A while back I had started reading the Artemis Fowl books. The first three at first pass didn't really catch my fancy. But, really, it is young adult fantasy genre and were I a 10 year old boy I am sure I'd be simply blown away by the books.
However, I wanted to read the next three books in the series just to stay with it and see how it goes... and now that I have read them, I think they are not bad at all. I like Captain Holly Short, especially since she is a fairy, but not the sugar-and-spice kind. Commander Root and Centaur Foaly are essential to a plot setting such as this, it is hard not to admire them. And, Artemis Fowl II, the kid genius with a deviant mind, the protagonist, grew on me over the series. He'd have swept me off my feet were I an 8-yr old, of course :)
I liked the introduction and premise in the Artemis Fowl book One. I didn't like the second book The Arctic Incident - couldn't put a finger on it, but, it just didn't catch my fancy. However, the third book The Eternity Code was all right.
The Opal Deception, The Lost Colony, The Time Paradox are the next three. A few new characters were interesting in these books.
Having said that from the jaded adult perspective, my 8 year old self would be raving about it to one and all! Good pacing, interesting characters, nice plot line, very imaginative - I could get lost in it easily. Well-written. I was transported for the period and at times didn't want to comeback to this world. And, that is saying something!
Would I let my kids read it at the right age? Heck! I'd be disappointed if they didn't!