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Day of the Assassins (Jack Christie Series #1)

Day of the Assassins (Jack Christie Series #1)

3.6 3
by Johnny O'Brien, Nick Hardcastle (Illustrator)

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"Within the first suspenseful pages, readers will find an engaging historical/science fiction tale that has intrigue, danger, and a little romance. . . . From an explosive escape out of captivity to a muchanticipated scene that decides the fate of World War I, the end of the book has plenty of action." —SCHOOL LUBRARY JOURNAL

Jack Christie and


"Within the first suspenseful pages, readers will find an engaging historical/science fiction tale that has intrigue, danger, and a little romance. . . . From an explosive escape out of captivity to a muchanticipated scene that decides the fate of World War I, the end of the book has plenty of action." —SCHOOL LUBRARY JOURNAL

Jack Christie and his best friend, Angus, find themselves at the center of a momentous event that will shape history for decades to come. Their dilemma: Should they intervene? Their problem: Can they survive? Join Jack on a dangerous chase from the dockyards of England to the rain-sodden trenches of the First World War. Will he escape the evil authorities who believe in the mysterious VIGIL Imperative?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
This novel is filled with near-death experiences and starts with Jack, American soldier in WW I. He is in a trench with two German soldiers and it appears Jack will be killed. In the next chapter, Jack, the soldier's son and protagonist, is studying WW 1 in his history class. His parents are separated and Jack and his mother live in a large, old house that belonged to Jack's father's parents. Angus, Jack's friend, comes over after school on Jack's fifteenth birthday. Jack's father sent him a gift, a book about WW 1. Jack is disappointed because previous gifts were more impressive. Jack plans to share it with his teacher but events prevent it. Angus falls against a thin wall that breaks open revealing a long-neglected library. The boys find many old books and artifacts that even Jack did not know existed. The plot takes off and the boys' adventures begin at school. Both boys end up in a time machine taking them back to WW 1. They encounter many friends and enemies. The enemies try to kill them and the new friends try to save their lives. After many terrorizing experiences and difficulties, they are able to use the time machine to return to their homes no worse for all the harrowing experiences they endured. This is a book boys will be sure to enjoy as well as girls because the excitement is continuous throughout the book. Day of the Assassins was a Junior Library Guild selection. Reviewer: Jennie DeGenaro
VOYA - Rollie Welch
When the word "assassins" appears in a title, it is a safe bet that the book is guy-friendly. Jack Christie is an everyday fifteen-year-old who likes to hang out playing Point of Departure, his favorite video game that places players in the bloody trenches of World War I. Soon a series of events has Jack and his best friend, Angus, caught up in the ultra-secret Taurus, a time-travel machine hidden in their own school. Things go very wrong, and Jack is whisked back to 1914 England just a few days before Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austria-Hungary Empire is to be assassinated. Before Jack figures out that he is a pawn of the masterminds behind Taurus, his buddy Angus intends to rescue him but also becomes trapped in 1914. The friends dodge capture and rush across Europe trying to figure out how to return to the twenty-first century. Thankfully the concept of time travel is not lectured, it just happens; however, other details make the story too wordy. It is not a simple bayonet, but a seventeen-inch serrated steel bayonet. O'Brien's story is different from other guy thrillers such as the Alex Rider and Alfred Kropp tales because of its focus on the historical assassination, at times reading like nonfiction. Librarians should be aware that characters die gruesome deaths and violence emulates a war-themed video game. Still it is a cool hook knowing Jack has the power to prevent the assassination and stop World War I from happening. Reviewer: Rollie Welch
VOYA - Jon Poilpre
Day of the Assassins pulls off what not that many books can: it's a SF thriller that has a riveting story line. Not focusing too much on the technology aspect of the genre, it mainly stays within pre-WWI Europe. It follows the story of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand with a twist: present-day technology now allows you to travel back in time and change the outcome of history. Will Jack, who was blasted into the past by the time traveling machine Taurus, choose to try to stop the assassination, altering a large chunk of the twenty-first century? I wondered what Jack would do and couldn't put it down. Reviewer: Jon Poilpre, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—This title, a cross between Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" books (Penguin) and Dan Gutman's "Baseball Card Adventures" (HarperCollins), introduces Jack Christie and his friend Angus. The British teens enjoy playing video games, particularly the World War I-inspired Point of Departure, and looking for adventure. Due to circumstances beyond their control, the boys find themselves back in June 1914, as part of a conspiracy to stop the war. Within the first suspenseful pages, readers will find an engaging historical/science fiction tale that has intrigue, danger, and a little romance. Jack's conflicting emotions about his parents' divorce, his fears about the unfolding events, and his frustrations with the present-day situation that sent him back in time are genuine. O'Brien deftly articulates the historical and cultural climate of Europe, and Austria in particular, on the advent of war. He gives equal attention to the science-fiction portions of the novel too, as the device used to travel back in time is plausible enough for readers to believe its viability. From an explosive escape out of captivity to a much-anticipated scene that decides the fate of World War I, the end of the book has plenty of action. Historical information and photographs about the events and people central to the period enhance this title even more.—Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY
Kirkus Reviews
Rival groups of time machine-equipped scientists duke it out for the loyalty of a teenager in this clumsy series opener. Caught between a residual bond with his brilliant but absent father-who, thanks to "computer simulations," believes that preventing the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand will head off the First World War, and the entirely plausible view of his father's erstwhile organization VIGIL that any meddling with the past is too dangerous-Jack travels back to 1914, makes his way across Europe by various unlikely means and finds himself standing near the assassin at the crucial moment. O'Brien folds in actual participants and even period photos for historical verisimilitude, but doesn't even try to match that with credible time-travel gear or effects. In addition, he allows the "Do Not Disturb the Past" VIGIL party to litter the 1914 scenery with modern weapons and other anachronisms without an apparent second thought and in similarly plot-driven fashion trots in massive contrivances to keep Jack free and alive. A fast-paced debut with plenty of cartoon-style violence, but the time travel never gets beyond being a convenient MacGuffin. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
A Jack Christie Adventure Series , #1
Product dimensions:
8.02(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.60(d)
780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Johnny O’Brien was born in Edinburgh and studied history at Cambridge University. He got the idea for the Jack Christie Adventures when he came across his grandfather’s medals from World War I. He lives in Surrey, England, with his family.

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Day of the Assassins (Jack Christie Series #1) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
beckvalleybooks More than 1 year ago
In the first instalment, Jack and his friend Angus not only discover the time machine, they are transported back to 1914, to try and stop the assassination of the Archduke Franz Joseph and therefore stopping World War I and changing the course of history. Jack discovers on the trip why his dad left him - he is working for the revisionists. On the trip Jack realises that he needs to make a decision - does he stop the assassination and change not only history but his own existence, or does he let the assassination happen? Exciting, enthralling adventures., X-box meets HG Wells. Re-enacting what they have learnt in the computer game as they are transported into earlier times. The author provides a great journey through history which will hopefully provoke a genuine interest in major events that have shaped the world as it is
wolf78 More than 1 year ago
I thought that the book was ok I like it because it wasn't a 40000 paged book (like Sam Troppers) because I don't like long books. The characters were easy to follow. The little mini battles that went on. The guns were pretty cool too. There also weren't just a ton of huge words that I didn't know or understand. I think that part of the reason that the book was so easy was because it's not really a book for a high school student it's a book for someone who is in middle school or a slightly lower level reader. The only part I didn't like about it was the actual reading because I am not much of a reader, but other than that the book was pretty good. I would recommend this book to someone who doesn't like reading but just wants to either say they read a book or have to read one. Mainly because its short, it's easy to follow, the characters don't change much and it's not a bad story line either. Even though I am not much of a reader I would have like to have a bit more a challenging plot. I was never convinced that the two characters were in any real danger. And I could almost guess exactly what was going to happen next. I don't really think that this is a book for someone in high school. Mainly because it was so easy and unless you were really into this topic then if you don't finish the book in about three hours then you might get board with it. If the plot was a little better developing and a little longer and not as boring then maybe I would, but I think that you would have to be really into this topic to read about it and not get board with it.