I recently read W.A.R.P.: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer. It was a bit of a disappointment. It’s not that it’s not a nice piece of Y.A. fiction. The story is unique and interesting, the villain Albert Garrick is a powerful and nasty mix of Michael Myers and Fagin, and the story displays Colfer’s trademark humor.
And yet … I love me some Artemis Fowl. I’ll take Artemis over Harry Potter any day of the week, and twice on Tuesday. The characters of Artemis’s world – LeP Captain Holly Short, the massive Butler, Foaly the centaur, Julius Root, the most awesome thief ever in Mulch Duggums and the titular sociopath himself – are immediately fully realized and adapt and change throughout the series in realistic, thoughtful ways. The villains are crafty and crazy, the adventures are a hoot and Colfer isn’t afraid to go dark.
The problem is nothing else I’ve read from Colfer – W.A.N.D., The Supernaturalist, The Wish List, Half Moon Investigations – has that same … spark, for a lack of a better word. The books are well-plotted, the characters are unique, and Colfer’s a funny dude. But there’s something about Artemis that separates that series from the rest of Colfer’s work.
Does that mean I’ll stop reading Colfer? No, because even an under-cooked book from Colfer is 75% better than anything else out there. It’s just frustrating to not make the same connection to his other work that I made immediately to Artemis Fowl and his cohorts.