The Arctic Incident: Artemis Fowl, Book 2

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The Arctic Incident: Artemis Fowl, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Humans and fairies team up in high-action, witty sequel.

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Some info on Soviet nuclear submarines and radioactive waste in the Arctic. A mini geology lesson on how rock responds to intense heat. Talk of technology and methods of hacking and ways to keep information safe.

Positive Messages

Teamwork among unlikely allies. Plus, loyalty to family and the importance of showing respect to others. On the negative end, so to speak, many jokes about explosive dwarf gas.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Artemis still lacks humility (in a humorous way) and prefers to consider himself a criminal mastermind, but learns respect for others here, and works as a team with them, relying on their skills and bravery. He puts his desire to save his father on hold to help his new friends.


Action violence is pervasive, but major bloodshed is averted in climactic battle with help of sophisticated fairy weaponry that knocks enemies unconscious instead of killing them. Still, a few bad guys go down, one from a kind of electric shock, another falls in lava, some bad guys betray their own and kill them with guns, once at close range to back of head. German shepherds threaten attack, a finger is amputated (and reattached with magic), an explosion blows a hole through a fairy wing, an injured man is kidnaped after he nearly drowns in a shipwreck; mention that his leg has to be amputated. Some fistfights.


Artemis is driven around in a Bentley.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Commander Root smokes fungus cigars often, Russian Mafiya men smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Arctic Incident is the second book of eight in the Artemis Fowl storyline. This is a review of the text version. A graphic novel version is also available, as well as a movie of the first two books joined together set for release in 2020. As with the first book, Artemis Fowl, there's a whole lot of fantasy action violence here, but major bloodshed is averted in a climactic battle with the help of sophisticated fairy weaponry that knocks enemies unconscious instead of killing them. Still, a few bad guys go down, one from a kind of electric shock, and another falls in lava. Some bad guys betray their own and kill them with guns, once at close range to the back of the head. German shepherds threaten attack, a finger is amputated (and reattached with magic), and an explosion blows a hole through a fairy wing. An injured man is kidnapped after he nearly drowns in a shipwreck; there's mention that his leg had to be amputated. The 13-year-old criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl, softens up a bit in this one. He has brief moments of humility and respect for those around him, including the fairies he'd made enemies of in the last book. Of special note to parents who don't enjoy potty humor nearly as much as their kids: The gassy dwarf is back and more lethal than ever.

User Reviews

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Teen, 16 years old Written byTheGoldenTrio7 March 25, 2020

Artemis Fowl 2| Funny Action Paced Story!

I LOVE the Harry Potter series, and this book is just as enticing! If you get the Audio Book, like me, then you'll hear the many voices and accents of Nath... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 19, 2020

Great sequel to the first book!!!

In this book, Artemis Fowl is slowly starting to co-operate with the fairies and is willing to help them if they help him find his missing father. Artemis conti... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE ARCTIC INCIDENT, Butler springs Artemis Fowl out of boarding school to save his kidnapped father. Russian Mafiya found Artemis senior in an Arctic shipwreck and are asking for ransom. One thing Artemis II knows for sure is that the Mafiya won't leave him or his father alive even if they deliver the money. He has to think of a plan to free him quickly and on the sly. Meanwhile, underground, (fairy) Captain Holly Short discovers some insidious goblin activity while on stakeout. Goblins are transporting batteries from somewhere aboveground, clearly trading with the Mud Men (people) -- which is most illegal. Holly suspects Artemis is behind it and takes a squad up to the surface to find out what he knows, which is nothing. Even though her bust is a bust, both Artemis and Holly realize they may need each other. Holly needs Artemis' bodyguard, Butler, to take out the human who's working with the goblins. Artemis needs fast passage to the Arctic to save his father, and there's nothing faster than traveling in a fairy ship deep in the Earth.

Is it any good?

Fans of the child mastermind series will love the high action, wit, and amazing fairy tech in this sequel. They'll also love to see Artemis and Butler team up with the People, his former worthy adversaries. Both need the other more than they know, especially when things get very complicated both above and below ground. Author Eoin Colfer has always had a gift for throwing problem after problem at his characters and giving them just seconds to solve them before something explodes or someone falls to their death. In The Arctic Incident there's a radioactive train, a charged plasma tube, a nuclear submarine, and lava fissures, plus baddies like goblins, the Russian Mafiya, and a revenge-fueled tech genius after them.

The only minus to this fast-paced storytelling is that it's not always easy to visualize this world. Details on where the People live are spare and mainly focus on the fairy tech. Perhaps that's why the graphic novel versions of the series are also so popular.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Artemis is changing in The Arctic Incident. When does he show humility? Why? How is he similar to Foaly?

  • For readers who pick up the graphic novel as well, which version do you like better? Did you imagine the world the same way?

  • What do you think is next for Artemis? For Holly? Do you think they'll ever work together again?

Book details

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For kids who love fantasy

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