Shortlisted for the Red House Children's Book Award 2013
If Artemis Fowl is "Die Hard with Fairies", then W.A.R.P. is "Oliver Twist" meets "The Matrix"...
The Reluctant Assassin is the first book in the W.A.R.P. series. W.A.R.P. stands for 'Witness Anonymous Relocation Programme'. The assassin of the title is young Riley who has been apprentice to Albert Garrick, a Victorian illusionist who has fallen on difficult times and taken to using his unique conjuring skills to gain access to victims' dwellings. On one such murderous escapade he brings his reluctant apprentice along on 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 W.A.R.P. program, and Riley is transported to modern day London, followed closely by Albert Garrick. In modern London, Riley is helped by Chevie Savano, a nineteen year old FBI agent sent to London as punishment following a disastrous, undercover, anti-terrorist operation in Los Angeles. Together they must evade the assassin, Albert Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip through the wormhole. Garrick is now more than human and is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie's possession to make his way back to Victorian London where, with his new knowledge on all things scientific and technological, he can literally change the world.
©2013 Eoin Colfer (P)2013 Audible Ltd
"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)
Despite being in my 60s, I am a great Artemis Fowl (AF) fan and, since Eoin Colfer was not going to write any more stories in that series, I was very interested to see how this new book developed. WARP is a very different type of story from AF (no elves, goblins etc), yet still has the flights of fancy, and attention to detail, that made those books so enjoyable.
A time wormhole enables the FBI, through the use of a key set to a particular historical date, to provide the ultimate safe house for witnesses who might otherwise be assassinated before they could give evidence. A young FBI cadet is forced, by circumstances, to pass through the wormhole to the Victorian period, where she meets a young lad who is an orphan being trained up by a stage magician who also happens to be a thoroughly unpleasant, ruthless, professional assassin. The two form an unlikely partnership as they go on the run from the assassin, who is determined to get the time key and travel to the future and back, enabling him to take advantage of future developements centuries before they should occur. An FBI witness who has been marooned in the past and who has been exploiting his own knowledge to attain wealth and status in the Victorian era, also threatens the young pair.
I listened to the whole book over a weekend, whilst gardening, and throughly enjoyed it. The good news is that the ending was constructed in such a way that there could be more stories.Maxwell Caulfied did a superb job of bringing the characters to life and added enormously to my enjoyment of the book. I hope he will be kept as the reader for future books. I thoroughly recommend WARP as an entertaining read.
My first read of the Artemis Fowl genre and what fun it was. It might be primarily aimed at a younger generation, I'm a 50 year old sci-fi / mystery reader at heart, but listening to the book on my daily commute seemed to halve the journey. A simple plot once you understand the flipping between the 19th and 21st Century's, and well read by Mr Caulfield. That was an understatement, splendidly narrated by Mr Caulfield.
Bring on Book 2 please.
The discription of the of Riley's master was brilliant and had me disliking him from the start. The foulness of Victorian London was projected well.
Maxwell Caufield made Riley's master completely horrid and evil
Having read most of Mr colfers offerings I was not disappointed with this amazing adventure!
I like the way he has tied in characters from his other swashbuckling title The airman of which I also strongly recommend.
I think this is squarely at youngish children as are many of Eoin Colfers books which I have but in this instance for me the main character did not work and just grated.
No but certainly any others in the series.
The narration was good but unemotional not for me at least drawing me into the story
Not for me in this instance but I have liked many of Colfers other books.
I was hoping that this might be a successor to the Artemis Fowl books but for me it didn't work.
I usually love this author but found the story a bit thin and disjointed. On the other hand Maxwell caulfield was brilliant
I am both an adult and an avid fan of Eoin Colfer's childrens books. Colfer creates worlds and characters that are fun and funny and appeal to all ages. Riley and Chevie are the reluctant odd couple of these stores and are an admirable altenative to Artemis and Holly, their nemeis the dark and chilling Albert Garrick is a worthy foe portrayed in all their cockney glory by Maxwell Caulfield. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
Great fun, a well paced story that allowed you to get to know abs love the characters. A modern take on time travel, hints of steam punk but still anchored in the real world.
"A good foundation to a new series"
Yes, it is a good story, with interesting characters who you can't help liking.
Albert Garrick was by far the most memorable character, but then the villains always are. I have a feeling that we have not seen the last of him yet.
Not sure, he did a good job, but I could not help thinking that the story would have really flourished with some of the great narration of Nathaniel Parker from the Artemis fowl series.
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