The Opal Deception (Anglais) Broché – Grands caractères, 1 août 2005
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Manipulation de l'information et du langage, réécriture de l'histoire, police de la pensée, sous-prolétariat sur-exploité, lutte sans merci de blocs antagonistes, utilisation de l'état de guerre pour assujettir les populations, pénuries artificiellement maintenues, etc.
Vingt ans après l'effondrement du régime soviétique, un cri d'alarme qui doit continuer à nous réveiller de notre torpeur.
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In the present volume, the evil child genius Artemis Fowl has forgotten all about his friends the fairies, and is occupied stealing a famous painting from a bank vault in true Mission-Impossible style. His triumph is interrupted by his archenemy pixie Opal Koboi, who has a plot (perhaps this won't surprise you) to destroy the world. Without giving away any of the rapid-fire plot developments, let's just say that Artemis, accompanied by Holly Short the intrepid LEPrechaun, Foaly the tech-wizard centaur, Artemis' bodyguard Butler, and the strangely compelling Mulch, fouls her plans (ok, sorry).
The intriguing list of gadgets and devices author Eoin Colfer employs to move the plot forward includes: cloning, creatures who shed their entire skin and use it later as a disguise in a prison break, retinal imaging, 100 million tons of molten iron, heat-seeking missiles, spacesuits with helmets that carry biometric information back to the center of the earth, handguns that bond with their owners, etc.
The ending promises a change for Holly, but a future with lots of Mulch and Artemis in it - and possibly some romance in later volumes.
The excitement, pace, and humor would be precisely like the best PG-13 thriller you will see at the movie theatre this summer, were it not for the fact that many of the characters are fairies, pixies, trolls, and dwarfs. And just like those movies, a few parents will wish there were less, well, military hardware in this series. A few of the more humorless moms will wish there were fewer f*rts. If those things don't bother you, you should not let the kids keep it to themselves; it's a great fun read for all ages.
Systematically and coldly carrying out her calculated plan, Opal leads her arch enemies at the LEPrecon police into a trap, and only instincts and pure dumb luck can save Captain Holly Short this time.
Artemis has had his brain wiped after his last fairy encounter, and has returned to a life of crime, but with niggling undercurrents of niceness that even he can't explain. Suddenly, just as he succeeds in stealing a valuable painting, his world gets ripped from under him, as the fairy world collides unceremoniously with his own.
Lots of action in this one, weapons, trolls, gadgets, magic and Mulch, and Artemis needs all his cunning and the retrieval of his memories if he wants to survive. It's his most physically demanding role yet, but he has to be at his strongest to match minds with Opal.
You should really read books one to three before attempting this one, but you won't regret it for a second.
Amanda Richards, May 3, 2005
It does sadly have a character death, though it was handled very well. Artemis' thoughts and insights are great, and he and Holly share their special chemistry even with him not having his memories for most of the book. The last little blip in the book, an 'article' seems to promise alot more from my favorite 'reformed' child-mastermind, and the next book will be taking the characters in very different directions, it seems, than they have been traveling in the previous books. Not just the reformed Artemis, but Holly as well--and in some degree together.
True to its name this book is about Opal Koboi's revenge on everyone who destroyed the B'wa Kell Uprising for her in the second book. This pretty much includes Artemis, Holly, Butler, Foaly, Commander Root, and Mulch.
This begins when Holly and Commander Root are investigating a case about some irritating goblin that fooled Foaly's sensors. When they do this, a major character gets killed by Opal Koboi, and Holly is framed. It is shocking and sad, but Eoin Colfer handles it very well. By now you've probably guessed who the major character is, and that is my main big spoiler.
Meanwhile Artemis Fowl is attemping to steal a famous painting, Opal springs a trap, and Holly runs up to the surface to save him. However Artemis has no memory of the People.
Then Mulch gets involved, and things become really chaotic, although the chaos really didn't have much to do with Mulch.
If you would like to find out how this great book ends, then I advise you to read it. And the ending is very suprising.
If you have read the other Artemis fowl books, then I do not need to tell you how good this book is. You already know what the other Artemis Fowl books are like. If you haven't read the Artemis Fowl books, the I think you should start by reading the first one. It will make much more sense.
(Don't worry--only very minor spoilers, to give you a sense of the story arc--no major details are revealed!)
In the fourth installment of the Artemis Fowl series for children by Eoin Colfer, the villain from The Arctic Incident returns to plague all the characters we love, including fourteen-year-old Artemis Fowl, manservant Butler, the elf Captain Holly Short and her commander Julius Root, the centaur Foaly, and the notorious criminal dwarf Mulch Diggums. (Juliet Butler is notably absent from this volume. I think she might be at bodyguard school.)
Like the other Artemis Fowl books, this was enjoyable to read and featured the usual character growth, high-speed chases, amusing conversations, and (of course) tons of fairy gadgets. My one complaint is the same as ever: Mr. Colfer tends to brag about his fictional inventions and devote too much time to explaining how they work. But that's easily overlooked, considering how much effort was spent on character development and the usual intricate plot.
I noticed a bit of a lean on the description, too; things were a bit more visual. And to his credit, Colfer manages to take away the "it's a kids' book" security he had laid in the previous books--that feeling that nothing to horrific can happen to the good guys--and he kills off a major and fairly beloved character who doesn't come back from the dead to make everything hunky-dory at the end. (I won't reveal who it is in my description of the book below, in case someone reading this fears spoilers.) All in all, very recommended, but not without reading the first three first. Without the background of the first three, you'll still enjoy this story but you won't be as affected by the losses and gains of the story and the growth of the characters.
And, happily, another code graces the bottoms of the pages, just like in the first Artemis book. Fans of the books who have bothered to learn the Gnommish alphabet can translate and read a second little story along the bottom of each page. I of course did this. It informed me that I've been recruited as part of a human branch of the fairy police, except I don't remember it because they mind-wiped me. I'll bet! It gave me instructions on four things I have to do to join up with them again and how to contact them when I've satisfied the requirements. One of the requirements is to take a bath every day for a week. I dunno about that. . . .
Here is a short synopsis, followed by some quotes I found most amusing.
Villain Opal Koboi rises again from her apparent year-long coma, determined first to punish her enemies and second to take over the world. She focuses first on the LEP officers Holly and Root, managing to make most of the fairy world believe Holly is a bad guy before pointing her weapons at Artemis and Butler as they "innocently" try to steal a painting. In the last book, both the humans had their minds wiped by the LEP, but now of course they are again ensnared in a fairy mission beneath the earth, trying to stop Opal from wiping out half of Haven City with a fast-moving probe (and alerting humans to the existence of whatever fairies won't have died in the atrocity). Artemis, after reacquiring his memories, is surprised to find his personality changing back a bit to the way it was, finding a happy middle ground there between hardened juvenile criminal and charitable friend of human and fairy people alike. There is much character growth for Artemis especially, and Holly makes some difficult and surprising decisions before the end. It's entertaining to watch Opal Koboi go up against Artemis Fowl once again, to see that battle of wills and root for good to come out on top . . . whatever "good" is.
My favorite quotes:
Descant Brill: "By the gods, this is the last time I break the boss out of a clinic and replace her with a clone."
Artemis Fowl (pretending to be a typical teen): "It's a game box. They were invented so teenagers wouldn't have to talk to grown-ups."
Artemis Fowl, mocking Opal Koboi: "How can you fail to take over the world with a booty box full of truffles?"
Narration, point of view of Artemis Fowl: She appeared to be conversing with a posterior. And then, even more amazingly, the posterior appeared to answer.
Opal, to her goons: "I assumed Artemis Fowl was dead once before, and I spent a year in a coma as a result."
Opal, to her goons: "You're looking directly at me. That's very bad for my skin."
Opal, to Artemis as she attempts to kill him and realizes he's robbed her: "My truffles?" . . . "You took them. That's just mean."