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The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. Book 1) Paperback – 3 Apr 2014
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Colfer has the ability to make you laugh twice over: first in sheer subversive joy at the inventiveness of the writing, and again at the energy of the humour (Sunday Times)
Readers mourning the end of the Artemis Fowl series can take heart: this first book in the time-bending W.A.R.P. series is an all-out blast. (Publishers Weekly)
From the Inside Flap
'Don't move!' shouted Chevie, using her most serious F.B.I voice. 'Freeze or I will shoot.'
A weak voice came from somewhere inside the orange cloud. 'I am freezing, miss. My word on it.'
Before Chevie could wonder why the strange accent had her brain singing 'Consider Yourself', the cloud dissipated revealing the figure of a boy huddled over an old man.
The boy was alive but the man was not, probably because of the knife jutting from his chest . . .--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product description
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The book is an easy read, hard to put down with colfers trademark speed of action and genius for detail. Finishing the book leaves you wanting more!, and the untied strings promise a future that won't be tied up in just one or two more books.
Overall a great new start to what feels like a great new series!
Young orphan Riley is whisked from the past into the modern age by a cockamamie time machine and into the hands of the FBI. His devilish master Albert Garrick follows, acquiring super-powers on the way. The Feds are soon cut down by Garrick, and Riley flees with Junior Agent Chevron Savano. With Garrick relentlessly on their heels they bounce around in time with barely a moment to gather their thoughts and comprehend the situation.
Time travels stories always set themselves up for logical conundrums and paradoxes. WARP is no exception. Colfer tries to cover all aspects of the time travel process but still creates parallel universes which contradict what has already been established. The story switches between the present day and 1898 both physically and narratively, and it's easy to keep up with though there are a couple of moments when the lack of description leads to confusion (Garrick's re-emergence in 1898 is barely detailed and it just sort of jumps to him being in the Orient Theatre). I'm not entirely sure of the Junior FBI agent thing works, and there are couple of frustrating coincidences that keep all of the story threads conveniently tied together instead of being free and loose.
The character of Otto Malarkey from Airman makes an appearance, so it takes place in the same universe as Colfer's previous 2008 novel. Otto is comical, in a way, but still devious and unlikeable. If he's going to come back in future novels, Colfer needs to completely turn that character around in order to make him work.
I really enjoyed The Reluctant Assassin, and I look forward to further adventures with Riley and Chevie. I just hope that Colfer doesn't lose interest like he ultimately did with Artemis Fowl.
Dodgy FBI members, Victoriana poverty,and best of all TIME TRAVEL-that's me hooked!
Well worth a read folks. :}
I read the Artemis Fowl series by Colfer and really enjoyed them so was excited to see what he would do next. I saw this advertised and thought it sounded quite good. I'm never really a fan of time-travel stories but if they are done right I can get by, and besides I love things set in the Victorian era (not sure why but anyway) so I got ready to enjoy this new book.
I have to admit that I didn't particulary enjoy it though. I found the basic plot idea fascinating but it seemed to pass very slowly. I was checking the percentage progress through the book so often I felt like the pages were hardly moving. The set up was good and the whole world is built well, but it then turned into a cat and mouse game. Garrick would chase Riley and Chevie and almost catch them, they would escape at the last minute and he would chase them again, and so on, repeat. Yes the circumstances they escaped from were different but it didn't make much difference to me. I just wanted them to either beat him or be captured and get it over with.
As for the characters, they remained that, characters. Usually when I read I connect to the people and they become real, leaping off the page but these didn't seem to do that, the closest to it happening was Riley, he had a certain charm, he was a loveable rogue. but that wasn't enough to make me really care.
Garrick himself confused me, he went by a few different names, I think! I got muddled with references to things/people and places in the past. Then I wasn't sure if he was jsut a magician or if he actually had special powers or whether he was something worse, Colfer often refers to him as 'it was like the Devil himself was after us'. He had strange skills and would do illusions (which again confused me) and seemed to be able to do things and know things that wasn't normal. Some of it is explained by the process in the Time machine, but the rest was just strange.
Chevie, although written as 17 seemed older to me, she has worldly experience and a sharp tongue and she just read as at least 20. She was a bit moany and irritated me a little bit. I did like the way she takes charge in the 'past' and takes Riley under her wing.
Parts of the book seemed to pick up and I would start to dive in, then I would get turned around or they would run around 'escaping' again and I would sigh.
This book took me the best part of a week for me to read, which for me is really slow, I just didn't feel the need to pick up the book and continue it. Instead of snatching any minute I could to read, i would look for something else to do to put off having to pick it up again.
Maybe it just wasn't the book for me, but I really struggled with it.
I know Colfer is a fab writer, he's shown that before but this time for me it just fell flat.
Also, I'm not sure if this is supposed to be YA or Middle Grade, but it had a lot of gore in it. And I mean a lot, I was shocked by it. There are a lot of deaths and killings but some of them described in more detail than I felt necessary. At one point he describes how to pick the correct knife to kill someone, to make sure it cuts through muscle and bone. That's just gross. I mean there are a lot of books with fighting and blood in, but they are usually against monsters or zombies or something, it's different, not quite as real. I was surprised by it.
Anyway, the idea was good and it had it's moments, but for me this book just didn't make me go WOW.
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A must if you enjoy this type of Genre.