Ten thousand years ago, humans and fairies fought a great battle for the magical island of Ireland. When it became clear to the fairy families that they could never win, they decided to move their civilization underground and keep themselves hidden from the humans. All the fairy families agreed on this, except the eighth family, the demons. The demons planned to lift their small island out of time until they had regrouped and were ready to wage war on the humans once more. However, the time spell went wrong, and the island of Hybras was catapulted into Limbo, where it has remained for ten thousand years. Now the tainted time spell is deteriorating and demons are being sucked back into the present space and time. The fairy council is concerned about this and is monitoring any materializations. But when the spells deterioration accelerates, the materializations become unpredictable. Even the fairy scientists cannot figure out where the next demon will pop up. But someone can. Artemis Fowl, teenage criminal mastermind, has solved temporal equations that no normal human should be intelligent enough to understand. So when a confused and frightened demon pops up in a Sicilian theater, Artemis Fowl is there to meet him. Unfortunately, he is not the only one. A second, mysterious party has also solved the temporal equations, and has managed to abduct the demon before Artemis can secure him. Once again, Artemis will have to pair up with his old comrade, Captain Holly Short, to track down the missing demon and rescue him, before the time spell dissolves completely and the lost demon colony returns violently to Earth.
This is my favorite Artemis Fowl book so far, and it doesn’t even have Opal Koboi in it. That’s largely due to the introduction of No. 1 (get it, no-one?), an immature demon that encounters Artemis Fowl. The narration from No. 1’s point of view is great, and lends a sense of innocence that Artemis no longer has. On the other hand, Artemis is starting to show guilt when he manipulates people which is a great step forward for him. The other introduction in this book, Minerva Paradizo, is a welcome addition to showing Artemis as a teenager going through adolescence and discovering “girls”. She also is starting out where Artemis did five books ago and is a great way to measure how Artemis’ character has developed through his friendship with Holly and his brushes with the fairy world even through his mind wipe. The plot is similar to other Artemis Fowl books, quick moving and with excellent pacing up to a breakneck climax that almost left me in tears. Highly recommended as the pinnacle of the series for me.
I received a copy of this book free through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.