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The Lost Colony: Artemis Fowl    by Eoin Colfer order for
Lost Colony
by Eoin Colfer
Order:  USA  Can
Miramax, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Lost Colony follows Artemis Fowl, The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code, and The Opal Deception, as the fifth in this brilliant series about (in Eoin Colfer's own words) fairies, fiends and flatulence. Now at age fourteen, Artemis has kidnapped a fairy, rescued his dad from the Russian Mafiya, and helped put down a goblin revolution - quite a track record even for a criminal mastermind. Along the way, he's also germinated the seeds of a conscience.

The first chapter is aptly titled Blast to the Past - in more ways than one. It involves time travel, but is also reminiscent of the first book in the series, with Artemis and bodyguard Butler traveling the world in seach of fairy lore. This time, they see a demon materialize (and Artemis is briefly pulled into the past), but also discover that they have competition, led by a pretty teen girl named Minerva Paradizo, who's after a Nobel prize and has all her wealthy father's resources at her disposal (remind you of anyone?) And poor Artemis is somewhat distracted by the effects of puberty.

Where's Holly in all this? She quit the LEP after the death of her mentor, Commander Julius Root, and partnered with odorous dwarf Mulch Diggums (my favorite series character) in a PI (bounty hunting) business. They're on the trail of slippery (and surprisingly dangerous) fish smuggling pixie Doodah Day, when interrupted by Wing Commander Vinyaya, who says two words ('Artemis Fowl') and enlists them in Section Eight, whose technical consultant is (can you guess?) their old friend, centaur Foaly. Soon they join Artemis on the trail of a lost colony of demons, whose moon rock island Hybras is stranded in time. Of course, Doodah Day is eventually pulled into the adventure as well - how could he not be with a name like that?

In addition to the pixie, Colfer tosses in another great new character to the series - the engagingly different Imp No 1, who's been waiting forever to change into a demon. His peers keep transforming, but it just doesn't happen for the one they call Runt. Of course, he eventually takes 'One small step for an imp', time travels, is captured by Minerva and rescued by Artemis, Mulch and Holly. Unfortunately, one of Minerva's associates is a slightly mad killer named Billy Kong, who complicates matters. There's a kidnapping and a bomb that sends the good guys to Hybras, where they meet a pride of angry demons and lose a few years.

Artemis does succeed in saving the world - and demonkind - once more, but finds shocking changes when he returns. And he's not quite the same himself either. All of this sets the scene nicely for more thrilling adventures in this magical, high tech series. Let's hope we get to read them soon!

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