The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer. The first book in the W.A.R.P. series.
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.
Thoughts:Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series is one of my favorites in the same category as the Percy Jackson series. Both wonderful tween/teen series with great characters and fun story lines. So I was obviously excited for a new series from Colfer after he ended Artemis Fowl *sniffs*
In this book new series seventeen year old Chevron "Chevie" Savano has been reassigned to a more or less dead end job after an incident that happened while she was undercover...that kinda blew her cover. She was trained by the FBI and is a partial agent. Not old enough yet of course, but that's all she really wants to be. Skilled in combat, firearms, and other such spy-like abilities she hates her new job. It's boring. Until a dead man and teenaged boy pop out of the pod she is watching. Riley is an orphan. His master, Albert Garrick, is an assassin/magician mix who is sly and someone you don't want to meet on the streets at night. Garrick told Riley that he found him about to be eaten by cannibals and saved him. So from then on Riley lived and trained with him. Only on the night of his first assassin something strange happens. The man they are sent to kill posses some sort of magic! It transports Riley and the dying man to a strange place which he soon learns is the future! Garrick wants this magic however and he won't stop until he gets it. Can Riley and Chevie stop Garrick and escape safely?
Pros:This was a very interesting yet easy to understand time travel book. I loved the settings, the section of the book spent back in time, and some of the jokes and ideas surrounding time travelers and what they encountered were great! This is a great adventure book that starts off a little slow after some excitement, but then picks right off and doesn't stop! Chevron and Riley are constantly on the run, discovering secrets, escaping or being captured. There really aren't many slow moments and those are filled with interesting dialogue and some special discoveries. While I liked Artemis Fowl a good deal better I did like Riley a lot too. Chevron could easily be pictured as a spin-off of Holly and seeing that makes me wonder if the author meant it that way. *shrugs* Either way they are both nice, new characters.
Cons:This isn't necessarily a con con, it's more like something I was disappointed in. I didn't connect to the writing and characters like I did with Artemis Fowl. I shouldn't have really expected to, but I did. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this book and the writing was good...just different feeling. There were also a couple of terms or references that I didn't understand.
There were 10-15 cuss words, some violence in the form of murder and injuries. Brief mention of drinking.
Overall, when this book stands alone it's a great one full of interesting places and characters with a wonderful adventure. When compared to Artemis Fowl it dims a bit, but still is likeable. I liked it pretty well and I'm excited to see where the author will go with this series. I would recommend to teens and tweens looking for some adventures :)
Rating: 3.5 stars.