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The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P.) Paperback – 8 Apr 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books; Reprint edition (8 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423164954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423164951
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.9 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 640,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author



Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) is the New York Times best-selling author

of the blockbuster Artemis Fowl series as well as Airman; Half Moon

Investigations; The Supernaturalist; Eoin Colfer's Legend of... books;

The Wish List; Benny and Omar; and Benny and Babe. He was born in

Wexford on the southeast coast of Ireland in 1965, where he and his four

brothers were brought up by his father (an elementary school teacher,

historian and artist of note) and mother (a drama teacher). He first

developed an interest in writing in primary (elementary) school with

gripping Viking stories inspired by history that he was learning in

school at the time.

Eoin got his degree from Dublin University and qualified as a primary

school teacher, returning to work in Wexford. He married in 1991 and he

and his wife spent about 4 years between 1992 and 1996 working in Saudi

Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published

in 1998, based on his experiences in Tunisia; it has since been

translated into many languages; a sequel followed in 1999. In 2001, the

first Artemis Fowl book was published worldwide to much success -

shortly thereafter he left teaching to concentrate fully on his writing.

To this day, Eoin has written 6 Artemis Fowl books which have sold over

12 million copies worldwide.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Eoin Colfer books! I knoe they are supposed to be for kids, but, we are ALL kids at heart! and this new series looks to be a great read! I do miss Artimus Fowl thou!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 83 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Action-packed violence, but not Colfer's best 8 May 2013
By TeacherReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
3.5 stars

Riley, a teenage orphan boy in London circa 1898, is apprenticed to Albert Garrick, assassin extraordinaire. When their latest victim disappears into an FBI-monitored wormhole, Riley finds himself along for a ride into the future. In present-day London, Riley knows his days are numbered until the assassin comes to the future looking for him.

First some good news - there's LOTS of time travel in The Reluctant Assassin. The characters zip back and forth between the present day and 1898 quite frequently. Hooray!

And for a book about an assassin, there's also an awful lot of violence as you would expect. So much gory throat-slitting and knife-sticking that I don't feel comfortable recommending this for children below the age of 13. The three main characters spend the entirety of the book running around trying to kill one another. In the meantime, random FBI agents, vagrants, and thugs also find themselves getting murdered. Did I mention that there's a lot of killing in this book?

As for plot, pacing, and character, I found The Reluctant Assassin to be uneven. All 3 of the primary characters were interesting. They were complex, but with just enough stereotyping that they could almost be caricatures ~ evil villain, snarky FBI agent, wise orphan. The pacing and plot were strong at first. I was immediately hooked by both the plight of young Riley and the strange goings-on of the FBI agents. However, as the story progressed the plot began to disappear. The pace continued in a flurry of killings and near-misses, but without a strong plot, these adventures felt hollow.

The biggest problem facing The Reluctant Assassin is that the central conflict of the novel is too weak. Aside from everyone trying to kill each other, not much happens. There's some vague discussion that people who've been to the future could change the course of history, but this danger feels more like an afterthought than a justification for our characters' murderous deeds.

This book would be a fun read for teens who enjoy action-packed novels, but it's not Colfer's best work.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Time travel, girl-power and quite a bit of blood 27 Jun. 2013
By Maggie Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Author Eoin Colfer has left Artemis Fowl behind, and starts here a new series starring 17-year-old Chevron, an American (of Shawnee heritage) in essentially present day London, and Riley, a younger teen, from late 1800 London. Chevie is an undercover juvenile working for the FBI, and Riley is a street-smart cove who ends up in the present day while running from Garrick. And Garrick is a knife-wielding magician/assassin, not the least bit afraid of shedding blood. This book is quite bloody, with stilettos and shivs and pierced organs and murders of various other sorts. Colfer does a good job portraying the stinks and grime of 1898 London, as well as keeping up with modern weaponry and bits of current day humor. Having a female in the lead role is an interesting twist.

The "Witness Anonymous Relocation Program" (WARP-from the title) is where Chevie ends up after her high school undercover project goes awry. Riley is an orphan who mysteriously appears from a time pod, and the two quickly end up on the run through both present day and Riley's past London. There are mysteries of parentage, melded personalities and plenty of other adventures to keep middle-teen readers on the edge of their chairs. I will suggest this book to readers in grades 8 and up, due to violence. I find it interesting that Colfer has made Chevie and Riley's age difference (she is 17, he is 14) just enough to make any hint of romance rather awkward. This book appears to be the first in in a series.

Overall: 4 stars for action-packed bloody sci-fi/fantasy for 14-15 year olds.
About me: I'm a middle school-high school librarian
How I Got This Book: purchased for the library
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
WARP 13 Jun. 2013
By A Cat and a Book - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Please note that this review might contain minor spoilers, but none that would ruin the story.

I enjoyed The Supernaturalist, but was never able to get into the Artemis Fowl series for some reason (I've tried a few times over the years), so I wasn't sure whether to give this book a try or not. The synopsis sounded right up my alley, so I decided to go ahead and buy it. I'm glad that I did because I really enjoyed it!

WARP: The Reluctant Assassin is mostly about two characters--17 year old Chevie and 14 year old Riley. Chevie lives in modern times, and she is a (sort of) FBI agent who messed up her first mission and has been sent London to watch an old time machine that hasn't done anything in years. Riley is an assassin's apprentice living in the 19th century, just getting ready to carry out his first assassination. Things get interesting for both of them when Riley is thrown through time and finds himself inside Chevie's machine with a dead man. Things take a turn for the worse when Riley's master, the assassin Garrick, comes through after him and forms a sinister plan.

The plot of this book was very interesting and full of twists and turns. I almost felt like it was too fast-paced in a way, because I found myself frustrated when the characters would start discussing something interesting and then be interrupted by a bad guy (this happened quite often). I hope the next book in the series will slow down the pacing a bit, but that's just a minor complaint. All in all, it was very enjoyable. I liked the time travel element in particular--it was fun to see how Riley reacted to Chevie's time, and how Chevie reacted to Riley's time.

I liked all of the characters in this book, but Riley was definitely my favorite. He'd had a tough life, but was still a good person. He was always quick to think and act in dangerous situations, and he had some pretty awesome skills. He also seemed very rational and was more level headed than Chevie. I was honestly a bit surprised when I found out just how long he had been with Garrick though. I thought it was just a few years at first, but it was basically all of his life. I can't imagine Garrick, evil as he was, would have waited so many years to give Riley his first assignment. I also found it strange that Riley had not formed any kind of bond/fatherly feelings for Garrick (though Garrick had bonded with Riley in a way), or any sort of twisted beliefs that what they were doing was right. It just seems like it would be close to impossible for someone to grow up like that and yet still be so clear on right and wrong, but that is also just a minor issue that might be addressed in future books.

I also liked Chevie. She had good morals and was a kind person, but she also had an attitude problem that showed up now and then. I was glad that Riley called her out on her words and actions several times and eventually told her point-blank to cut it out, because she really could be a bit annoying at times. I thought her background with the FBI was interesting and mostly made sense, unlike other books that randomly throw kids into positions like that with little explanation (just because they were special or super smart or something). She was a well-rounded character.

The bad guys in the story were all quite interesting. I thought it was particularly interesting how well we got to know Garrick and see where he was coming from and how he became the way that he was. It was very clear that he was evil, but learning about his background bit by bit made him feel more like a real person, which made it easier to read his sections of the story (it swapped points of view between Riley, Chevie, and Garrick).

My only real complaint about this story (besides the minor ones mentioned above) has to do with the way it changed points of view. The point of view regularly changed in the middle of paragraphs, and there were no markers to let you know when it happened. It mostly worked okay that way, but there was a time or two when I thought one character was doing/thinking something only to later realize that it was actually someone else, and then I would have to go back and re-read to really understand what was going on.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story a lot. I read the book quite quickly, and will definitely be buying the next books in the series. I would recommend this book to fans of sci-fi and historical fiction.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fowl Disappointment 8 Dec. 2013
By Doors - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Colfer's Artemis Fowl series, but this book was a complete flop. Could have cared less about the protagonists, and half the book was written from the perspective of the villian. Also, the scenes with the villian were melodramatically gruesome, and the extensive backstory interfered with every scene in the book. It's no wonder this one landed on the bargain book shelf. My suggestion? Leave it there.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
What happened Mr. Colfer? 21 Oct. 2013
By Peanut Butta N. Jel E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I have a huge fan of Eoin Colfer. Not sure what happened here. I made it through the whole book. His writing was good -- as always. The story itself had an interesting premise behind. But the execution failed pretty miserably. It's definitely not a story for the younger readers. The ending is blah. I had to force myself to keep reading it, hoping that it would get better. I'm disappointed as I was really looking forward to a rocking new series by Colfer. I think he should just continue on with Artemis Fowl maybe.
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