- This summary of The Eternity Code includes a complete plot overview – spoilers included!
- We’re considering expanding this synopsis into a full-length study guide to deepen your comprehension of the book and why it's important.
- Want to see an expanded study guide sooner? Click the Upvote button below.
Thank you for upvoting The Eternity Code
If you'd like to be notified when a full-length study guide is available for this title, please enter your email address below.
The Eternity Code Summary
SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer.
The Eternity Code is a young adult fantasy novel by Eoin Colfer. It’s the third book in the Artemis Fowl series, and it follows a young criminal mastermind called Artemis Fowl, who comes up against his toughest adversary yet. It was first published in 2003 by Puffin and generally appeals to younger teenagers. It has been nominated for numerous awards, including the 2004 Anthony Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. Colfer retired from teaching after the publication of the Artemis Fowl series. He has lived and worked all over the world, and he brings this sense of adventure to his novels.
The protagonist is Artemis Fowl, a thirteen-year-old boy. Artemis isn’t an ordinary teenager. He’s a shrewd criminal mastermind with a talent for getting himself out of trouble. In this third book, Artemis has recently created a special computer he calls the “C Cube.” The computer is unique because it’s more powerful than any other human device. Artemis made it using parts of fairy helmets he confiscated after a recent war.
Artemis wants to ensure no one else steals his idea, and he’ll pay good money to do so. He plans on meeting with Jon Spiro, a high-profile businessman from Chicago. Spiro wants to sell his stock in the business, and Artemis will keep the C Cube off the market for a year to let Spiro tidy up his affairs. Artemis plans on meeting Spiro in London to exchange paperwork.
However, the meeting doesn’t go to plan. When Artemis demonstrates the C Cube to Spiro, he triggers an alarm system in the land of the fairies. The fairies shut down all technology that isn’t accounted for, because they know someone is illegally using their components. While this is going on, and the C Cube fails, Spiro steals the C Cube and flees the building.
Artemis is enraged because he knows how dangerous—and powerful—the computer will be in the wrong hands. He also knows that the only way he can retrieve the C Cube is by asking the fairies for help. Artemis needs them to turn the tracker inside the C Cube back on so that he can locate Spiro.
Meanwhile, Spiro gets back to Chicago. He tries to unlock and use the C Cube, but he can’t make it work. His technology team has never handled parts like this before, and they have no idea what the access code is. They need something known as the “Eternity Code.” Spiro thinks he needs Artemis, and he employs a mob family in Chicago to kidnap Artemis. They’ll bring the boy to Spiro, and they’ll force him to unlock the C Cube’s Eternity Code.
While Spiro searches for Artemis, the fairies come after him, too. They want to know why he possessed their technology. Artemis explains the C Cube and asks their technical experts for help locating it. For this, fairies and humans must put aside their differences in the name of a common enemy—Spiro. They all go to Artemis’s home, Fowl Manor, to plan what to do about the missing C Cube.
Meanwhile, one of Artemis’s friends, Juliet, is on her way to the manor. She failed a test at bodyguard school, and she’s looking for a place to crash. Juliet intercepts some of Spiro’s henchmen before they can attack the manor, and she immediately reports the breach to Artemis. Together with the fairies, Artemis decides to retrieve the C Cube from Spiro before anyone else comes for him.
The fairies agree to help on one condition. Juliet and Artemis must forget they ever met a fairy, which means their memories will be removed. Artemis and Juliet agree to the sacrifice, because it’s the only way to retrieve the C Cube from Spiro. Artemis hatches a plan to corner Spiro, which will put his criminal mastermind skills to the test.
With more attacks on Fowl Manor imminent, Artemis contacts Spiro. He wants to put aside their differences and take on a heist together. Artemis convinces Spiro that they can break into a rival company’s headquarters and steal their technology. Spiro thinks this is a great idea, because he can kidnap Artemis at the same time. He has no idea it’s a trap.
When Spiro arrives at the headquarters, the fairies erase all traces of Artemis ever being there. They phone the police, who arrest Spiro for breaking and entering. All the while, Artemis watches from the sidelines. Once Spiro is safely locked up, the fairies transport Artemis and Juliet back to Ireland.
The fairies perform the mindwipe. Artemis, however, has one final trick up his sleeve. He has special contact lenses that prevent fairy spells from working on him. He pretends he doesn’t know who they are, but he remembers everything. Because the fairies might sense this, he needs another plan. He gives his memories to a trusted associate, Mulch, in the form of a gold medallion. Mulch keeps these memories safe while Artemis concocts his next plan for world domination.