Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer
In this sixth book in the Artemis Fowl series, Artemis has to save his mother from a deadly fairy illness called spelltropy by going back in time to save an extinct cure-bearing lemur from…himself. This time travel creates the paradox of the title, as Artemis meets his 10-year-old self.
This book features one of the most over-the-top villains I’ve ever read: Dr. Damon Kronski, the fat, New-Orleans-born leader of a group called the Extinctionists, determined to eradicate all animals that are not directly useful to human beings. Really, can you think of anything more stereotypically and gratuitously evil than setting out to make exotic species extinct? This character seems a good example of the cartoonish characters found in this series. He’s eventually revealed to be merely a minion of the arch-villain, Opal Koboi.
One surprise I found in this book was an exploration of sexual tension between Artemis and Holly. Their relationship is tested by lies and a kiss, and seems to emerge as strong as ever, but strictly platonic. It’s always interesting to see an author play with these possibilities and then draw back from them. That seems more rare and more deliberate, not to mention more realistic, than the idea that everyone who ever kisses in a book is destined to be together forever. (I was somewhat surprised that Minerva, a possible romantic interest introduced in the previous book, did not appear at all in this one.)