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The Time Paradox: Artemis Fowl #6    by Eoin Colfer order for
Time Paradox
by Eoin Colfer
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Through this remarkable series, Eoin Colfer has developed his protagonist, Artemis Fowl, from an amoral young criminal mastermind to a teenager with at least the seeds of a conscience. In previous books, he kidnapped a fairy, rescued his dad from the Russian Mafia, helped fairies put down a goblin revolution, and rescued a lost colony of demons stranded in time.

Returning from the latter adventure (described in The Lost Colony) with a grateful new friend - little demon No1 who's an amazingly powerful fledgling warlock - mismatched eyes, and stolen magic, fourteen-year-old Artemis was shocked to find that the world had gone on without him. Three years had passed and he now had two-year-old twin brothers Beckett and Myles (Artemis's style of entertaining his small siblings is something to behold!)

As The Time Paradox opens, Artemis's mother Angeline is suddenly taken ill with the very rare - and very debilitating - fairy plague, Spelltropy. The only antidote - discovered by genius billionairess pixie villainess Opal Koboi - is 'the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur of Madagascar'. Unfortunately, this lemur has been extinct since a younger Artemis ruthlessly delivered the last of the species to its death in exchange for cash needed to find his missing father in the Arctic.

After a very close and heated encounter with an explosively shell-shedding kraken, LEP Captain Holly Short responds to Artemis's call to help find a cure for his mother. His solution? Travel back in time (powered by No1) and save the lemur he names Jayjay from his obnoxious younger self. Sounds simple, but of course nothing goes as planned, Artemis foils his elder's plan, the latter hampered by an uncomfortable conscience and by guilt over his blackmail of Holly.

As always, there are continuous ennervating escapades and near misses as Artemis, Holly - and of course the ferociously flatulent dwarf Mulch Diggums - go up against younger Artemis, Butler and assorted Extinctionist villains led by Damon Kronski. When the good guys (both sets) finally extricate themselves from that mess, Artemis begins to understand the nature of what he's really up against, a time paradox orchestrated by his all-time nemesis.

Eoin Colfer continues to deliver high entertainment in this sixth in a consistently excellent series - Artemis fans will enjoy their hero's courageous, extremely clever exploits in The Time Paradox at least as much as in earlier episodes and look forward with enthusiasm to more.

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