Review: The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. #1) by Eoin Colfer


From Hyperion: 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 wanted to like The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. #1) by Eoin Colfer (Hyperion). I love Eoin Colfer—from his Artemis Fowl series to The Wish List, his writing is always fun, exciting and hilarious. But I just couldn’t get into this one. Time travel, spies and supervillains? I should have been hooked. However, 100 pages in and I was still dragging my feet. With so many titles clamoring for attention on my shelf I figured it was time to pull the plug on this one, something I almost never do.

There were some great parts in those first hundred pages, a few laughs, and it has so much promise. Riley is a great character, thrust out of Victorian England and into the present day. Agent Savano, on the other hand, I wasn’t invested in. She’s a smart, butt-kicking FBI agent with the potential of being another Holly Short (Artemis Fowl), yet I found myself not really caring about her. And the villain, Garrick, had too much going for him. He comes through the time wormhole with superhuman powers that give him every advantage. I think I would have preferred if he was left as he was—he was already extremely dangerous and creepy.

Maybe someday I’ll come back to this book, because I think it has a lot of potential, but for now I’m going to walk away. Even though I didn’t finish it, I’m giving it two hearts because I feel like in the right hands this book could be quite an adventure—unfortunately those hands just aren’t mine this time around.

♥ ♥ (2/5 hearts)

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