Artemis Fowl is a science fiction, adventure, and fantasy book series written by award-winning author Eoin Colfer. This book series has become very popular because of its intriguing story and complex characters. It is perfect for both fantasy-loving adults and children. This guide will show you how to read the Artemis Fowl books in order.
This story represents the struggle of good and evil in a sophisticated and interesting way, so there’s a good reason why the first Artemis Fowl book became an international bestseller in 2001.
Who is Eoin Colfer?
The Artemis Fowl books weren’t author Eoin Colfer’s first foray into publication. By the time the first Artemis Fowl book was published in 2001, Colfer had already written and published a handful of books. His debut book was Benny and Omar in 1998.
However, the immediate success of Artemis Fowl allowed Colfer to resign as an elementary school teacher and focus on writing full-time. The Artemis Fowl series has collectively sold more than 25 million copies since.
Growing up in Wefxord, Ireland, Colfer loved books like The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers for the swashbuckling themes. But he also loved The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis for its rigid code of conduct and beautiful writing. Colfer was also influenced by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and its satire.
So, one can imagine the honor it was when Colfer was approached by the estate of Douglas Adams to write the sixth book in the series. He said it was like being handed a superpower.
Colfer lives in Ireland with his family.
Who is Artemis Fowl?
Artemis Fowl is a genius 12-year-old child at the beginning of the series and a criminal mastermind. He discovers the existence of magical and technologically advanced creatures known as The People; a group made up of centaurs, demons, dwarfs, elves, gnomes, goblins, pixies, and more.
In the beginning, the young anti-hero follows his father’s steps into heisting, planning to exploit the People’s gold by kidnapping a reconnaissance officer of the Lower Elements Police (LEP). However, as the story continues, he develops a deeper sense of morality and allies with the fairies in more meaningful journeys.
The award-winning Irish author, Eoin Colfer, once described the series as “Die Hard” with fairies. It does have lots of action.
Now let’s take a look the Artemis Fowl books in order
#1 Artemis Fowl Books in Order of Publication
Reading the Artemis Fowl books in order of publication is the easiest way to read the series. This is actually a pretty straight forward list.
- Artemis Fowl (2001)
- Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident (2002)
- Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code (2003)
- Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception (2005)
- Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony (2006)
- Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox (2008)
- Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex (2010)
- Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian (2012)
- The Fowl Twins (2019)
- The Fowl Twins Deny All Charges (2020)
- The Fowl Twins Get What They Deserve (2021)
#2 Artemis Fowl Books in Order of Series
You might be wondering what the point of a list of Artemis Fowl books in order by series is, considering that the book list is the same as the one above.
But we only bring this to your attention so that you can be aware it is possible to skip the entire primary Artemis Fowl series. That’s because The Fowl Twins series follows new protagonists in the form of Artemis’s younger twin brothers. Or alternatively, you can feel free to conclude your reading with the last book of the original series if the newer books aren’t your style.
You can choose whatever works best for you. Reading the different Artemis Fowl series in this order helps you understand where the stories end and a new one begins.
Artemis Fowl Series
- Artemis Fowl
- Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
- Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
- Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
- Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony
- Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
- Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex
- Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian
The Fowl Twins Series
Can You Read The Fowl Twins Before Artemis Fowl?
In short, yes. Even though there are references to the first series, these books tell another story where Artemis’s younger brothers feature as the leading characters. However, Myles and Beckett Fowl do appear in the original Artemis Fowl series, so if you intend to read the original series, you should read the sequel spin-off series after the original one.
This will follow the chronological timeline within the world and is also the way that the majority of fans have read these books.
Furthermore, Colfer himself has said that his writing has evolved and progressed since the publication of the first Artemis Fowl book. He can notice a difference in his style and tone, so it might be apparent to you too. With that in mind, it would make more sense to read the books in publication order and follow the gradual growth of his writing, rather than experiencing the stark contrast between the last book in The Fowl Twins and the first book in Artemis Fowl back-to-back.
Artemis Fowl Disney Movie
The Artemis Fowl books have sold 25 million copies in 44 different languages across the globe, making it one of the biggest selling fantasy series of all time.
This success attracted the attention of Miramax Films, which purchased the film rights in conjunction with Tribeca Productions in 2000. Plans were then announced for a film adaptation of the series in 2001, with Lawrence Guterman as chief director, Jeff Stockwell as screenwriter, and Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal as producers. But plans were halted due to a development dispute between The Walt Disney Company and Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who were leaving Miramax.
In July 2013, Walt Disney Pictures announced that they would produce an Artemis Fowl film with The Weinstein Company, covering the events of the first and second novels of the series, with the screenplay written by Michael Goldenberg. The company later removed Weinstein from the project in 2017 following the allegations and his subsequent convictions of sexual abuse.
Which means fans had been promised an Artemis Fowl movie for two decades before an adaptation was finally released in 2020. This delay also resulted in another creative team change. Then, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a theatrical release was impossible due to cinema closures, so the movie premiered on Disney+ in June 2020.
Unfortunately, the film received mostly negative reviews from critics and audiences who criticized the film’s characters, plot, visual effects, dialogue, and changes made to the original material.
This is despite having a stacked supporting cast. While the two young leads were relatively unknown, Josh Gad, Nonso Anozie, Dame Judy Dench, and Colin Farrell have supporting roles in the movie. Ferdia Shaw stars as Artemis Fowl and Lara McDonnell as Holly Short.
The director was Kenneth Branagh and the writers were Hamish McColl and Conor McPherson.
A Summary of Artemis Fowl Books in Order
NOTE: The following summaries will contain spoilers. Only use these summaries to refresh yourself on previous books if you’re returning to the series and are looking for a reminder of the Artemis Fowl books in order.
1. Artemis Fowl
The brilliant Artemis Fowl comes from a long line of criminals. At only twelve years old, he is a millionaire, genius, and mastermind. So, when his father goes missing, he has the perfect plan.
But Artemis doesn’t know quite what he’s gotten himself into when he kidnaps a member of the LEPrecon Unit, Captain Holly Short, and ransoms her. These fairies have a lot more fight in them than Artemis ever imagined.
2. The Arctic Incident
While Artemis is away at boarding school in Ireland, he receives a message from Russia. It is a plea from his father, who has been kidnapped by the Russian Mafiya.
As Artemis rushes to save him, he is apprehended by Captain Holly Short. But in an odd twist of fate, this adventure will not see him on opposing sides with the fairy police. In fact, if he wants to save his father, he’ll need to join forces with them to have any chance at success.
3. The Eternity Code
Using stolen fairy tech, Artemis Fowl has built a supercomputer as part of one last job before he takes the straight and narrow path. But in the wrong hands this piece of technology could spell disaster for both humans and fairies.
Artemis had no plans on actually using the supercomputer, but things go disastrously wrong and Butler, his loyal bodyguard, ends up injured. His only hope of being saved depends on fairy magic, which results in Artemis and Holly teaming up once more.
4. The Opal Deception
After his last adventure, Artemis had to have his memory wiped. But the world of fairies did not forget about him.
Now, Artemis must once more stop the human world and the fairy world from colliding and causing destruction. Except this time, he might have finally met his match.
5. The Lost Colony
Humans and fairies fought an epic battle for the magical island of Ireland ten thousand years ago. But when it became clear that the fairies would never win, they moved underground and cut off all contact with humans.
This was a unanimous decision between all the fairy families except one: The demons. They planned to regroup and then attack the humans again. To do so they used a time spell to let them regroup, except the spell went wrong and the demons, on their island of Hybras, have been in Limbo ever since.
Until now. The spell is deteriorating and demons are popping back up in the present. Artemis and Holly will need to work together once again to avoid disaster and destruction.
6. The Time Paradox
Artemis Fowl’s mother has contracted a life-threatening illness and the only known cure involves an extinct animal. The brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur holds the hope to her survival. But the animal is extinct thanks to a bargain that Artemis made himself as a young boy.
He isn’t willing to give up though, which is how Artemis finds himself reaching out to his fairy friends for help once more. The result will find Artemis traveling through time to save the lemur and bring it into the present.
7. The Atlantis Complex
Artemis has begun acting strangely. The criminal mastermind is acting…nice.
He has grandiose plans to save the world but the fairies realized that he seems to be suffering from Atlantis Complex as a result of his dallying in fairy magic. His mind is his greatest weapon, and now it is not the sharp tool that it once was.
Holly doesn’t know what to do. Vicious robots are attacking subterranean volcanoes and she needs the real Artemis back before things end in disaster.
8. The Last Guardian
The only thing that has managed to get under Artemis Fowl’s skin is Opal Koboi. And now the evil pixie is back to wreak more havoc. Opal has resurrected dead fairy warriors buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor and the spirits have possessed the younger Fowl twins.
Artemis has until sunrise to get rid of the spirits and stop Opal’s plan for world domination. He will need to rely on Holly for help if he has any hope of preventing the end of the world.
Now that we’ve covered the two ways to read the Artemis Fowl books in order, you probably realize the series is an excellent story for both adults and kids who enjoy science fiction and fantasy. This story dives into a complex narrative of an anti-hero who struggles with the duality of right and wrong.
What do you think about this anti-hero? Which way do you plan to read the Artemis Fowl books in order?
Looking for more books in order?
Check out our list of The Maze Runner Books in Order.