Title: The Reluctant Assassin
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: W.A.R.P. #1
Publication: April 11th 2013 by Puffin
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade ~ Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover, 321 pages
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Riley, a teen orphan boy living in Victorian London, has had the misfortune of being apprenticed to Albert Garrick, an illusionist who has fallen on difficult times and now uses his unique conjuring skills to gain access to victims' dwellings. On one such escapade, Garrick brings his reluctant apprentice along and urges him to commit his first killing. Riley is saved from having to commit the grisly act when the intended victim turns out to be a scientist from the future, part of the FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (WARP) Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern day London, followed closely by Garrick.
In modern London, Riley is helped by Chevron Savano, a seventeen-year-old FBI agent sent to London as punishment after a disastrous undercover, anti-terrorist operation in Los Angeles. Together Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip through the wormhole. Garrick is now not only evil, but he also possesses all of the scientist's knowledge. He is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie's possession to make his way back to Victorian London where he can literally change the world.
I have been a fan of Eoin Colfer's books for years. Especially his Artemis Fowl books (duh. no explanation needed there). There is no doubt he is my favorite author. Ever. Which he once again proves with The Reluctant Assassin. With this new start of this new series, Colfer didn't let me down one bit. I was so nervous I wasn't going to like it or god forbid hate it but I should've know it was going to brilliant like everything he writes.
The Reluctant Assassin takes us to the year 1898 in London, which to me is a reason alone to start freaking out like a fangirl. We meet Riley, a 14 year-old orphan boy who's taken in under the wings of the evil illusionist Albert Garrick who can be hired as an assassin. When Garrick forces Riley to commit his first murder, luckily he is saved from the act when the victim turns out to be part of the FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program otherwise knows as WARP from the future. By accident Riley gets transported to modern day London with Garrick on his trail.
Meanwhile in modern day London 17 year-old FBI agent Chevron Savano (Chevie) has been send to London as part of punishment and needing to lay low after an operation gone awry in Los Angeles. It's there that she helps Riley flee from Garrick, who's been altered by the wormhole, making him an scientific expert and more dangerous than ever if he'd find a way back to Victorion London where he could literally take over the world with his knowledge.
Even after all the Colfer books I have read I am still dazzled by how good his writing is. I mean, seriously, it's top-notch. I love how ingenious it all was and how well he described Victorian London. It was as I was there and could pretty much see and smell everything that was going on there.
I've never been much of a fan of time travel stories but I should have know that when Eoin Colfer takes on the subject he would make it brilliant and that's just what he did. I loved the idea of the Witness Anonymous Relocation Program and being transported via wormholes. It just mades the sci-fi nerd in my all giddy!
My favorite things in this whole book were the characters. Every single one of them were interesting in their own way. Naturally I liked our three main characters, Riley, Chevie and Garrick the best. Yes, even the bad guy. I love to read about the baddies and how crazy they are. And let me tell ya, Garrick is one of the craziest I have ever read about and that why Eoin Colfer writes the best evil characters I've read about.
I must say, though, that Riley was my favorite character. I loved the way he talked. I could hear his accent in my voice almost and other than that he's pretty smart and very witty. Speaking of witty, that brings us to Chevie. She was awesome and kick-ass. She could handle her own and yet wasn't scared to admit how it all became too much at some point. Like she herself said, she's only 17 years old and wasn't meant to be caught up in all the time travel business. But she never did gave up, even when things seemed at their worst.
There were a lot of other great characters. Colfer really does have a knack to write some really remarkable people with a lot of wit that will always stay with me.
The whole story itself was really good worked out in my opinion. Slowly, but surely everything comes together and we all learn more about our three leads. How Riley became an orphan, what really happened there, what made Garrick how he is and what happened to Chevie in L.A. Though this book is considered a Childrens/Middle Grade book it might be aimed more at a little older audience, maybe. And I must say it never got boring. I don't think it's possible to get bored with a Colfer book. Never.
The ending was really well done, as always. No surprise there either. I was sad to see Chevie and Riley part ways but that's how it's gotta go, man. That's how it's gotta go. I'm pretty sure they'll meet again if I have learned something about Eoin Colfer's books is that there's always something that's going to happen again where the characters will once again meet and there is always a third or fourth or fifth party involved. Mark my words!
So, people, Artemis Fowl may be over, but Eoin Colfer is back! The Reluctant Assassin was a brilliant start to what I know will be a brilliant series. The writing, the characters, the time travel, the exploding action all wraps up another great Colfer book that I enjoyed immensely. And, though, not as good as Artemis Fowl, I have nothing but praise for The Reluctant Assassin and of course for Eoin Colfer himself. Still my #1 favorite author and I can't wait to read more of his work.
“No alcohol, Riley." She nodded at the screen. "How are you liking the twenty-first century?"
Riley burped. "The Take That are most melodic. And God bless Harry Potter is all I can say. If not for him, all of London would have been consumed by the dark arts.”
Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) was born in Wexford on the South-East coast of Ireland in 1965, where he and his four brothers were brought up by his father and mother, who were both educators.
He received his degree from Dublin University and began teaching primary school in Wexford. He has lived and worked all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. After the publication of the Artemis Fowl novels, Eoin retired from teaching and now writes full time. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.
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