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Friday, November 28, 2014

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

This is a fun, active time-travel sci fi with a dark villain.
WARP Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P.)
by Eoin Colfer
Narrated by: Maxwell Caulfield
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
Series: WARP, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:05-07-13
Publisher: Listening Library

Genre: Sci Fi, Time Travel
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
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 19-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.
©2013 Eoin Colfer (P)2013 Listening Library Audio

Riley is a young boy in Victorian London struggling to survive. He has been supposedly “rescued” and apprenticed by Albert Garrick, an illusionist who slipped and killed his former apprentice during a performance. Now Garrick uses his excellent skills in a new profession - as an assassin. Garrick is grisley and evil. He has set Riley up to make his first kill and prove his worth as an assassin’s apprentice. Riley has managed to learn many illusionist secrets and crawl in tight spaces to help Garrick but he is really reluctant to kill a man, any man, but especially this old man sleeping in bed.

When Riley hesitates, Garrick forces the strike. But not before the man awakens and sends Riley tumbling through a time portal to the future. Riley emerges only to be jailed on the suspision of murder. He tries to explain what happened but they won’t believe that someone else pushed him and that the ‘demon man’ will follow him.

Chevron (Chevie to her friends) was brought into a prototype teen FBI program. She longs to be a true FBI agent but has been sent to London as a form of demotion. Her gruff, Scottish boss, Agent Orange, has instructed her to guard a completely secret pod without any explanation until a young urchin boy pops out.

Orange suspects that the owner of the portal must be dead to allow anyone through. He takes a clean up team back in time to fix any damage. If only he had listened to Riley Orange would have realized that Garrick would be there to ambush the team and steal the secrets. Garrick attacks the team and manages to tangle with Orange, sending them both back to the future. Orange doesn’t survive the trip except as thought patterns merged into Garricks brain!

Garrick is obsessed with power and intent on eliminating Riley and Chevie. Riley and Chevie must go on the run, trying to stay one step ahead of Garrick until they can bring him down. Riley and Chevie run into other thugs and trouble before they pool their skills together to find away to stop Garrick.

There is plenty of action and some irony in subtle lines and in twists in the story. I enjoyed the fast pace and determination of the teens even though I also felt the book had a dark atmosphere due to Garrick seeming to have such success and control in his evil actions.

This is the first book I have read by Eoin Colfer and I was surprised to realize he is the author of the Artemis Fowl series which I had thought to read but never got to. This story would be good for older youth and adults who appreciate a bit of satire with their adventure.

Audio Notes: Maxwell Caulfield does a very good job presenting the different voices in culture and time period accents. He captured the darkness of the villain and made the listening a lot of fun.

I received this audiobook through SYNC 2014 Summer audios. It was paired with The Time Machine which I haven't read in years. I will listen to that classic soon to note the comparison.

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