This seemed to be the most immediate thing that I could do to get everyone talking and involved. This may not always be the case, but I have decided to do two discussion topics, both of which I ask that you reply to, and in return reply to the replies to your comments.
One quick thing I would like to point out is that I live in the US and so I have the American editions which have some really bizarre edits. There is one passage in particular that I would really like to see which was completely left out of the American versions about "Mud Fairies". Anyway, if you're aware of any of these edits and they come up, please make us all aware.
Over on havencity
, I found an AFC Eoin Colfer interview which contains some possible spoilers for the next book. http://www.artemis-fowl.com/author_interviews/afc_5.php
If you don't mind reading them, then I ask that you look at the comments specifically about the ideas Mr. Colfer has for the next book. What is your speculation about what he could actually mean, and what are your fears and hopes for the series, specifically for Artemis and Holly's canon relationship with one another and the state/development of it?
(Note: Please avoid referencing technicalities of what you really think Mr. Colfer would or wouldn't do unless it is relevant. Especially since there is a meta-topic available during this discussion, this topic should be your views on the characters and their motivations without breaking the fourth wall too much.)
Below is an excerpt from The Arctic Incident
, seeing as my worries about the future of the series are needling at me a bit. Discussion Prompt:
Holly seems just shy of hating Artemis in the beginning of TAI
, but by the end it seems that Artemis is not the only one who has changed in terms of who he respects. Artemis/Holly, as a ship, is something that's developed quite uniquely through the canon and is still not quite firm in canon, but ship or not Holly has some unusual feelings toward Artemis. It's quite hard to pinpoint where the two stand with each other many times, and I want your opinion on what this scene says about their relationship at that particular point in the series. In retrospect, where did it indicate that it was going? Where was it at that moment?
Artemis smiled. He had been doing that a lot lately. Even the parting with Holly had gone better than he could have expected, considering she'd seen him shoot his own father. Artemis shuddered. He anticipated many sleepless nights over that particular strategy.
The captain escorted them to Tara, slipping them out through a holographic hedge. There was even a holographic cow chewing the virtual leaves to throw humans off the fairy scent.
Artemis was back in his school uniform, which had been miraculously restored by the People's technology. He sniffed his lapel.
"This blazer smells unusual," he commented. "Not unpleasant, but unusual."
"It's completely clean," smiled Holly. "Foaly had to put it through three cycles in the machine to purge--"
"To purge the Mud Man from it," said Artemis.
There was a full moon overhead, bright and pocked like a golf ball. Holly could feel the magic singing to her.
"Foaly said, in light of the help you've given us, he's pulling the surveillance on Fowl Manor."
"That's good to know," said Artemis.
"Is that the right decision?"
Artemis considered it. "Yes. The people are safe from me."
"Good. Because a large section of the Council wanted you mind-wiped. And with a chunk of memory that big, your IQ could take a bit of a dip."
Butler extended a hand.
"Well, Captain. I don't suppose I'll see you again."
Holly shook it. "If you do, it'll be too late." She turned toward the fairy fort. "I had better go. It will be light soon. I don't want to be caught unshielded on a spy satellite. The last thing I need is my photo all over the Internet, not when I've just been reinstated at Recon."
Butler elbowed his employer gently.
"Oh, Holly... eh, Captain Short." Eh?
Artemis couldn't believe he'd actually said eh
. It wasn't even a word.
"Yes, Mud B... yes, Artemis?"
Artemis looked Holly in the eye, just as Butler had instructed him to do. This being civil business was more difficult than one would think.
"I would like to... I mean... what I mean is..."
Another elbow from Butler.
"Thank you. I owe you everything. Because of you I have my parents. And the way you flew that craft was nothing short of spectacular. And on the train... well, I could never have done what you..."
A third elbow. This time to stop the babbling.
"Sorry. Well, you get the idea."
Holly's elfin features wore a strange expression. Somewhere between embarrassment, and could it possibly be, delight? She recovered quickly.
"Maybe I owe you something too, human," she said, drawing her pistol. Butler almost reacted, but decided to give Holly the benefit of the doubt.
Captain Short plucked a gold coin from her belt, flicking it fifty feet into the moonlit sky. With one fluid movement, she brought her weapon up and loosed a single blast. The coin rose another fifty feet, then spun earthward. Artemis somehow managed to snatch it from the air. The first cool moment of his young life.
"Nice shot," he said. The previously solid disk now had a tiny hole in the center.
Holly held out her hand, revealing the still raw scar on her finger. "If it wasn't for ou, I would have missed altogether. No mech-digit can replace that kind of accuracy. So, thank you too, I suppose."
Artemis held out the coin.
"No," said Holly. "You keep it, to remind you."
"To remind me?"
Holly stared at him frankly. "To remind you that deep beneath the layers of deviousness, you have a spark of decency. Perhaps you could blow on that spark occasionally."
Artemis closed his fingers around the coin. It was warm against his palm.
A small two-seater plane buzzed overhead. Artemis glanced skyward, and when he looked back, Holly was gone. A slight head haze hovered above the grass.
"Good-bye, Holly," he said softly.