A lot or a little?
Parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Former LEP Captain Holly Short is called back into service in Foaly's new (and very well-funded) post in the secretive Section Eight. Demons, the Eighth Family of the Fairy People, have begun appearing on Earth, and Artemis Fowl seems to be able to predict when and where.
But someone else, another genius child named Minerva Paradizo, has figured it out, too, and manages to capture a small imp named No. 1. Artemis agrees to help Holly and the Fairies rescue the imp before more humans find out about him and start searching for more -- which might lead them to the Fairy underground.
Is it any good?
With his brilliance, technology, family organization, and world-spanning adventuring, Artemis has become a sort of Tom Swift for the 21st century. As the series evolves, Artemis has lost the last traces of his criminal bent, almost becoming the millennial version of a boy scout. He and the Fairies are now solidly on the same side and good friends. Even the violence has been dialed back a bit.
Five books into the series the relationships and motivations are getting more complex, so it is best to start with the first book. Author Eoin Colfer seems to like putting Artemis up against other geniuses but Minerva, who doesn't really mean any harm, is no Opal Koboi (for the uninitiated, she's the maniacal villain from books 2 and 4). So with THE LOST COLONY the series returns to the pleasure of seeing Artemis, always in charge and unflappable, work out his complicated plans; he's not off-balance and one step behind, like in the fourth book.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what seems to be becoming a trend in the series: criminals going straight. First Artemis, then Mulch, then Doodah. Given that all of them were successful criminals, why might they find helping others more satisfying? Also, is Minerva's drive for a Nobel Prize better than Artemis' past goal for wealth and technology?