Thursday, January 17, 2019

"So We're Friends Now?" | OD Ch 4-6 | Artemis Fowl Read Along

Chapter 4: Narrow Escapes


Angeline sighed down the phone line. "I'm fine, Arty, but you sound like you're doing a job interview, as usual. Always so formal."

During our Eternity Code read along last month, I started wondering about the exact nature and effects that Holly's healing had on both of Artemis' parents. Namely, is the obviously profound mental effect it had on both of them a reemergence of their own natural personalities -Angeline describes the changed Artemis I as who he was before the Fowl Empire got a hold of him? Or did Holly's healing actually alter their personalities? We know fairy magic is capable of this because of the relocation program we witnessed with Loafers McGuire.
So naturally this comment from Angeline Fowl about Artemis' formality is very interesting to me. I'd always suspected that Artemis' rigid manners were due to a rather strict upbringing. Maybe this was true as far as Artemis Sr. before the Arctic rescue, but has his mother always been this easy-going? Or is this, too, a by-product of the fairy healing?

I've never been so curious about Artemis' upbringing before this read along, but now I want to know everything. I'm excited to get to The Time Paradox because as I recall it delves more into what his childhood was like.

Luckily, Artemis had been able to rescue him with Butler's help.

So in Artemis and Butler's mind-wiped brains, they managed to rescue Artemis I from the Mafia on their own. I simply find this interesting on a couple of levels:

1) That Foaly would leave even this much of the actual events in their minds; I know he said that Artemis wouldn't remember the People even if they showed up at his front door dancing the cancan, but what about Butler? Especially considering that the rescue operation is in his wheelhouse of skills and directly related to their trip underground to disperse the B'wa Kell uprising. But I suppose even that's not strong enough to trigger a recall for him.

2) How, exactly, does the fairy-free version of the rescue play out in their minds? I wonder this mostly because in The Arctic Incident, Artemis is fairly certain a rescue will be impossible without the aid of fairies. Personally, I suspect Artemis knows simply that it happened, but doesn't remember anything in detail nor has any desire to, which is really just his brain evading the sticky problem because it knows the events won't stack up -something Foaly's mind wipe technology is counting one. I also suspect that, should Artemis really concentrate on the details, what he'd get is a series of far-fetched 'possibilities' that wouldn't really answer his questions -just like the Sherlock episode "The Six Thatchers", not answering several times how Sherlock actually survived his Reichenbach fall.

And this thought entertains me to no end.

"...Use that big brain of yours to make yourself and other people happy. Forget the family business. Living is the family business now."

1) Angeline Fowl is awesome. I adore her.

2) I'm always looking for good life lessons and bits of wisdom in books to add to my own life: This is a good one.

3) The internal battle that this stirs in Artemis is lovely.


Angeline Fowl had a way of awakening his conscience. This was a relatively new development. A year ago he may have felt a tiny pinprick of guilt at lying to his mother, but now even the minor trick he was about to play would haunt his thoughts for weeks.

BEHOLD! The fairy influence and hard-learned lessons are still in Arty's subconscious.

And these doubts and indecisions from Artemis continues on, but my favorite is in regards to The Fairy Thief. While Arty tries to justify that the theft of thieves isn't really a crime, a little voice in his head is whispering that it's only justified if he gives the painting back to the world, instead of keeping it for himself.

In my head these little voices are personified not by a shoulder angel and demon, but a pre-mindwipe Artemis and an in-the-midst-of-ransoming-Holly-for-gold Arty.
D'arvit! I was hoping to find a piece of fan art with this idea, since I'm rubbish at drawing myself, but no luck.

"It can't go inside," muttered Artemis absently, and was immediately surprised.

I have always loved this moment when Artemis is admiring Herve's The Fairy Thief painting, depicting a fairy about to steal a child, but hesitating at the window sill, and all the other fairy-influenced bits trickling down despite the mindwipe.

This also makes me curious about Herve. Did this painter know enough about fairies to actually depict his painted creation's hesitation without an invitation intentionally?
Is this there now a need for a 'Herve and the People' fanfic?

Holly's inner voice

That core of steel she has that makes her such an excellent LEP officer, that makes her get back up when she's down, and do her best no matter what?

It sounds an awful lot like Julius Root.

Chapter 5: Meet the Neighbors


Daniel Mays as DCI Jim Keats
in Ashes to Ashes

...[Ark Sool] believed that the LEP was basically a bunch of loose cannon who were presided over by a maverick.

This description of Sool reminds me of another IA character, DCI Jim Keats from the British cop show Ashes to Ashes. He also describe the group of heroes as 'mavericks', though he did slither his way into the group with a promise of helping them because he claimed to have a soft spot for the old mavericks. It's interesting to to note that Keats also turned out to basically be the devil in disguise.

Oh, hi, Ark Sool!

I didn't think it was possible, but I hate Sool even more now.

In his dreams, strange, red-eyed creatures had ripped open his chest with scimitar tusks and dined on his heart.

Interesting! I've never noticed before, but Arty's dreaming about trolls here. Despite the mindwipe, it's amazing how much information Butler and Artemis' subconscious minds retained. It also has me thinking now that Herve very likely could have been mindwiped as well, and still had the subconscious though to make that fairy thief hesitate at the window.

"Why are you crying, girl?"

This is such a wonderful reference to Peter Pan and I love it. ^_^

This is it.
This is Artemis and Holly's entire relationship to this point in a nutshell.
An acorn nutshell.

Chapter 6: Troll Nasty


You've got a 'friend' in me

When Butler discovers Mulch making himself at home in Fowl Manor, the dwarf claims that they were -hopefully are still- friends. And this got me thinking about how many times the word 'friend' has been used so far in this book. Foaly uses it to describe Holly and Julius; Holly uses it when thinking of Artemis and Butler; Mulch uses it when thinking of Holly, Artemis, and Butler. Angeline prompts Artemis that he should be worrying about teenager worries, school and friends.

I find this interesting mostly because, before the mindwipe, most of the gang were maybe grudging partners in crime, maybe friend-ly, or on the brink of friendship, even -but they weren't quite friends yet. I don't recall any of them using the word to describe one another, not even Foaly. (Feel free to correct me on this if I'm wrong.) The closest I can think of is when Holly mentions to Foaly the mindwipes were a pity in The Eternity Code, because she and Artemis had almost become friends.

I like this decisive shift in everyone's behavior. It's due in part, I think, because of Julius' sudden murder, sort of helping everyone realigning their priorities. But there's that age-old adage, too: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Well, that's all for this week's discussion. Thanks for joining me and please comment below with your own thoughts on these chapters!

Your #FowlDay Challenges, if you choose to accept them, are:
1) Share your favorite quote from this week's chapters here, on my Facebook, or my Twitter.
2) Weigh in on the discussion of the healing's effects on Artemis' parents.

Tune in next week for more discussion; same Fowl day, same Fowl blog. ;)

January's reading schedule for The Opal Deception will be as follows:
Jan 11-17: Chapters 4-6
Jan 18-24: Chapters 7-9
Jan 25-31: Chapters 10-Epilogue

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