Artemis Fowl is a criminal mastermind, following in the footsteps of a long line of Fowls before him. He is 12 in the first book Artemis Fowl and he is putting all of his considerable intellect into a plan to rescue his family. His mother has gone nearly catatonic after his father disappeared and Artemis has stepped up to take care of his family, return the Fowls to their rightful place in the criminal underworld, and find his father. Artemis may be young, but he's a genius and he has Butler, a bodyguard who is as good at his job as Artemis is, to do any heavy lifting. So, when he sets his sights on leveraging fairy magic to give him even more of an edge LEPrecon Captain Holly Short has her hands full trying to keep the fairy world secret from the humans.
The Artemis Fowl series is one of my favorites, perhaps even more so than the Harry Potter series, because of how much Artemis grows over the course of the seven books in the series so far. The twelve year old criminal mastermind who is introduced in the first book is very different in a completely consistent way from the fifteen year old young man that we leave at the end of Artemis Fowl: The Atlantic Complex. Along the way, we see Artemis, Holly, and Butler face enormous challenges, struggle against odds that challenge them, and problems that boggle even Artemis's intellect. They make alliances and break them. They grow and suffer set backs. Watching as they struggle and flourish has been one of the joys of the series. So, even if the first one book is a little slow to start, it quickly picks up, and the series is well worth it.
The eighth and final book in the series will be coming out in the beginning of July, 2012.