Since I began composing this post
Yeah. It's that good.
I wasn't so sure when I started reading the first book. After all, Artemis wasn't exactly a hero back then. Criminal mastermind, yes. Hero, not so much.
Yet the series is named for him. You would expect him to be the hero of such a series. At least, I did.
And he is the hero. Eventually.
Not in the first book, and only debatedly in the second book.
The more he gets to know The People, especially Holly Short - the LEPrecon agent he kidnapped in book one - the more of a hero he becomes. As the books progress, you see less and less of the self-centered criminal mastermind he was and more of the hero he becomes.
That journey makes the entire series real for me. It doesn't happen in one book, but over the course of several. Just as in real life, people don't change quickly but gradually.