say that the tunnels are self-sealing...
Julius Root, who is the head of the LEP, expects more out of Holly Short than all his other officers because Holly is the only female officer in the LEP. He expects more out of her because she is a role model to others, and people are looking up to her.
At the end of this book, there is a good message when you see Artemis's wish. I don't want to say what his wish was, because then I'd be spoiling this book.
The books will get better as you read the rest of the series. (My favorite is the seventh book, when Artemis goes crazy.)
This title contains:
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking