The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer
Digital Audiobook narrated by Nathaniel Parker
Published by Miramax on September 15, 2006
Series: Artemis Fowl #5
Genres: Faeries, Fantasy, Irish Mythology, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 385 pages or 8 hours, 28 minutes
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Ten thousand years ago, humans and fairies fought a great battle for the magical island of Ireland. When it became clear that they could not win, all of the faeries moved below ground—all except for the 8th family, the demons. Rather than surrender, they used a magical time spell to take their colony out of time and into Limbo. There they have lived for decades, planning their violent revenge on humans.
Now the time spell is unraveling, and demons are beginning to materialize without warning on Earth. If humans were to find out about them, all faeries would be exposed. To protect themselves, the faeries must predict when the next demon will materialize. But in order to do so, they will have to decipher temporal equations so complicated, even a great brain like Foaly can't understand them. But he knows someone who can: Artemis Fowl.
So when a confused and frightened demon imp pops appears in a Sicilian theater, Artemis is there to meet him. But he is not alone. Someone else has unlocked the secrets of the fairy world and managed to solve complex mathematical problems that only a genius could. And she is only twelve years old...
Book five of the Artemis Fowl series takes a little bit of a departure from the rest of the series. Whereas the previous four books have involved saving Haven city, or performing a heist on Artemis’s behest, this time both Holly and Artemis are working for a greater cause. We are introduced to a whole new group of faeries, who are caught in a time spell that is unraveling.
When I read this series when I was younger, I didn’t care for The Lost Colony. I like the heists and the intricate world of the faerie underground, and a lot of this book relies heavy on the demon culture. The demons are led by a violence-loving demon named Leon Abbott who is the only one to have jumped out of the time tunnel and returned. In his foray to the human world, he claims to have learned about the warring intentions of humanity and strives to create a culture of violent, human-hating demons to wipe out all humans. At its best, it’s pretty cheesy. That said, it really depends on the reader, because while I was still not overly impressed, my husband loved it.
The writing continues to be playful, and I have to admit, No1 adds a fresh feeling to the series. Colfer is always witty and flows with an easy grace, but now halfway through the series, it does call for something new. It’s easy for a series to get stale. Colfer is also careful to balance his comedic characters. Mulch Diggums and No1 are not in any scenes together, keeping the balance between comedy and action. I personally prefer Mulch to No1, but I think a lot of people will be enchanted by No1. He’s sweet and innocent and naive and excited.
Another aspect we get here, as Artemis is now fourteen, is Artemis’s first crush. He handle the unusual situation the same way he handles everything else – tries to analyze it and becomes confused when he finds himself thinking about her at inopportune moments. It is delightful and I loved it. I think it’s important in long running series like this to actually feel like the characters are getting older. The Harry Potter series does this well, and Percy Jackson. And Artemis Fowl.
All in all, I enjoyed The Lost Colony more rereading it than I did when I first read it. I appreciate more of Colfer’s stylistic choices here, and I see the comedy a little better. I think most readers will like this one, and appreciate the shift in setting and motive for Artemis.