The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer
Digital Audiobook narrated by Nathaniel Parker
Published by Disney Hyperion on July 10, 2012
Series: Artemis Fowl #8
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 328 pages or 7 hours, 39 minutes
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It's Armageddon Time for Artemis Fowl
Opal Koboi, power-crazed pixie, is plotting to exterminate mankind and become fairy queen.
If she succeeds, the spirits of long-dead fairy warriors will rise from the earth, inhabit the nearest available bodies and wreak mass destruction. But what happens if those nearest bodies include crows, or deer, or badgers - or two curious little boys by the names of Myles and Beckett Fowl?
Yes, it's true. Criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl's four-year-old brothers could be involved in destroying the human race. Can Artemis and Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police stop Opal and prevent the end of the world?
I swear, my brain just CANNOT handle the last book in a series. When I read The Dark Tower again last year, I believe I mentioned that I had completely remembered the ending wrong. Guess what? Apparently the same with The Last Guardian. My brain filed away a grand “last stand” situation where Artemis and Holly pull Opal out of prison and she joins them in this last great attempt against an annihilative force. And while they don’t become friends, they learn to respect one another.
My brain is adorable. It comes up with such creatively wrong things.
So if you were hoping for a reconciliation between Artemis et al and Opal, forgetaboutit.
I still do like The Last Guardian for a finale. It’s interesting to see how Artemis’s genius evolves between Artemis Fowl and The Last Guardian. The devious criminal mastermind I fell in love with at the beginning is a completely different person now, and it all happened subtly enough that you don’t really think about how far he’s come until the end. The characters in this series remain some of my all time favorites. I appreciate how Colfer didn’t bend his story to follow a lot of the traditional YA tropes, but that he still explored all the options for the fans.
When I first reviewed this back in 2012, I said that I couldn’t imagine a better ending. I actually still feel that way – Colfer allows Artemis to take the next logical step in his personal journey. It’s heart wrenching at times. I swear – I need the Artemis Fowl movie to be a smashing hit, because I need Disney to make all the sequels just so I can see the last two chapters of this book on the big screen. I will cry, even though I know what is coming, because Artemis is precious and the ending is difficult and beautiful all at once.
It’s not easy to take a story from a children’s book, through middle grade and into YA, and still maintain a decent storyline and consistent character growth. I think Eoin Colfer does a fantastic job of it, and I commend him for it. Sure, as a series, there are some ups and downs. You’ll remember I detest The Atlantis Complex, but this series as a whole is close to my heart, and I feel that it holds up, even after all these years.
The story in The Last Guardian feels like a parallel to Artemis Fowl. It’s a siege on Fowl Manor, friends verses faeries. The stakes are higher – lives and humanity instead of gold. We get the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone. I keep coming back to this, but it’s such a good farewell. It’s a contained story – the whole thing takes place in about a day. Artemis keeps a lot more close to him than he has in previous books, but it’s more or less the same as in Artemis Fowl, only his motivations are different. Again, such a good mirror to the first book.
And I’m an absolute sucker for a series that starts and ends when the same sentence.
The Artemis Fowl series is a book series that I have always – and will continue to – recommend to people. People of any age, as long as they are will to read at least a YA novel. I have to preface it with a warning that the first couple books, at least, feel a bit childish. But the overall story, the wonderful characters, and immersing yourself in Eoin Colfer’s clever writing is absolutely worth it. I loved these books when I was young, and I still love them as an adult.