Artemis Fowl Book 4: The Opal Deception

Common Sense Media says

Fun kid genius series shows hero's nicer side.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Artemis is a master criminal. Though he is developing a conscience, he still enjoys stealing. He lies to his parents.


Lots, some rather grim. A major characters is killed painfully.


Holly and Artemis are sprayed with troll pheromones and chased by amorous trolls.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some teens smoke briefly.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book isn't meant for literary discussions, but if you must, Artemis does consider the morality of his actions. Having a child criminal genius as the hero troubles some parents: Artemis, despite his mellowing, is ruthless, arrogant, and sarcastic.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

At the end of the last Artemis Fowl book, The Eternity Code, young criminal genius Artemis and Butler had their memories wiped so that they would no longer remember what they knew about the Lower Elements -- fairies, goblins, centaurs, etc. But you knew Artemis would have some clever plan to get his memory back, didn't you? As it turns out, though, his plan doesn't work fast enough. His old adversary/friend Holly Short needs his help -- Opal Koboi has escaped and is planning both revenge and world domination, and only Artemis is clever enough to oppose her.

But Opal, who is as smart as Artemis, quickly gets the upper hand, and has Artemis and Holly playing defense as her plans fall into place one by one -- plans that include humiliating and discrediting Holly before she is killed. Now they are on the run both from Opal, and from the LEP, whom Opal has fooled into thinking that Holly has gone renegade.

Is it any good?


Fans of the series who were horrified to think it would end as a trilogy will be thrilled to see this new episode. While it can be read without reading the previous books, it's not recommended. Even with lots of exposition, it's pretty confusing without the context. It maintains the strengths of the series: fast pacing, suspense, smarty-pants humor, B-movie dialogue and plotting, and unusual settings.

Artemis is considerably softened up here, a process begun in the previous book and now accelerated. At times he is almost, well, nice -- which may disappoint some readers even as parents breathe a sigh of relief.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the main character and his motivations. How has he changed in the series? How is he the same?

Book details

Author:Eoin Colfer
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:April 18, 2005
Number of pages:342

This review of Artemis Fowl Book 4: The Opal Deception was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLaynieSkywalker March 20, 2011

e.g. some readers will love but not all

Opal deception may be violent at some points but not all. Holly and Artemis have to work together even if they're Archenemies. Opal is after her enemy Artemis Fowl and Holly Short tries to save him but she herself gets stuck with Artemis and Mulch Diggums. Its a race to stay alive and to keep away from Opal and her little helpers
Adult Written byTending Bloom April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

A new Artemis...

Having read the previous Artemis Fowl books, this is a nice conclusion. Only Opal could pull it off. A warning:There is a death of a major character at the beginning. It is a bit shocking. This book is very fast paced. You will hardly have time to catch your breath. Well worth reading.
Teen, 13 years old Written byavidcritc April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

a relief

this book was such a relief. it had seemed like artemis fowl would end as a trilogy, and the end of book three made everything that had happened until then seem utterly pointless. i kinda liked that arty was off balance most of the book- it made him more human, and he had to come up with things on the spur of the moment. he also develops a surprising sense of humor (always a plus). all in all, a great book. the only thing is, when he's coming up with and even implementing his secret plans, you don't know any more about them than the villains. it can really be kind of irritating.


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