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The Last Guardian: Artemis Fowl, Book 8

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The Last Guardian: Artemis Fowl, Book 8 Book Poster Image
It's Artemis vs. Armageddon in fast-paced finale.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Ideas on how human society recovers when all modern technology fails. Thoughts on cloning and the risks.

Positive Messages

Friendship and trust in the strengths of friends are keys to survival.

Positive Role Models & Representations

In Artemis' grand series exit, he realizes how far he's come. He considered himself broken before his friendship with Holly and other fairies. He goes from self-described criminal mastermind and loner to someone willing to sacrifice everything for his friends. Mulch Diggums still steals without remorse, but one thing does change pretty profoundly about him: He decides to play the hero and save his friends when he normally would have run away and saved himself.

Violence

Tech explodes all over the human and fairy worlds, killing countless innocents with talk of possible Armageddon. Characters shot and killed, one after she is ransomed and demands aren't met. Injuries and knockouts from a ship crash, an airplane crash, a rampaging troll and goblins, arrows, magical blasts -- most can be magically healed. Characters, including 4-year-old boys, possessed and told to attack others.

Sex
Language

Jokes about explosive dwarf gas are a constant in the series.

Consumerism

Mentions of Disneyland, Alice in Wonderland, a Juicy track suit.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mention that fairy Mulch Diggums drank a whole cellar's worth of wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Guardian is the eighth and final book in the main Artemis Fowl storyline. There's a 2019 spin-off series about Artemis' little brothers called The Fowl Twins (release date Nov. 5) and a 2020 movie based on the first two Artemis Fowl books. As with the first book, Artemis Fowl, and all that follow, there's much fantasy violence here, mostly involving fairy technology. Tech explodes all over the human and fairy worlds, killing countless innocents with talk of possible Armageddon. Characters are shot and killed, one after she is ransomed and demands aren't met. There are injuries and knock-outs from a ship crash, an airplane crash, a rampaging troll and goblins, arrows, and magical blasts -- most can be magically healed. Characters, including 4-year-old boys, are possessed and told to attack others. Fans who have followed Artemis' journey this far will know how far he's come, from criminal mastermind and loner to someone who will sacrifice anything for his friends. Even the thief Mulch Diggums has his heroic moment here, though he also admits to drinking all the wine in the Fowl cellar.

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What's the story?

In THE LAST GUARDIAN: ARTEMIS FOWL, BOOK 8, Artemis is discharged from his Atlantis Complex treatment in time for an emergency down at the LEP. Opal Koboi -- the one from the past who hitched a ride into the present time line -- is being held for ransom. If they don't let the present-day Opal out of prison in 15 minutes, the younger Opal will die, and then the present-day prison Opal won't exist, and then all her technology will cease to exist with her, after it all explodes spectacularly -- confused yet? Artemis is aware this is all some grand scheme of Opal's to get out of prison and take over the world -- but with the human and fairy worlds at stake, what can he do about it?

Is it any good?

Artemis fans will thoroughly enjoy this fast-paced finale that takes on the biggest villain of the series -- the pixie Opal Koboi -- with no less than Armageddon at stake. All of Artemis' friends need to step up here, and, as usual, Mulch Diggums has a heroic, yet gassy role to play. As Opal's maniacal plan unfolds, readers wait with glee for Artemis' usual brilliant counterattack. The final grandstanding takes place on the Fowl estate -- Artemis' home turf -- but it's still not an easy fight to win.

Author Eoin Colfer brings the much-loved series to a close with his usual fun fairy-tech flourishes and humor. More time could have been given to the final third in general -- that fantastic troll ride goes by way too fast, as do Holly and Artemis' moments together -- but it's all still well worth the wild ride.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Artemis' transformation in The Last Guardian and the whole series. What was he like in Book 1? What is he like now?

  • What happens to the human world without technology? How would you get by? What would you miss the most?

  • Will you read the Fowl Twins spin-off series? See the movie?

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