by Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #8
Published on July 10, 2012 (original) by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Opal Koboi, the power-crazed pixie, is plotting to exterminate humankind 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 animals, or two curious little boys named Myles and Beckett Fowl? Can Artemis and Holly stop Opal and prevent the end of the world?
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And here ends the story of Artemis Fowl.
In terms of finales, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with The Last Guardian. Much of the book’s plot feels no different than previous books. In fact, the stakes don’t feel nearly as high as some of the earlier adventures in the series. Yet as a conclusion, it ends on a somewhat satisfying note of bringing the entire series full circle.
There are enough open endings that (on my first read) I expected there was potential for expansion and now know there’s a spin-off series planned with Artemis’s younger twin brothers. Knowing that has allowed me to accept the holes left behind in The Last Guardian a bit more as I hope they’ll be addressed in the new series.
The one thing with these books, the further you go in the series, is that I felt more and more disconnected from the story. The way it’s written from around book 4 onward created a distance between me as a reader and the characters that left me feeling much like an observer rather than experiencing everything alongside the crew.
I think where I struggled the most with The Last Guardian was the pure fantasy of it all. These books have always blended fantasy and sci-fi into this unique world of fairy tech and schemes, but in book 5 we were introduced to demons that only played a role for a short time. And now there are ghost-like warriors possessing living beings and the whole situation around it was just a bit too much. Too unbelievable even for these books. It distanced me further and ensured that this wouldn’t be quite the conclusion I was hoping for.
That said, I think the very end of the book is what this series needed to bring everything around and I appreciate the nod to the beginning of the first book. Do I recommend The Last Guardian? If you’ve made it this far in the series then absolutely. And I still recommend the books as a whole, including as audiobooks. This series, no matter its faults, will forever be a part of my childhood.