Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Although the story is full of fairies, dwarves and trolls, this is no fairy tale!
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl II tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold. But his victim, Captain Holly Short, the first female officer in the fairy LEPrecon Unit, is not about to make it easy for Artemis. Neither are her colleagues in the fairy world. In their determination to rescue her, they fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll.
The story pits the evil genius Artemis, his loyal bodyguard Butler and Butler's sister Juliet, against Captain Short, Commander Julius Root, Chief Technical Consulant Foaly (a centaur) and a legion of underworld species. The humans have modern technology and access to the ancient fairy "Book." The fairies have their own brand of modern technology, special skills and magic.
Will Holly be rescued? Will Artemis and company get the gold? Will anyone survive the dreaded "blue rinse?" You will not be able to put this book down until you have all the answers!
This is a funny, fast-paced action story that will have you running back to the library for the sequel, Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident.
Although I usually prefer to READ stories, I listened to this one on a Playaway, a small digital device like an MP3 player; a new technology at the Library. The narrator, Nathaniel Parker, did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life; each with his or her own personality and "voice." It was like listening to a play! (The story is also available on cassette and on CD.)