Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
The Atlantis Complex - Eoin Colfer Eoin Colfer's The Atlantis Complex is the last of the Artemis Fowl books Disney-Hyperion has offered through NetGalley as part of their promotion for the release of the last book in the series -- The Last Guardian -- later this summer. I have to say, after reading through the series at the rate of two per month for the past several months, I sort of wish the publisher had quit while it was ahead.The premise of The Atlantis Complex is that Artemis has contracted a fairy mental illness called -- you guess it -- the Atlantis Complex. It manifests itself with a phased array of symptoms: obsessive compulsive disorder, multiple personalities, and a guilty conscience that overcomes everything else, and results in Artemis putting all his money behind saving the world from global warming. As if that isn't a convoluted-enough plot, add in an old criminal nemesis -- Captain Turnball Root -- who has been planning an escape from jail using a convoluted form of borrowed magic that violates Colfer's own prior canon about criminals using magic.In other words, we have a hot mess on our hands.For half the book, Artemis isn't even Artemis; he's a different personality who lacks any of the genius we've come to know and love over the course of the series. The plot is jumbled and was often difficult for me to keep track of as an adult; I was left wondering how middle graders would sort out all the twists and turns and jumps off the canon rails. Most of all, I was pretty much offended by the casual way Colfer handled Artemis' mental illness and the various jokes made about it. Is this the way middle-graders should be thinking about mental illness?Finally, Artemis sums up what's wrong with the book himself toward the end: "This adventure was different, Holly. Usually someone wins, and we are better off at the end. But this time so many people died--innocents--and no one has benefitted."I'd have to say that included the reader.

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