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The Eternity Code: Artemis Fowl, Book 3    by Eoin Colfer order for
Eternity Code
by Eoin Colfer
Order:  USA  Can
Miramax, 2003
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Artemis Fowl, who rescued his missing dad from the Russian mafia in The Arctic Incident, has a pending problem in this third in the series. His sane again mother has convinced the senior Artemis to go straight and to send the Fowl offspring back to school, and his recovered dad challenges young Artemis to be a hero.

He decides to go out with a bang, his final nefarious deed being to extort cash from shady IT billionaire Jon Spiro in return for keeping his new invention (largely plagiarized from fairy technology) off the market. In the 'C Cube', Artemis has developed a little wireless box that will 'render all other technology obsolete.' Unfortunately Spiro has his own agenda for their meeting. Things go badly awry and Artemis once again must deal with serious consequences of his own actions, affecting both Butler and the entire fairy race.

Artemis applies quick thinking and cryogenics. At the other extreme, it's heating up around Holly Short in Haven City when the goblins she's transporting to jail start burning their way out of a makeshift LEP wagon. Luckily Holly's fast reactions match Artemis' skills, and she's soon above ground investigating Mud Men probes. Spiro is after Artemis for the 'Eternity Code'. Butler is out of commission, but fortunately 'There's more than one Butler in the family' and Juliet gets in on the action - I've been wondering when she'd get a starring role.

So does my favorite series character, the explosive Mulch Diggums, who shows signs (like Artemis) of beginning, very slowly, to develop a conscience. Other engaging personalities include hit woman Carla Frazetti, dumb and dumber goons Chips and Plex, Mulch's short (and temporary) associate Loafers, and centaur scientist Foaly. With fairy civilization at risk, Artemis makes a sacrifice in return for Holly's and Foaly's aid, and directs a Mission Impossible style sting (the mother of all stings really) in Chicago.

The Eternity Code is just as good as the first two in the series, which is excellent indeed. Though it leaves Artemis with 'Overwhelming difficulties', the young master criminal exits stage right with a threat to 'unleash a crime wave the likes of which has never been seen.' My sons and I can't wait!

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