While I have certainly enjoyed the Artemis Fowl series, I knew the time-travel plot of The Time Paradox was the writing on the wall for this teenage genius criminal. The Atlantis Complex merely enforced my opinion, as it completely removed the elements that made the titular character himself. At least in the previous book, the author contrasted the character's growth against a younger version of Artemis. Here, it just feels off. Unmemorable and going through the motions, The Atlantis Complex is underwater in more ways than one.
I get that YA series will often lean on the formulas that made them successful, but seven books into this series and it has become quite stale. Having read this book about six months before writing this review, nothing stuck with me other than the potential for an eventual development in the "relationship" between Artemis and Holly. Everything else faded into the background as just another Artemis Fowl story as the main character tries to save the day despite some odds against him. This time, the handicap was a mental illness, which modern sensibilities might see as poor taste.
Sure, introducing Orion as a different form of Artemis was an amusing way to add some humorous moments into this book that weren't caused by something to do with Mulch's body. Still, I'm glad that this series is ending in the next volume because there's only so long that this decline in quality can continue before it's just a copy-and-paste, crisis-of-the-day adventure with these same bland characters that have shown little development since book one. It was fun while it lasted, but sometimes you have to know when to say goodbye.
Another drop in quality for the Artemis Fowl series, I give The Atlantis Complex 2.5 stars out of 5.