Friday, November 23, 2018

Of Puns and Hubris | Arctic Incident Ch 8-10 | #AFReadAlong

I hope everyone had a marvelous Thanksgiving! (and if you weren't celebrating, then I hope you had a marvelous Thursday.)

Now that the B'wa Kell uprising has been quelled a bit, let's talk The Arctic Incident, chapters 8-10. I may have mentioned that these chapters are some of my favorite bits of this book, but really, there some of my favorite moments in the entire series. I'm as a excited (and nervous!) about the movie as the next Fowl fun, but one reigning reason I want it to be good and successful is to get The Arctic Incident on screen.

Th B'wa Kell uprising? Foaly trapped in the Operations Booth by his own tech and his own hubris? Artemis and Holly catching the train and forced to rely on each other in the Arctic wasteland? This is the film I'd love to see, so I'm crossing my fingers hard that Disney doesn't screw up the chance at a film franchise. Please be kind to Artemis!

Chapters 8-10 Commentary:

Eoin Colfer, with chapter 8 right here, began my love affair with brilliantly punny chapter titles. For years, if I wrote a story, it's title or chapters absolutely had to be some kind of pun, and it's all because of Mr. Eoin Colfer. To Russia with Gloves? No Safe Haven? These simply couldn't be better. Come to think of it, since these chapter titles struck my funny bone at such an impressionable age, it's likely that Eoin Colfer is indirectly responsible for a good chunk of my sense of humor -namely corny jokes. Oh, corny jokes, how I love thee! So while my family may roll their eyes at my jokes, and my friends may groan, nothing makes me happier than the absolutely corniest of corny jokes and that is a big part of who I am.
They say the books you read growing up help you form your identity, so I guess that means I have Eoin Colfer to thank for my awesome sense of humor. So thanks, Eoin. ^_^

"So what happened to you?" -I love this moment. Holly, on the way to rescue the head of a criminal empire and the father of the boy who kidnapped her, as a legitimate reason to be concerned Artemis Fowl I will be an even worse enemy than his son. Artemis, however, assured Holly that the People have nothing to fear from his father, who is a noble man, and would never dream of harming another creature. Holly's bluntness has got to hit Artemis hard; while he's already hinted about his 'misgivings over that particular venture', I wonder if Dr. Po's voice isn't bouncing around his brain in this moment: "You are never going to find peace if you continue to run from your problems." And Artemis here says what I'm not sure he's had the guts to outright say before. "I...I made a mistake."
Have I mentioned how much I freaking love this book?!

Speaking of Dr. Artemis and Holly dash for the Mayak Chemical Train with Butler and Root's lives in their hands, I imagine Artemis is getting a cold and heavy dose of respect for what Butler and Holly do on a regular basis when he's thrown into their shoes.

"These were not gripping fingers. ... Which, fortunately, was all part of the plan." I do love, that for Artemis, even weaknesses are valuable assets to be exploited. It's a good trait -when not used for evil, obviously- and one of the reasons I think Artemis is so clever.

This whole train sequence is one of my favorites for several reasons. Artemis is thrown so far out of his comfort zone it's laughable; amusing for those of us who want to see Artemis dropped down a few pegs and empowering to those of us who want to see Artemis develop in a positive way, and a double bonus for those of us who want both. ^_^ 
It's also the first time Artemis and Holly are forced to not only work together, but to rely on and trust one another, and it's interesting to note (I think) that there's no time for either to second guess or really doubt the other, since the immediate safety of their most important friends always no time for bickering and argument. True to Argon's prologue commentary " was probably the best thing that could have happened to [Artemis]."

Let's switch keys here, because I'm a little miffed at the US publishers right now. I have mostly listened to the Artemis Fowl books, as narrated by Nathaniel Parker, and have only just discovered there are some glaring and some rather inconsequential (read as: pointless) differences between my copies and the UK versions. Differences of terminology, sure, but also some rearranging of paragraphs -which I get as an editing thing, but seems pointless to change from one version to another- but my US version completely removed the background on centaurs being an endangered race and on the Centaurian language. All of it, the joke about centaurs tramping their enemies underfoot, about how centaurs are naturally paranoid due to their endangered existence. I'm just a bit miffed about it, because while it might be inconsequential to the immediate story -well, except that whole paranoia thing- it's a valuable piece of worldbuilding.
Okay. Rant over.

Which brings us to: the irony of Foaly's imprisonment. Honestly, half this plot is built on irony, and I absolutely love it. Not only do Artemis the kidnapper and Holly the kidnappee have to work together to foil a kidnapping, but Foaly is imprisoned due to his two great weaknesses: his paranoia and his hubris. To make it worse, his fall comes through his own technology. 
But it's not all bad; there's one silver lining, at least: "Even with the odds so hugely against him, he hadn't lost his ability to be the most annoying creature under the world when he wanted to be."
Of course, I don't know how that will help Foaly's current situation....

I will leave you here, with Foaly trapped, Police Plaza under attack, and Artemis, Holly, Root, and Butler on their way to rescue the elements, after quick pit stop to grab a certain reprobate dwarf...

Next week we'll cover the last of The Arctic Incident, chapters 11-epilogue. I'll see you here!

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