Friday, May 10, 2019

Harma-Geddon's Comin' | TLG Ch 5-8 | Artemis Fowl Read Along

For anyone who hasn't heard yet, the Artemis Fowl film has been delayed until May 2020. While frustrating, all indications are this is a good move, as this is potentially a better release slot for it to break out as a commercial success. There are also indications that some re-shooting is happening, though how extensive they are is unclear; the reason for the delay is officially the Disney/Fox merger.

We've waited 18 years already to see this favorite book hit the big screen, so one more year isn't the end of the world. I do feel the need to point out however, that I have been waiting to see this film for more than half of my life. Please make it worth the wait, Disney.

With that out of the way, let's get this week's Fowl Day post!

Chapter 5: Harma-Geddon

Don't worry, Juliet; the wait won't be long. In just over a year the world get a load of Myles Fowl, and Beckett, too. I can't wait to see what happens then.

Chapter 6: Rise, My Beauties

Artemis is trying to plot on his way to save the twins, but there are certain scenarios he can't face, and pushes those to the back of his mind. And while he can't stomach the thought of his brothers harmed, he already knows revenge will be his if they are.
While Artemis hasn't been a stranger to 'revenge' or dishing out some just desserts in the past, this one certainly seems and feels much darker, in keeping with the overall grittier feel of this book so far. One direction or another, The Last Guardian will be the final step in Artemis' development.

This is also an interesting foil to Arty's blind spot when it comes to things he doesn't care about. We've seen it several times over the series, most notably in The Eternity Code when his Cube almost alerts Jon Spiro to the People because Artemis was careless about not disconnecting it form LEP probes. That one slip up almost cost the People everything, because Artemis was blinded by his own greed and selfish desires. Now, Artemis is faced with the possibility of losing his loved ones, something too horrible for him to even contemplate, resulting in a similar blind spot, this one born of emotional weakness, rather than pure selfishness.

Will this 'Poppy' nickname come back as something important later? It's possible this is just a piece of worldbuilding that hasn't made it into the series until now, but it seems rather significant suddenly dropped that for some unknown reason all the females in Holly's family have the nickname 'Poppy'. Curiosity = piqued.

Foaly's Universal Law of Maximum Doo-Doo Displacement is a must know for all beings attempting to function in society.

This medieval couplet about the locks is very revealing about Opal's biggest flaw. Unlike Arty's own blind spot flaw -which we've discussed before is a consequence of his own selfishness- Opal's is her own arrogance. Even as she opens the lock, she assumes Arty will be the one to 'rue', not her. We'll find out soon enough.

Colfer's fairies have souls, which long for their own heaven. This is simply interesting to me because in my -albeit rather limited- studies in folklore and mythology, it was believed fairies are soulless, and therefore unable to reach heaven (read as: doomed to hell). That's probably mostly propaganda from the Church when they actively sought to out belief in fairies back in the day.

The narration style changes just a little when we're following Oro's point of view, taking on the tone and lilt of a traditional storyteller and it works.

Corpses plentiful on the Fowl Estate? My first thought is Family graveyard or the former Fowl empire's dumping ground?

The idea that ghosts of these possessed corpses are lamenting and probably even berating the Berserkers mistreating their bodies is funny to me. Morbid, perhaps, but funny nonetheless.

Awww, I love that No1 is so fond of Qwan that he pretends he still needs a mentor just to keep him around.

I have noticed the last few books that Holly never seems to have magic when she needs it, which on the one hand is good because it means Colfer has intentionally not relied on magic to save his characters, but on the other hand, I miss Holly at her best. So having No1 explain that her extensive physical traumas are making her leak magic and patching her up is a good move and totally reasonable. Because Holly does get the crap beat out of her a lot.

Short stories needed:

  • All three of Holly and Trouble's disastrous dates
  • Artemis & Foaly team up
  • Artemis babysitting the twins while the Butler's get a sibling date while protecting the Fowl boys
  • Foaly's day with his kids*
  • A day in the life of No1
  • A day in the life of No1: Moon edition
  • Angeline meets Holly
*Starting to question this again. Back in The Atlantis Complex Foaly mentioned something about his kids, but there's been no mention of such creatures existing since. Am I crazy!?

And once again, Artemis Fowl is nearly killed because he still hasn't kept all those promises to get in shape!

Chapter 7: Lickety-Spit

Speaking of brawn vs brain, I love Mulch berating Artemis for always needing to be saved, rather than being able to fend for himself and his loved ones. Foreshadow as much as character trait?

Also, Mulch is ridiculously strong, guys, to haul Butler by his ankles with 'some effort'.

17% percent chance of survival, calculates Arty; they've survived greater odds before, according to him, but I'm curious as to which adventure that was.

When did Mulch become the voice of emotion reason, telling Arty to think with his heart and not with his head? Reminds me of another beloved gruff character. At any rate, more foreshadowing?

To be fair to Artemis, Mulch and Holly, none of this is really Artemis' fault. Not unless you want to blame him for posing as they only true foil to Opal over the last decade that you hold him directly responsible for the height of evil and megalomania she's managed to attain. And that seems like a lot to lay on his shoulders.

Chapter 8: Motley Crew

Finally! Colfer explains the Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot!

If I knew more Motely Crue songs, I might find a fitting one for this chapter. Alas.

That's it for this week, Fowl Fans. See you next Thursday!

May's reading schedule for The Last Guardian:
May 9: Chapters 5-8
May 16: Chapters 9-12
May 30: Chapters 13-19

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Last Guardian | Ch 1-4 | Artemis Fowl Read Along

Before we begin, I feel I must warn you: I have only read this book once.

At the time I had very conflicted feelings about it -about the last three books of the series, in fact. But as I've since warmed up to The Time Paradox and The Atlantis Complex I hope, too, I'll come to better appreciate The Last Guardian.

So going in -I remember very little about this book (even less than I remember about The Time Paradox and, guys, I forgot about THE KISS) so some of my revelations will probably be old news to some.

We left Artemis in the clutches of Atlantis Complex and his own crippling guilt while Angeline rushes to his bedside and Holly and his other friends are already there.

Let's see what The Last Guardian has in store for us, shall we?


Color me intrigued by Oro. I'm interested in this villain just after a page and a half.

I find it interesting how Eoin has delved into a 'black magic' side of the fairies. It gives a better sense of balance, I think, despite the Ritual. After all, no matter the rule, someone will find an advantageous way to break it.

Chapter 1: A Complex Situation

Artemis only truly relaxes after he's gotten the better of Dr. Argon, which definitely says something about my favorite juvenile genius' personality. But this session also provides an interesting parallel to Artemis' other therapy sessions with Dr. Po, back in The Arctic Incident. In that session so long ago, Artemis was dealing with any real psychological issues and Artemis toyed with Dr. Po rather mercilessly, even when the doctor correctly guessed that Artemis lacked decent respect for his fellows because they weren't as smart as he. While Artemis is far from the model patient this time around, he is certainly more respectful of Dr. Argon and, after the gnome relates his theory of relatedness regarding the residual magic on the Fowl Estate, Artemis even gifts the doctor with a cure for his aching hip. It's not all kindness, of course; Artemis has been working on the brace design for several sessions and only after listening to this theory does he decide to share it. So, still some of the same old Fowl under there. But still. Can't deny there's been improvement.

I love this revelation that the Fowls have been after fairy gold for centuries. I mean, obviously we figured Arty's trip back in time is what really triggered the gold hunt. But look back again. What first inspired Arty was a story book. One his father used to read to him. And then tell him how the character should have done it.

Yeah, I'm totally believing something magical is messing with the minds on the Fowl Estate.

I also suspect that this idea is going to come into serious play in the Artemis Fowl film. But we'll find out in just over 3 months!

I do like Arty's growing sympathy towards others, but it's best seen in the moment where he's taught Nopal to tap the glass, to prove she is sentient and intelligent.

"May the fours be with you."
Of course Foaly wouldn't let it go.
Also, I love Foaly, you guys.

Awww, Trouble is morphing into Julius? <3 <3 <3

Opal is one cold-hearted pixie, willing to kill her own your self. Dang.
...and here I thought Eoin had played with all the time warp stuff already.

Chapter 2: Killing the Past

Opal, knowing full well that she might actually erase herself from existence, has nevertheless taken the risk to kill her younger self in an effort to escape, which involves not only the real possibility of her own death but also being shoved into uranium pod in case she explodes.
That pixie is desperate.

Is it just me, or is The Last Guardian darker and more violent than its predecessors? It's not a bad thing -this is, after, not just a finale, but the final step in Artemis' development- but it certainly lends a differently feel to the story.
So far, I think it's working very well. Artemis -freshly cured of Atlantis Complex- is certainly very sensitive to the callous and cold-blooded kidnappers and, by extension, Opal herself. This is, I think, the farthest from Opal (personality-wise) that Artemis has ever been, since they have both veered in opposite directions and this darker story is serving to really highlight those differences before Artemis steps into the final act of his development. I'm keeping on eye on this as we move on.

Chapter 3: Fire & Brimstone

Opal has the blasted good fortune that her grandiose god complex realities somehow actually work. Most psychopaths who think they're destined to become the first Quantum Being by blowing themselves up and putting themselves back together don't usually succeed.

Chapter 4: Engineer Ozkopy Has the Last Word

And that he certainly does. May it haunt Opal for the duration of her inevitably short existence.

Tune in for the rest of the month for the hottest Artemis Fowl read along on the Internet!

May's reading schedule for The Last Guardian:
May 2: Chapters 1-4
May 9: Chapters 5-9
May 16: Chapters 10-13
May 30: Chapters 14-19

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Production Hell: A Game For Long-Suffering Artemis Fowl Fans

Many moons ago, Artemis Fowl Confidential released their awesome I Survived the Wait t-shirts (which I love and own) and the sentiment was so funny and painfully true that I couldn't let it go. So I didn't. Eventually, it turned into a full-blown game idea and creating this ridiculous, magnificent, and totally obsessive board game is honestly one of the funnest and weirdest experiences of my life to date.

The goal of the game is to survive the wait until the premiere date without dying of old age or being driven insane.

It is, in my humble opinion, a fun way to relive the joys and frustrations that have been the last 18 years of the Artemis Fowl film's adventure in and out of Production Hell.

This is a free downloadable PDF (links at the bottom of the post). Take a peak!

The board is best printed on card stock to give it some heft. It can easily be glued down onto cardboard, poster board, or even a less deserving game's boardSome assembly is required; the board comes in four large pieces, with three smaller attachments (as seen below).

I hope you all have as much fun playing it as I did in making it!
My only request is that you spread it around for more of the Fowl community to enjoy.
Please share any photos on social media with me and/or use #AFProductionHell

Hopefully it amuses the rest of the Fowldom as much as it has amused me. Have fun!

Production Hell: Game Board
Production Hell: Instructions & Score Cards

Complex, Atlantis | TAC Ch 7-9 | Artemis Fowl Read Along

Welcome back to the hottest Fowl party on the Internet! Thanks for joining me again. My apologies for last week -between unexpected family visits and a comic convention, things got pretty crazy up in here, but I'm glad you're back!

Today I have a special bonus prize for all my Read Along readers (or anyone else who finds this post). I've designed a board game with a very, very specific niche audience in mind -you and me!
Check out Production Hell: A Game for Long-Suffering Artemis Fowl Fans. This is a free downloadable PDF, just a silly idea I knew I had to do. The game is a fun way to relive the highs and lows that have been the last 18 years of the Artemis Fowl's films adventure in and out of Production Hell.

Chapter 7: How Do I Love Thee?

Throwback time!

Assuming Orion is everything Artemis is not (and vice versa, as we see when Orion later uses the Butler training Artemis is so content to ignore) we can extrapolate from Orion's spouting of 'women need only exude beauty and serve no other function' that Arty conversely believes the opposite, which rather proves he's got a helluva lot of respect for women and I love that. Admittedly, Arty is surrounded by some pretty awesomely strong women, between his mother, Holly, and Juliet. I'd be disappointed if Arty didn't respect and -when advisable- fear those amazing females.

One question: What exactly has Artemis been reading to fill Orion's head such 'princess', 'good beast,' 'secret birthmark' nonsense? We know from The Time Paradox that Arty's no stranger to Tolkien's works but -thankfully- they can't be blamed for such silliness.

Orion calls Artemis mean and nasty and wonders why Holly would want him back. If Orion is everything Artemis is not, but is still of Artemis' mind and Atlantis Complex is bred of guilt, is this Artemis' own perspective of himself, deep down, and something he wonders for himself?

Here I was thinking Turnball Root had a soft side, because look how much he loves Leonor -but nope, magically manipulating emotions is not love.

"Amazing what a person will do to avoid guilt..."
Here Colfer drew us a lovely comparison between brainwashed Vishby -who Turnball marvels at being able to live two lives existing side by side- and Artemis who's doing the same by of Orion.

Turnball obviously did not like Julius. There's really no secret made about that. Julius was his annoying, goody-two-shoes little brother who put him in prison. But his thoughts on Opal Koboi are also pretty clear. If anyone should be worrying about Koboi, the text tells us, it ought to be Turnball, because Koboi killed his little brother.

This more than anything in the book -even Leonor and their forbidden love, which I'll talk about later- is what makes Turnball the most interesting and complicated, I think, and it's a pity that we weren't able to explore this side of the story a little more.

Is Turnball merely annoyed at Koboi because he wanted to kill Julius? Is it a deeply ingrained honor thing, like the princes in Stardust, who needed to avenge their brother's murder by an outside force even though their way to become king was literally to kill each other and be the last left standing? Or was Julius, despite being the annoying little brother who put him in prison, still his brother, and no one messes with Turnball's family but him?

Chapter 8: Randomosity

"...sometimes people are not who they think they are," Angeline tells Artemis. Though this is a dig about his mesmerizing her after The Lost Colony, I like the unspoken side of this too.

Angeline has just tricked Artemis into promising to wear jeans and a T-shirt, which fills him with horror, when she uses this dig on him. We know from The Time Paradox that Artemis first began wearing bespoke suits to look professional taking over the family business after his father vanished. He was no longer a boy, no longer a child; he was the man of the house but, more importantly, the head of the business, and he dressed the part. Now that his father is back, their family nearly twice as big, and the criminal empire no more, Artemis might think he knows who he is, but Angeline is determined to make him a teenager and gain some of what he's lost.

Wait, Artemis has a hamster?
Granted, I should maybe be focusing on the fact the Beckett was caught chewing on the hamster's leg, or maybe that for three-year-olds, Myles and Beckett are both frighteningly smart and devious, but I seriously can't get away from this idea that Artemis has a pet and it's a hamster.

However, hearing Butler recount the exploits and hijinks of the twins definitely has me excited for the new book!

Chapter 9: Forbidden Love

Even seeing Leonor loved Turnball before he enthralled her with his magic doesn't make me any more empathetic toward him. Sorry, dude.

Let's just stop and fully appreciate that Artemis considers 'wow' a slang term. Just saying.

Mulch is about as sympathetic to Arty's mental disorder as one would expect.

Leonor's a pretty awesome woman, guys. An aviatrix of Earhart's caliber, a moral woman according to Turnball, certainly not stupid considering how fast she puts things together when the rune wears off; she's daring, brave, and confident. The worst thing she seems to have done is fallen in love with her dashing fairy savior, but let's focus on her last moments. She is far older than she has any right to be and frail; the Turnball has kept her under and submissive through has finally worn off and, if she doesn't recognize the full extent of that magic, she's close. She knows now why she never flew again, sees what Turnball did to her, and is now recognizing her husband for the villain he truly is, and she doesn't lose her cool. She doesn't weep over all her lost time or rage or even torn on Turnball. Instead, she kisses him goodbye and flies one last time, to save an entire hospital full of innocents, and toward a fiery death and a watery grave.

To Turnball's credit, he decides to dies with her. It's very little credit because, while it proves he loved her truly, it is still a selfish love. He certainly didn't do it to save the hospital nor did he come to regret any of his misdeeds. But no all villains get redemption stories, even if they do have true love's kiss.

Orion finally gets his moment to shine and, surprisingly, there's not a bivouac in sight.

"It's not that easy," Holly tells Artemis about letting his past and guilt go, "but you can do it with our help..."
Holly has been saying this since The Opal Deception, when she told Artemis he should let his family and friends start helping him. While he certainly delved into more moral practices after that, it can't truly be said he relied too much on his family and friends. And look what happened to you, Arty!

Even with its flaws, I do appreciate The Atlantis Complex especially for giving Artemis this latest (possibly last?) big push into true Hero territory. But I guess we'll find out soon.

Now, what does The Last Guardian have in store for us?

May's reading schedule for The Last Guardian:
May 2: Chapters 1-4
May 9: Chapters 5-9
May 16: Chapters 10-13
May 30: Chapters 14-19

And that, my friends, will be the end of the Artemis Fowl Read Along.

Don't forget to check out Production Hell: A Game for Long-Suffering Artemis Fowl Fans. It's my pride and joy, a free download and, dare I say, ridiculously fun.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Andre Price wins today's commentary | TAC Ch 4-6 | Artemis Fowl Read Along

Welcome back to the hottest Artemis Fowl-themed weekly celebration on the Internet!

Chapter 4: Floyd's Stag Night

Welcome back, Juliet! She FINALLY regains her memories of the fairies! YAY! It only took imminent death by mesmerized luchadore fans, but she finally remembers. Seriously, Juliet's is one of my favorites and her and Mulch are fantastic duo. I've missed her for the last four books.

Ummm... Can we talk about little Andre Price?
At 8 months, falling under a mesmer command gave him instantaneous understanding of Gnommish, which he retains fro the rest of his life. Interesting as this is -and as disturbing as is the picture of this tyke running over the heads of crazed wrestlers preforming a triplbe somersault, let's look at that last bit Colfer gives us in this mini biography of Andre Price: '...he could sometimes make twigs burst into flame if he thought about it hard enough."

Magic. Magic. After, say, half an hour under a very strong mesmer, this kid manages to work a little magic with no real understanding of it.

In the time stream, Artemis once noted how his human brain reacted to magic; it accepted the blue sparks readily, activating dormant parts of his brain, leading Artemis to believes that at one time humans possessed magic of their own.

This is HUGE and I have two big reactions to this.
First of all, this gives credence to my supposition that Angeline Fowl's frequent exposure to magic -especially mentally manipulative magic- is reactivating those same dormant parts of her brain and allowing her to recognize magic.
Second, Andre Price -fluent in Gnommish with a little ability to use magic- is only a few years younger than Myles and Beckett. Is Andre Price going to show up in the Fowl Twins series?!

Chapter 5: Onward & Outward

I've lost track of how many times I've said this but there's a lot about these later books I've forgotten.

Like how utterly obnoxious Orion is. All Artemis' passion, but none of his boorishness? And he's a shameless flirt to boot! It's funny, don't get me wrong; but so obnoxious. Every time he swoon at Holly I want to punch him.

Although I love that Foaly's final judgment on Orion definitely not being Artemis is the fact that Orion can actually put together a decent pick up line. Especially after that icebreaker joke about ice breaking. Poor Arty...

When Orion's (only) idea is 'bivouac' it makes me realize this book will likely tells us whether the People have any hope of survival without Artemis Fowl.

When Holly is thought lost with the escape pod, Orion bemoans Artemis' loss and missed appreciation for Artemis not realizing what he had. As love struck as Orion is over Holly, it's Artemis' loss he's mourning. This is just interesting, especially considering Holly's observation that Orion has zero world experience; everything he's acting on is merely vicarious, including knowledge and emotions. As of yet, Orion really has no idea who he is, just that he isn't Artemis.

Chapter 6: Trimming the Weight

Turnball Root is Prisoner 42 and the question to that answer is 'How many roads must a man walk down?'

I despise Ark Sool. We've been over this ( I compared him to the devil, you might recall) but I also dislike that he became an out and out turncoat. Too black and white for my taste, I guess. I like when the unlikable commanders are still morally upright and justifiable characters, even if no one likes them. But that's just me.

The Eternity Code. The Opal Deception. The Atlantis Complex.
This is how many times Mulch Diggums took it upon himself to jump into the gang's adventures because he heard someone in the motley crew was in danger.

Butler and Juliet making fun of Artemis behind his back is gold, if you'll pardon the expression. Doctor Evil manuals and suction cups? Arty's loyal bodyguard just compared him to the likes of Dr. Horrible and Megamind and I love it.

April's reading schedule for The Atlantis Complex:
April 4: Chapters 1-3
April 11: Chapters 4-7
April 18: Chapters 8-Epilogue
April 25: Production Hell

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Let's over-analyze Artemis' mental state! | TAC Ch 1-3 | Artemis Fowl Read Along

Welcome back to the hottest Artemis Fowl-themed weekly celebration on the Internet!


My hearts starts swelling up as we're told Artemis' favorite book is the bedtime story he's never read himself, but that only his father read to him. That's so sentimental and so Princess Bride I can't help but love it!
-and then the sentimentality is shattered by that old family adage and his father's obsession with it: Aurm est Potestas.

Chapter 1: Cold Vibes

Artemis' birthday is September 1st. Just FYI. In case you didn't know that already.
What, me? No, no, of course I totally knew that already. I just thought, maybe if you didn't know...

'Left Foot Fowl' is undoubtedly an apt nickname, but what truly fascinates me is that Artemis somehow endeavored to endure this school bully's taunt for a whole week before he's finally had enough and buys out the kid's inheritance as way of payback.
It also makes me wonder when exactly this occurred on Arty's graph of slow character growth. I find it unlikely Artemis returned to St. Bartleby's after losing three years in Hybras (little hard to explain that, I'd think) but the fact that Artemis restrained himself from any petty revenge for a whole week bespeaks at least post-Arctic Incident, if not later.

Artemis intro by way of this terse and sharp conversation with the restaurant owner is great because, at first, I'm thinking "Whoa, Arty's reverting big time" and then "2 hours + third-rate equals five?! What deep end did you fall into?!"

By page 12, I already love superstitious Arty trying to 'appease the number gods' vs that part of Artemis that is utterly horrified by the insanity. I am so looking forward to more crazy Arty vs horrified Arty. Which is a very good thing, because the two other times I've read this book, I don't think I found it this entertaining.

Nice tells, Foaly; want to come over for a poker night?

Whoa, whoa, wait a minute-
As in, plural? As in colts and fillies? As in, somewhere along the line and all this craziness Foaly became a full-fledged father and we're just finding out about this NOW!??!

I mean, it was harsh enough finding out we -I mean, Holly- missed his wedding, but now Foaly's the head of a whole family and we missed that somewhere in between, too?

THE PROJECT and THE PRODUCT are obvious extremes of 'The Plan', sans our favorite scheming vampire smile. Instead, I think THE PROJECT gets a too-wide smile and crazy eyes to go along with it.

An icebreaker joke about ice breaking and it melts on arrival. Ahh, only Artemis could do that.

Artemis' brain tripping on Atlantis Complex guilt is one frighteningly entertaining place to be. Constant fear of the 'number gods' feels a little like Lovecraft's Elder Gods, but with Colfer's obvious comedic flare. Poor Arty. But he's sure entertaining when he's crazy, isn't he?

Chapter 2: The Jade Princess and Crazy Bear

'The screeching melodramas'. I'm laughing not because Artemis accused Butler of being melodramatic; oh no, Artemis can't just say that. He accuses his bodygaurd of having 'a touch of the screeching melodramas'.

Which brings me to two points:
  1. How old was Artemis when he actually used the phrase 'screeching melodramas'?
  2. Why have I not been using this term for years?
Hey. HEY! Stop the presses! Artemis is actually exercising? And making good on all those vows to become more physically active? Who are you and what have you done with the real Artemis Fowl?

Interesting... Butler noticed a distinct mood swing in Artemis after the lemur incident in Morocco, which means Artemis' symptoms began directly after the events of The Time Paradox. So that ending bit last week, of Artemis staring at the stars and feeling insignificant and depressed, and realizing that the sweet taste of victory wouldn't be coming? It was foreshadowing, baby! The beginning of the madness. And I am so okay with how weird that made me feel, leaving Arty in that emotionally vulnerable place, because it was all for the sake of character growth.

Ha! I feel like the dad in Calving and Hobbes; no matter how bad a project or event, it's all worth it in the end because 'it builds character!'

Wait, so is Artemis' newfound exercise routine with Butler another sign of Atlantis Complex? Bear with me; I've been teasing Arty every time he gets into a situation that requires physical dexterity and he vows he's start working out but then never actually follows through. That is, in short, a broken promise and a vow he doesn't keep. Which is something to feel guilty over. And the Atlantis Complex is triggered by guilt and, while I'm not saying his failure to exercise is what caused Arty's mental condition, it's obvious that Artemis is in full, windmill-tilting, damage control mode. He's overcompensating for all his guilty deeds by trying to single-handedly save the world and it could now be argued he's overcompensating for his guilt over not actually exercising because he's not just working out on a home gym, oh no, he's having Butler -Butler- teach him the arts.

THE RETURN OF JULIET!!! I've only been waiting for this for four books, guys.

Chapter 3: Orion Rising

Amber sparks? So I glean from this that as fairy's age, their sparks fade from blue to amber. I'm noticing quite a few lovely little nuggets of worldbuilding that I haven't noticed in the past. But this too means that Holly is getting old(er) and maybe starting to feel all those adventures catching up with her. Guys, if she says any variation of 'I'm getting to old for this' I'm going to lose it.

With Artemis down for the count and suffering a number of psychosis and Foaly on the brink, Holly's about to be the only sane member of this triumvirate. Poor Holly.

In the field.
Covering Holly's back.
With a gun.
Mr. Consultant teaming up with the maverick Captain to save the world side by side, not from the safety of Haven? This just made my day.
Ooh, ooh, am I about to get the Arty/Foaly team up I've been waiting for?

To Holly, Orion's eyes 'seem softer somehow' and this presents an interesting thought:

Orion = soft, kind, generous, but no cunning
Artemis = mastermind, ruthless, selfish

Orion appears just in the moment they need Artemis' genius and cunning but I ask myself -is there ever a time Orion would have been a gladly received replacement for Arty in Holly's eyes? Would she ever have the time or patience for him? In other words, would Orion's good qualities ever be enough to outweigh Artemis' bad qualities and make the former more valuable to anyone?

Orion is essentially a manifestation of everything that Artemis is not; his 'good twin', with some qualities that perhaps Artemis feels guilty he doesn't possess, perhaps wishes he possessed. Artemis was left in a very emotional and vulnerable place at the end of The Time Paradox, fully realizing and holding himself responsible for all that went wrong. In my fangirl head I feel that, ultimately, we are about to see a physical manifestation of Artemis' struggle with that: Would I, my family, my friends, and the world be better off if I were less me and more like everything I'm not?

Now I'm excited to see how this all pans out. Ah, supposition my old friend.

April's reading schedule for The Atlantis Complex:
April 4: Chapters 1-3
April 11: Chapters 4-7
April 18: Chapters 8-Epilogue
April 25: A Special Surprise!