Title: The Reluctant Assassin
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: W. A. R. P (Book One)
Who’s it for? 9-12’s, although there’s more than enough there for teens to enjoy too.
What’s it about? Agent Chevie Sevano has just been assigned to the F.B.I’s W.A.R.P programme following a disastrous observation mission gone south. But it’s not quite what she expected. W.A.R.P stands for the Witness Anonymous Relocation Programme – key witnesses are hidden in the past to keep them safe. That is, that’s what it used to do. But when the W.A.R.P pod spews out Victorian orphan Riley and a rather important old man things go rapidly downhill. With a master assassin on their tail Chevie and Riley find themselves forced to make life-threatening decisions to save themselves and the world as we know it.
What’s good about it? I am a sucker for good world building and it’s done very nicely here. The slum, Old Nichol, was chillingly described in particular. I really liked the Victorian London setting and the description really brought it to life. Modern day was a little disappointing, but then they only really visited two locations.
Riley is pretty awesome. I love how he speaks, it made for great rhythms in his conversations with Chevie. He was very sweet despite of everything he’d been through.
Chevie was a fun character in many ways – it’s hard not to love someone that feisty – and the origin story of her name is a good one. I thought the explanation behind such a young F.B.I agent was a good one as I was a little sceptical about that when I first read the blurb.
Garrick was terrifying. And so very, very creepy. His thought processes were chilling.
What’s bad about it? Could just be me but Waldo reminded me strongly of Foaly (Foaly was a character from the Artemis Fowl series, for those who haven’t read it and therefore don’t know who I’m on about).
The verdict? I love Colfer’s writing style, I adored the Artemis Fowl series (although I can’t quite bring myself to read the final book yet) and this one didn’t disappoint. It carried the same witty style, with great pacing leading up to a heart-in-mouth conclusion. Riley and Chevie are both great leads and I loved, loved, loved the tantalising epilogue.
It’s a fantastic read one that teens should enjoy as well as the 9-12’s, as there’s some brilliant action scenes and an intriguing plot (the whole W.A.R.P concept is just fascinating). Definitely worth a read – I’m looking forward to the next in the series now!