Thursday, November 29, 2018

Of Respect and Rescues | Arctic Incident Ch 11-14 | #AFReadAlong

Join in the Artemis Fowl Read Along!

Chapters 11-14 Commentary:

"Artemis applied pressure to the pack. His fingers were quickly submerged in a pool of blood. Suddenly the desire to pass a smart remark completely deserted." Wake up call for Arty! I love this moment for several reasons. 1) It is one of the few times Artemis is ever at a loss for words; 2) Artemis is once again way, way out of his comfort zone; 3) This is another moment when he is thrust into someone else's shoes. While not exactly their 'comfort zone', it's obvious that Holly, Root, and even Butler have had frequent experience in these kinds of situations. Which means Artemis is getting a taste for what their skills are -despite the lack of a genius IQ- and he might even be gaining some, dare we say, respect for his companions?

"Holly grinned. And for a second her expression reminded the manservant of Artemis Fowl." Despite their differences and, at this point, dislike for one another, it's fun to see how many similarities Holly and Artemis actually share.

We need to take a moment to truly appreciate our favorite kleptomaniac dwarf. Because what does he do to 'lie low' and enjoy his newfound freedom? He takes up a pastime. Just a little hobby. Of stealing Oscar statues. I adore the Grouch.

Root knew he was being goaded, but he blew his top anyway. Which, let's face it, Fowl fans, is one of the reasons we love Julius Root.

If ever you are asked who is the smarter fairy, Opal Koboi or Foaly the Centaur -just remember that when Opal had every advantage, every technological marvel at her fingertips you can imagine, and Haven City and the LEP at her mercy -Foaly beat her with nothing more than a human's laptop computer.

Artemis smiled, fascinated. Commander Root was smarter than he looked. Just another moment of Artemis showing -maybe not respect quite yet- but a little admiration for another person. Of course, then his arrogant face has to add: Then again, it would be impossible not to be.

Artemis isn't the only one learning some unexpected respect. Over in the siege of Police Plaza, Captain Trouble Kelp is admiring the new and improved Briar Cudgeon, spine transplant and all. Or, you could say, hook, line, and sinker.

I will also point out that this is the first and only time that our favorite characters get to plot and work as a team: Artemis, Butler, Mulch, Holly, and Root.

Artemis did not like this sudden turn of events. Running, jumping, injury, okay. But sewage? Now we know where Arty's true priorities lie.

"Don't think I'm getting chummy, or anything. It's just when I give my word, I stick to it." I love this little exchange between Holly and Artemis, because it really illustrates the differences between them. Holly gives Arty a little encouragement, something she'd say to anyone, but Artemis isn't used to working as a team or having people encourage him -and certainly not words of encouragement from someone he's kidnapped in the not-so-distant past.
Artemis decided not to respond. He'd already been punched once today.

Butler's eyes narrowed. "Unless what?"
Artemis smiled his dangerous smile. "Unless I have an idea."

There was more to this heroism thing than rushing in blindly. I love that Artemis isn't quite so clever with heroic plans as he is with devious schemes, because it's like a muscle he hasn't used and a skill he has yet to master.

"...And nobody can get in here to stop me."
Of course, you should never say something like that, especially when you're an arch villain. It's just asking for trouble.
There are some moments in fiction, some lines, some quips, that just hit you and stick with you. This is one of them. The first time I read it, I laughed out loud for way too long, but the way Eoin uses his narrator to poke fun at tropes and cliches is one of my favorite things about his writing, and he is in good form in The Arctic Incident.

And while this door was tested for plasma dispersion and moderate physical resistance, it was certainly not Butler-proof. It crumpled like tinfoil. I DECLARE A MOTION TO MAKE 'BUTLER-PROOF' AN OFFICIAL TERM.

Artemis' phone rang.
This. THIS is the perfect way to finish off the conflict. It's a simple, unexpected, anticlimactic event that somehow manages to be a comical, ultimate climax. Bravo, Eoin; bravo.

Had he done the right thing? What if the hydrosion shell had penetrated? How could he ever face his mother again? I love Artemis riddled with self-doubt. On the one hand, it could be said I have an unhealthy love of character torture; on the other, this is proof right here that -despite evidence to the contrary- Artemis is very, very human: warm-blooded, heart of flesh, just as capable of heartbreak and love as the rest of us.

"To remind you that deep beneath the layers of of deviousness, you have a spark of decency. Perhaps you could blow on the spark occasionally."
The epilogues are gold at the end of this rainbow. From Artemis' rambling apology/admiration for Holly, to Holly's gift of shooting a gold coin in its exact center, to the final paragraphs which I have to quote in full because I love them so blasted much:

Artemis thought of his father, lying in a Helsinki hospital bed, of Captain Holly Short, risking her life to help him, and, of course, Butler, without whom he would have never made it out of Koboi Laboratories. He looked up, and found Dr. Po smiling at him."Well, young man, have you found anyone worthy of your respect?"Artemis smiled back. "Yes," he said. "I believe I have."

And that finishes off The Arctic Incident! Thanks so much for joining me, but don't go anywhere. December we start The Eternity Code and, while I know the series is 8 book longs, I can't help but think of these first three as the holy trinity, the standard by which all other Fowl books must be measured. On December 6th, we'll be discussing Chapters 1-3, so keep on eye on my blog and on my Facebook page.

#FowlDay Challenges of the week:

  • Share your favorite element of The Arctic Incident. There's a lot to love in this book, but what would you consider the absolute best thing about it? Personally, I consider that to be Artemis' development, specifically his learning to respect others even if their IQ is substantially lower than his.
  • WATCH THE TRAILER!!! I mean, like me, you've probably already watching it a million times, but watch it again, and share your thoughts!

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