A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Eoin Colfer's The Opal Deception is the fourth book in the popular Artemis Fowl series. Here Artemis' adversary/friend Holly Short needs his help, as Opal Koboi has escaped and is planning both revenge and world domination. Expect the death of an important character in an explosion; the character is mourned after. There are also fights against trolls, fights using explosions and high-tech fairy weaponry, and a fall from a building with injuries. At the beginning of the story, Artemis doesn't remember his connection to the fairies and is back to being more of the bad guy readers will remember from the first book. He comes around quickly, though, and realizes how important his friends are.
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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 as we see in THE OPAL DECEPTION, Artemis had devised a clever plan to get his memory back. As it turns out, though, his plan doesn't work fast enough. Meanwhile, 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's 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's 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 The Opal Deception can be read without reading the previous books, that's not recommended. Even with lots of exposition, it's pretty confusing without the context. But 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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Artemis and his motivations in The Opal Deception. How has he changed in the series? How is he the same?
Why do you think this series is so popular? Is it the characters or the plot that keeps readers hooked?
How tough would it be to change from mean to nice? Have you known any kids whose character or temperament changed from one grade to another?
- Author: Eoin Colfer
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
- Publication date: April 18, 2005
- Number of pages: 342
- Last updated: April 7, 2020
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