The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. Series #1)

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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 ...

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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 nineteen-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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Chevron Savano is a 19-year-old FBI agent who has been demoted to a quiet time-travel witness protection gig in London. Meanwhile, back in Victorian London, teenage orphan Riley discovers that his employer is a stage magician/master assassin eager to make him his accomplice. Add to those ingredients, a wormhole, a time key and a homicidal criminal banker and you have the makings of a thoroughly riveting new series by the creator of Artemis Fowl.

Publishers Weekly - Audio
Best known for his Artemis Fowl books, Colfer introduces a new YA series here with the first installment in his W.A.R.P. series. Set in Victorian London, an orphan boy named Riley falls into an apprenticeship with Albert Garrick, an illusionist-turned-assassin. Garrick coerces Riley into committing his first murder, but his victim is a part of the FBI’s Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (W.A.R.P.). Zapped into present-day London, Riley is aided by 17-year-old FBI agent named Chevron Savano. This audio edition is crisply narrated by Maxwell Caulfield, who does an expert turn providing the voices of Garrick and Riley, capturing the growling menace of the former and the haplessness of the latter. However, Caulfield is less deft when performing the Savano. Maxwell’s voice possesses a gravitas and authority that is ill-suited to embodying a plucky American girl. Still, fans of Colfer will likely find much enjoyment here, and be back for the next audio installment in the series. Ages 10-up. A Disney-Hyperion hardcover. (May)
Publishers Weekly
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. And its stars—17-year-old Chevie Savano, a quasi-disgraced FBI agent (of sorts), and Riley, the reluctant young assassin of the title—are every bit as dynamic as Artemis and Holly. After a bungled mission, Chevie has been sent to London where she is “babysitting a metal capsule,” which she learns is one end of a wormhole to the year 1898, when Riley (and a corpse) materialize, direct from the Victorian era. Riley has been raised by Albert Garrick, a magician turned killer-for-hire; as Garrick follows Riley to the present day, intent on changing the course of history, Riley and Chevie must use every bit of their expertise to take him down. Colfer blends grisly moments of horror, sharply funny dialogue, science fiction spectacle, and characters with depth to create a story that strikes the ideal balance between escapist fun and thoughtful commentary on the ways history, both personal and global, can shape a person. Ages 10–up. Agent: Ed Victor, Ltd. (May)
Children's Literature - Mary Thompson
From the man who brought us the popular "Artemis Fowl" books, comes a new wickedly fun and deviously intricate science fiction series featuring a wormhole machine; a teen almost-FBI agent called Chevron; Garrick, a magician turned assassin; his young assistant, Riley; and W.A.R.P., the Witness Anonymous Relocation Program. The FBI has been using a time machine to transport high profile witnesses to Victorian London until it is safe to return them for their trials. But with all great technological advances, there are glitches. Mutations keep popping up among those returning from the past. The current problem lies with the crime banker named Terry Carter, who has decided that life in the past, where anonymity is to his advantage, is much more preferable. He changes his name to Tibor Charismo and sets up a nice little crime network for himself using the ready supply of waifs and criminals on the streets of Victorian London. Complete success at this enterprise requires eliminating all those from the future who can identify him including the scientist who created W.A.R.P. and Riley's FBI parents. He employs the service of the notorious assassin, Garrick. Riley escapes into the future followed by his master and chaos ensues as Victorian and modern day London collide with spectacular results. Colfer creates villains worthy of hatred and reluctant heroes destined to become favorites. The nonstop action, crazy science, mobsters from both centuries, and the shear genius of the plot execution will have kids craving the next installment. Reviewer: Mary Thompson
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Seventeen-year-old FBI agent Chevron Savano thought her time in London would be an exercise in boredom, but between dead scientists, scrappy would-be assassins, and a malevolent Victorian illusionist, boredom may be the least of her worries. The FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (W.A.R.P.)-where time travel is used to hide witnesses in other times-has gone horribly wrong. Fourteen-year-old Riley must kill or be killed by his assassin master, but the teen is spared when his target turns out to be from the future and he's inadvertently transported from Victorian times to present-day England. Unfortunately, the orphan's murderous master, Albert Garrick, follows the boy, and his trip through the portal gives him knowledge and abilities that only make him more dangerous than ever. Garrick will do everything in his power to reclaim his apprentice and the Timekey that Chevie possesses. This science-fiction thriller provides readers with a breathless ride through modern and Victorian Londons as these two resourceful teens struggle to stay alive and one step ahead their pursuer. This offering is darker, bloodier, and much more serious in tone than the author's popular "Artemis Fowl" series (Hyperion). It may not be for the faint of heart, but the intricate plot, strong writing, and intrepid characters who must survive by their wits will make it hard to put down. Readers who enjoy Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider" series (Philomel) and Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan (S & S, 2009) are sure to enjoy this nonstop adventure.—Stephanie Whelan, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Colfer opens a new series that promises to be every bit as brisk and violent as Artemis Fowl--this one featuring travelers using steampunk-style time machines for (usually) evil purposes. Chevron Savano is a teenager of Shawnee descent trained as an FBI agent in an ill-fated anti-terrorist program (and named, as it turns out, for a gas station). He hooks up with Riley, a 19th--century lad trained in the killing arts by Victorian-era master assassin/stage magician Albert Garrick. Their purpose? Simply to stay alive, as a secret device that opens wormholes between past and present but sometimes causes weird mutations in those who use it has turned Garrick into a shape-changing supergenius. He now has modern memories and a new, horrifying agenda that requires the Timekey Chevie carries around her neck. The plot moves back and forth between modern times and 1898 London (or an alternate, as in his lurid descriptions of the city's festering stews the author makes several seemingly offhand references to "slum cannibals"). The chase hurtles along through washes of gore and less wholesome substances to a massively explosive resolution. Riley and the "Injun princess," as she is repeatedly dubbed, make reasonably resourceful protagonists, but the scary, casually murderous Garrick really steals the show. A ghoulish thriller: melodramatic and tongue-in-cheek, sometimes both at once. (Science fiction. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804123358
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Series: W.A.R.P. Series , #1
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 8
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Eoin Colfer

Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen) is a former elementary school teacher whose Artemis Fowl series has become an international bestseller. He is also the author of The Wish List, and the New York Times bestseller The Supernaturalist. He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.


Eoin Colfer is a former elementary school teacher whose Artemis Fowl series has become an international bestseller. He is also the author of The Legend of Spud Murphy, The Wish List, and the New York Times bestseller The Supernaturalist.He lives in Ireland with his wife and two children.

Author biography courtesy of Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Colfer:

"My original ambition was to be a comic book artist. I would still love to write a comic one day."

"I have a real hatred of queues. If I see a queue of more than four people, I will leave the building and come back another day."

"I have four brothers and they are the inspiration for several of the sprites and gremlins in my books."

"I did a parachute jump recently and loved it. I would definitely take it up as a hobby if we had more clear sky over here in Ireland."

"I am a big theatre fan, and I go as often as possible with my wife. I actually started out in the theatre, writing plays for my actor friends."

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Eoin Colfer (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Wexford Town, County Wexford, Republic of Ireland
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 14, 1965
    2. Place of Birth:
      Waterford City, County Waterford, Republic of Ireland
    1. Education:
      Bachelor of Education, 1986; Education Diploma, 1987
    2. Website:

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