'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 16 June 2013

Review: The Reluctant Assassin (WARP #1)

When Riley, an orphan from the Victorian era, suddenly finds himself transported to the 21st Century, he can't even imagine the surprises in store. Not only does this kid find himself grappling with the stunning advances of modern life, he's thrown straight into an undercover world of high-tech mastery even 21st residents would struggle to comprehend.

But no matter - Riley is just thrilled to have escaped Garrick, his evil lord and master, who had been training Riley to kill the rich and the innocent, including the very man whose astonishing time machine drags Riley into the future.

Alas, Garrick, the personification of pure evil, also manages to infiltrate the barrier of time, and is soon hot on the tail of his young charge, who has been snaffled and protected by FBI special agent Chevie Savano, a gutsy young girl with her own inadequacies and frailties to overcome. Now, Chevie has Riley to protect and a powerful new enemy to vanquish.

But how could a 19th century cad be a threat to the FBI and its impenetrable forces in this 21st century high tech world? More easily than we could imagine. When Garrick arrives in the future, he takes on the knowledge and skill of those he murders along the way. Combined with his innate fighting and slaying prowess, this new hybrid of the past and future becomes a true and fearful force to be reckoned with.

Not only is The Reluctant Assassin an intelligent, astonishing story with depth and mind-boggling action, it features very real characters, who draw the reader quickly into an uncertain world. The story rolls along at a cracking pace, all the while imbued with fear that Garrick could take all he has learned from the future and return to his past - with catastrophic results.

Colfer, author of the immensely successful Artemis Fowl series, has created an astonishing world in The Reluctant Assassin. With incredibly sophisticated themes on molecular deconstruction and time travel, this series has enormous crossover appeal, and would easily satisfy adult readers, so long as they are mindful that the author's voice occasionally caters to teens and occasionally falters with its grammatical structure.

Nonetheless, there is no doubt this new series from a very popular author will find a strong foothold in his legion of fans. Total movie material.

Due to the graphic violence in this book, I would not recommend it for children under 15.

Title: WARP: The Reluctant Assassin
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Penguin, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: 24 April 2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780141341767
For ages: 15+
Type: Middle Fiction/YA