Study Guide

Artemis Fowl Genre

By Eoin Colfer

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Fairy Tale; Fantasy; Science Fiction; Young Adult Fiction 

Fairy Tale

Okay, so that this book is in the fairy tale genre is pretty obvious. It's got magical creatures, it's oriented toward a younger crowd (more on that shortly), and it's completely made up. It isn't quite a classic fairy tale, though, insofar as instead of being a frog-to-prince kind of story it features bio-bombs and mechanical wings.  The book clearly puts its fairies in the middle of some really old Irish fairy mythology, though, so we're not budging on its fairy tale status.                      

Fantasy and Science Fiction 

Disclaimer: we're going to lump the fantasy and science fiction genres together here, even though it will give every Comic-Con fan a heart attack. Just trust us for a second, please and thank you. 

Now that we've acknowledged our guilt, we're going to point the blame in the proper direction—toward Artemis Fowl itself, because this book borrows freely from both science fiction and fantasy, pretty much whenever it wants to. 

The magical stuff is definitely part of fantasy, which tends to not care so much about things like the pesky laws of physics. But what about all of Artemis's inventions? They're supposed to be futuristic, yes, but they're based on technology that exists, like GPS and infrared scanning—that satellite map Julius sees when he flies out looking for Holly sounds an awful lot like Google Earth, for instance. Because the book borrows so freely from both genres, it's easiest to say that fantasy and science fiction are both part and parcel of this book. 

Young Adult 

We said we'd talk about how this book is oriented toward a younger crowd, and now we're going to do it (we are so good at keeping promises). This book falls under the young adult lit genre for all the reasons that books usually go—it's got young characters at its center, the content is mature enough that it's definitely not for little kiddies but also not so sophisticated that teens will have a hard time keeping up. Classic YA stuff. 

Unlike most YA books though, this one walks a fine line content wise. Some of the material is pretty heavy, particularly for younger teens—Artemis has a mother in a state of serious mental decline, and there's a real fondness for violence—so while it's definitely written for the YA audience, we can imagine that some younger readers might find it a bit darker than they're comfortable with. 

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