I purchased a copy of the graphic novel for my library and decided to give it a go. I enjoyed it, but it never sunk its teeth into me. It wasn't until I downloaded the audio version of the book (from my library's Overdrive service) that I was able to enjoy it fully.
Before I listened to the audiobook, I would peruse my shelves for something to read during lunch. I would often skip the Fowl book due to my lack of knowledge of the character. What I had skimmed from the cover made me think that this was a book about a spoiled and brilliant rich kid that had an evil side to him. For some reason, I aligned it with the Series of Unfortunate Events, which I could never get into.
After listening to the first book, I devoured the next three in the series and I am happily making my way through the next few. Eoin Colfer has created a truly believable world where the Faerie realm does exist. And it exists in a plausible nature through the use of extremely advanced technology and magic. The Faerie magic is grounded in nature and never moves past a utilitarian Swiss Army Knife-type of use. There aren't complex spells and nothing to scare away the parents who are frightened of Harry Potter.
Through the Fowl series, we meet an intriguing and well-developed cadre of characters. Butler is Artemis' protector, bodyguard and moral ambassador. He reminds me of a very dangerous Jiminy Cricket. There is a regular cast of Faerie characters that become part of Artemis' family and we become as attached as he does. I won't go into detail here, because the Faerie characters are an amazing creation and need to be discovered for yourself.
I like to recommend the Fowl books to tweens and teens that are a little hesitant to jump into fantasy and scifi. Artemis is a good role model for tweens--which might sound funny after reading the first book--but you see his growth and his desire to make the world a better place. Plus, he has really cool techie toys!