Thursday, March 14, 2019

Arty's Greatest Foe | TTP Ch 5-8 | Artemis Fowl Read Along

Chapter 5: I Now Pronounce You

"Hurkk!" and "D'Arvit" are both understandable reactions when learning you and your best-friend-of-the-opposite-gender can't simply time travel with your clothes on when an apprentice is wielding the magic.
I'm just not sure who's reaction I like more.

Twice now, Eoin has referred to the swirling runes of No1's magic as a 'Catherine wheel'. Having no idea what that was, I of course had to look it up. It is a rather marvelous type of firework. I can definitely see how this would be utterly mesmerizing. Not in a magical way. At least, not in that magical way...

Unless Eoin was referring to the 'breaking wheel', a torturous execution device used in the Middle Ages, which was rather infamously renamed the 'Catherine wheel' after being used to execute St. Catherine of Alexandria.

I suspect the firework, though.

But isn't research marvelous?

Chapter 6: I to I

Coming into this book, I was prepared for some wonderful riposte and juxtapositions between Artemis the younger and Artemis the elder. How better to see the progress my favorite formerly criminal/borderline evil genius mastermind has made than to compare him to his past self?

I wasn't quite prepared for the emotional gut punch of delving into the lasting effects and damages done to Artemis by his mother's breakdown. From two angles, no less! And I love it.

Haha, that sounds cold, I know, but I like that all of this trauma he experienced at such a tender young age -and for an extended period of time- didn't just vanish because Angeline is got better. This is something Artemis will always carry, even if he does have a good relationship now with all his family, as witnessed back in Chapter 1 with that tender moment with the twins. Recognizing those lingering scars here makes the interaction with his family earlier all the sweeter.

Oh man, guys, I've forgotten a lot about this book. Don't toss the book at me (haha), but initially I didn't love this book too much. (Honestly, I've got a rocky relationship with The Atlantis Complex and The Last Guardian, too.) I feel like I'm only now truly appreciating Time Paradox for what it is.

Another thing I love? Artemis' shock and surprise when past Butler shoots him with the tranq!

(Past) Mulch Diggums is deeply offended by the word 'friend'; obviously, Artemis is not the only one on whom these adventures have had a profound effect.

If there's a will, there's a way; or, in Artemis' case, if there's a thought, there's a plan. Time travel's fun when you're a genius. He literally only had to think of what he needs and it's there!

But thankfully, that trick only works once. After all, we can't make this too easy for a genius battling, well, himself.

Chapter 7: Talk to the Animals

The Lost Colony gave us adolescent Artemis.
The Time Paradox gives us adolescent Holly.
I'm not sure which one I enjoyed better. Okay, expect Artemis' reaction. Watching him stumble and fumble with Holly's unexpected emotions is rather more endearing and entertaining than his still-adorable befuddlement over 'girlfriend' jokes and hormones. Especially when Holly calls him 'Arty'. Really threw him for a loop, eh?

Artemis getting blindsided by a giant gorilla is reminiscent of Butler getting blindsided by the troll so long ago (or some time from now, depending on how you look at it). I expect Artemis is going to spend a lot of time walking in other people's shoes on this particular adventure.

To heal or not to heal? With Artemis at death's door, Holly is suddenly faced with an impossible choice. Let him die of his wounds or save him now, only to condemn him to the slow and painful process of Spelltropy shutting down his every organ later? That's...steep. And scarring. And all your fault, Arty.


Remember just a few paragraphs ago, when I said 'oh man, guys, I've forgotten a lot about this book'?


I completely forgot this kiss happened. Seriously, I must have blocked it out. There's no other explanation for it.

Confession time: I am not a Holly x Artemis shipper. Not in the least. I think this pairing is...weird. I mean, aside from the awkward age and the whole 'separate species' differences, I honestly just prefer them as friends. They've got a great chemistry in that area and I can't see them working too well as a couple.

Having said that, I'm quite enjoying this unexpected turn of events. It's actually a great way to explore not only their relationship and how it's developed so dramatically over the years but they have each grown on their own in those years, both because of and in spite of each other.

Also, it seriously feels like Eoin is trolling the pair of them (or maybe just the readers?) by putting first Artemis and now Holly into these delicate hormonal states and hiking up the 'awkward' quota. And that, I seriously love.

While chasing after the lemur, young Artemis is starting to show an ugly side we haven't seen before, not even in the first book. He views the lemur only as euro signs and a way to power; when he kidnaps Holly, his realization and guilt over holding a living creature come on pretty quick. Of course, given the messy way things are going on this time traveling jaunt, it's entirely possible that quick guilty feeling is a subconscious remnant of the lemur incident. Time travel is tricky like that.

Butler doesn't like this ugly look on Artemis any more than I do. I'm interested to see how this will go between charge and bodyguard and, well, older charge.

"A life of crime was infinitely easier."
Okay. Let's take a minute here. I've been really hard on Arty, I know, about lying to his fairy friends and manipulating them with their resulting guilt. But now I've got to give the kid props.

He's kind of terrible at being good. And while we know Artemis isn't one to run from a challenge, I mean, everything is going wrong that possibly can -but he sticks with it. Granted, the only other option is to let his mother die, but there's something to be said for his dogged determination to do good, especially when doing bad really was so much easier for him. He had a special knack for it, a devious bent to the way his mind works, that just doesn't translate well to doing the right thing, as evidenced by the aforementioned manipulation of his friends so that he could do the right thing to save his mother.

But Artemis sticks with it, because he's realized it's worth it.

A quick shout out to Facebook follower Elizabeth White, who made me reevaluate how I've been seeing Artemis in this book. Thanks for that. ^_^

Ah, faced with the necessity of manual labor, Artemis once again vows to hit the gym once everything settles down. For what? The fourth, fifth time?
And does Artemis ever hit the gym, Fowl Fans?
No. No he does not.

Artemis getting a taste of his own medicine from his younger self is karma as its absolute worst timing. Which, I guess, is very karmic, come to think of it.

Oh, the irony! I love, love, LOVE that Artemis uses the infamous 'stay back' line not only himself, but on himself

Artemis' shock over his younger self's cruelty is revealing. Despite the guilt he's held over many of his past actions, it denotes a good helping of denial about just how ruthless he really was. Thinking back, whenever he's reminded of his past deeds, Artemis usually offers 'I was young' or 'I was immature then' or some other excuse which just screams of him not being honest with himself. But here now, face to face with his literal past self, there is no denying or skirting around what he truly was back then. And what happens?

Artemis hates himself.

Isn't it possible that this self-hatred is an emotion he's buried deep and been actively fighting or ignoring since he began his journey of growth? But here in the past, there's just no escaping it? He can't deny it when he's staring it in the face; he can't lie to himself when the truth of it is his latest opponent.

To save his moment, Artemis will have to face his greatest adversary of all. Not just himself -even that would be too easy. Artemis will have to confront -and ultimately overcome- his own self-loathing.

Oooh, ooh, and what's lurking in the back of Arty's mind, as this realization starts to sink in? How he lied to, hurt, and manipulated Holly, his best friend.

Maybe I'm reading way too much into this, but I prefer to think that Eoin is a freakin' genius.

Chapter 8: A Blob of Phlegm

I was going to say a little snarky 'I told you so, Arty' when he shatters this tender moment between him and Holly, but in the end I've really got to give him props again. This was the best thing he could do in the situation. Insecure, teenage Holly is talking what-if-we-had-a-relationship-not-friendship and Artemis knows -knows- that answering that question one way or another, with his lie hanging over it, will be the worst possible and a completely irrevocable thing to do.

Artemis shows his character here. He owns up to the mistake. Sure, it's bad timing; sure, it's hard. But it was the best thing he could do for the situation. For Holly. And, despite how much he's done to screw it up recently, it was also the best thing he could do for their friendship.

This reminds us that there is still hope for Artemis.

That Eoin refers to these emotions and tender moments very specifically 'at this tangle of time and space' just proves to me that he really is trolling the shippers. And I love it!

So tell me, what's your favorite part of this time traveling venture so far?

March's reading schedule for The Time Paradox:
March 14: Chapters 5-8
March 21: Chapters 9-12
March 28: Chapters 13-16

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