Beethoven, symphony no. 5 in C minor, op. 67
This is a sequel to the amusing and successful Artemis Fowl, which introduced the arch-villain Artemis Fowl (a young Irish boy), the land of the fairies, with its strange fusion of magic and technology, and Captain Holly Short from the fairies’ LEP Reconnaissance squad. This follow-up story works with the same sorts of elements, but is not quite as appealing.
I think this is because the first book’s conflict and drama was between Fowl and the fairies. And though this was a conflict, both sides were presented sympathetically, and we got to appreciate things from two interesting perspectives. In the sequel, Fowl and the fairies team up to deal with two unrelated sets of enemies, and the perspective is narrowed because we only see one side of the conflict. There’s still quite a bit to admire, but the flavour I so admired in the first book is slightly dulled here.
Granta 81: best of young British novelists 2003