Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

Title:  The Reluctant Assassin
Author:  Eoin Colfer
Series:  W.A.R.P. Book 1
Genre:  YA Sci-fi
Pages:  341

Rating:  B

Synopsis from goodreads:  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 love Colfer's Artemis Fowl series.  It's fantasy with a little sci-fi thrown in.  His new W.A.R.P. series is pretty much the exact opposite.  The first book, The Reluctant Assassin, introduces us to a new branch of the FBI that specializes in protecting important witnesses... by hiding them in the past.

The concept is brilliant.  I love the idea of using a time machine as a form of witness protection.  There are so many crazy things that can, and do, happen when you put someone from the 21st century into 1800s.  And even crazier things happen when someone from the 1800s manages to get sucked into the future.  The whole time I was reading this, I just kept thinking - "This is such a great idea.  It would make an awesome TV series."

The plot is also pretty good.  It occasionally has its moments where it gets a little slow, especially when all the high-tech, sci-fi stuff needs to be explained.  It got bogged down in too many details.  But overall the story moves at a good pace.

My biggest issue is the characters.  I couldn't connect with them at all.  Part of it was the fact that Riley's voice changed constantly.  Sometimes he had this thick cockney accent and slang, and the next minute the slang was gone and he could've been any kid from now.  It threw me off.  And Chevie sounds way more like a male character than a female one.  She's very much a tomboy.

I just felt like this book was primarily written for a male audience.  The plot's completely devoid of a romance, the characters are masculine, the story's very action-driven, and there's plenty of violence and killing.  I enjoyed the story, but I think my brother would have enjoyed it more.  So while I think that The Reluctant Assassin is a great book, it just wasn't for me.  B

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for commenting! I always appreciate reading what you have to say.