Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer
This fifth volume of the Artemis Fowl series introduces several new elements to the series. We find out that in addition to fairies, dwarves, and centaurs, demons exist. They have been in another dimension, on an island outside of time, but the spell is unraveling, and they will be appearing on earth if Artemis and his friends don’t stop them. Alternating chapters concern No1, a young demon who is becoming a warlock. We also meet a new character, a foil for Artemis named Minerva Paradiso, who is basically the same person Artemis was several books ago, except female and French. She is planning to kidnap No1 and use him to win the Nobel Prize. Artemis and Minerva have a pretty strong connection, and there is talk of puberty, so she seems to be set up as a future love interest.
The action in this novel was increasingly far-fetched, involving time warps, ticking bombs, warlocks, and mind-bending quandaries. I preferred the first half of the book, which was mostly set on earth, including such interesting locations as a Sicilian opera house, a French chateau, and Taipei 101, a skyscraper in Taiwan. When Artemis traveled to the demons’ island, things just got super weird. There were times when it felt like Colfer was kind of making up the rules as he went along, deciding for example, that the bomb’s timer was affected by time travel, and how many magical beings were needed to create a circle to return to earth. Still, it had many enjoyable moments, and was worth it especially as a stepping stone to what I have faith will be an even better payoff in the series’ conclusion.