Artemis Fowl is a brilliant twelve-year old boy who is determined to continue the Fowl family tradition: become a very wealthy criminal mastermind. With the help of his faithful servant and bodyguard, Butler, he sets out to steal a pot of gold from a leprechaun. The first step is the kidnapping of elf Holly Short. Artemis soon discovers that today's modern fairies are not quite the stuff of fairy tales, and that in fact, though he might stay one step ahead of them for a while, they have some fairly unorthodox ways of getting back at him.
After the last two books' failure to "grab" me I was in the mood for something light and fun, and Artemis Fowl definitely fit the bill. This book is funny (yes, I admit I even laughed at the toilet humor that crops up here and there), original and ultimately satisfying. I appreciated most of all the way every element in the story moves it forward - everything made sense and there was a feeling of completion when everything tied up very neatly at the end. Well, almost everything - there's sequel material aplenty here, and what do you know? There happen to be three.