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

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

4.0 32
by Eoin Colfer

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

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)
From the Publisher

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 (starred review)


"A fitting end to a brilliantly conceived and developed series."—Kirkus


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...the intricate plot, strong writing, and intrepid characters who must survive by their wits will make it hard to put down."—School Library Journal


One of the most engaging aspects of Colfer's books is the brilliantly witty and imaginative plots that he devises. This book is no exception. The characters are vividly drawn and entertaining...Colfer also incorporates some steampunk elements into the setting, which amps up the appeal. Fans of his other books will love this new addition and eagerly await the next installment in the series."—VOYA


fascinating high-octane thriller"—ALA Booklist

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)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
W.A.R.P. Series , #1
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Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

Wexford Town, County Wexford, Republic of Ireland
Date of Birth:
May 14, 1965
Place of Birth:
Waterford City, County Waterford, Republic of Ireland
Bachelor of Education, 1986; Education Diploma, 1987

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The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
BooksAplenty More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Riley, a teenage orphan boy in London circa 1898, is apprenticed to Albert Garrick, assassin extraordinaire. When their latest victim disappears into an FBI-monitored wormhole, Riley finds himself along for a ride into the future. In present-day London, Riley knows his days are numbered until the assassin comes to the future looking for him. First some good news - there's LOTS of time travel in The Reluctant Assassin. The characters zip back and forth between the present day and 1898 quite frequently. Hooray! And for a book about an assassin, there's also an awful lot of violence as you would expect. So much gory throat-slitting and knife-sticking that I don't feel comfortable recommending this for children below the age of 13. The three main characters spend the entirety of the book running around trying to kill one another. In the meantime, random FBI agents, vagrants, and thugs also find themselves getting murdered. Did I mention that there's a lot of killing in this book? As for plot, pacing, and character, I found The Reluctant Assassin to be uneven. All 3 of the primary characters were interesting. They were complex, but with just enough stereotyping that they could almost be caricatures ~ evil villain, snarky FBI agent, wise orphan. The pacing and plot were strong at first. I was immediately hooked by both the plight of young Riley and the strange goings-on of the FBI agents. However, as the story progressed the plot began to disappear. The pace continued in a flurry of killings and near-misses, but without a strong plot, these adventures felt hollow. This biggest problem facing The Reluctant Assassin is that the central conflict of the novel is too weak. Aside from everyone trying to kill each other, not much happens. There's some vague discussion that people who've been to the future could change the course of history, but this danger feels more like an afterthought than a justification for our characters' murderous deeds. This book would be a fun read for teens who enjoy action-packed novels, but it's not Colfer's best work.
InkandPage More than 1 year ago
Rating: 4 In my frenzy of book reading over the last couple of years, I have not ventured much into the world of middle grades stories. Sure, my daughter read a lot and we spent much time browsing titles at (sniff) Borders Books or at the library. I saw the Artemis Fowl series, but said daughter was either too young for it or, when she was the right age, she passed over it, favoring My Sister the Vampire and books about dogs. So when I was offered the opportunity to read Eoin (pronounced “Owen” - you’re welcome) Colfer’s new series, I jumped at the chance. Boy, am I glad I did. Though many ages will be happy reading his new book, it does seem like it is aimed at a slightly older audience, since the main character is a seventeen-year-old FBI “agent” and there is enough bloodshed, skulduggery and evil to satisfy said older audience. One of my very favorite elements is here: Victorian England. I love books set during this time, with its shocking contrast between the extremely rich and the dirty, stinking conditions of the poor; the righteous religious believing (conveniently) that the impoverished were low because God ruled it so; in short, everything that Dickens railed against: squalor, class separation, and the lack of dignity, civil rights and hope. While we certainly had our share of horrible tenements and slums in the US, there seems to be something worse (perhaps the age?) of those in London. Maybe I have read Oliver Twist too many times. Gleefully, I find that I am rewarded with a second of my book-reading favorites: time travel. Wrap both of my favs up with the outstanding writing, and I am a giddy girl. Check, check and...check! The Low Down: Chevron “Chevie” Savano was part of a hush-hush project in Los Angeles that involved being assigned to a school in order to get close to the children of suspected terrorists. When something went wrong and the existence of the program was put into jeopardy, Chevie is reassigned to London to redeem herself while babysitting a pod in a basement. All the agent in charge tells her is that she needs to let him know if anyone comes out of the pod. Which, incidentally, no one has for about thirty years. So, naturally, when she is on duty one day, the darn thing comes to life, destroying part of the house in the process. What does she find inside? A very small boy who looks and sounds like the Artful Dodger cradling a dead man with a knife in his chest. The boy, Riley, is a little freaked out about the dead man, to say the least, but he’s more afraid that his “master” will soon follow and finish off Riley. For this man, Albert Garrick, is pure evil that no one can hide from. Not even with over one hundred years of time between them. This is a story about time travel, yes, but also about the downside(s) to it. It’s about power, greed, love, humanity, leaving your mark and how all of those things exists across eternity and always will. Another Brick in Yonder Wall, indeed. The Bottom Line: The puzzlers in this story are skillfully laid out and answered, though not in an obvious manner. In fact, some were solved when I didn’t even realize they were mysteries in the first place. The writing surrounds you completely, every bit of it containing the perfect descriptions of the sights, smells (ugh), personalities, feelings and realities of the characters and locales. The depiction of the travel itself inventive and fresh. And the secondary characters are vividly drawn and well-developed. Not only can I not wait for the second installment of the series, but I am putting Artemis Fowl on my TBR list. The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. #1) by Eoin Colfer was published May 7, 2013 by Disney- Hyperion. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to NetGalley/the Publisher/the Author. Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Action/Adventure Mystery Thriller Series Ages: 12 and up You Might Want to Know: Nothing of note
sydewinder More than 1 year ago
Colfer is just a great author. That's all there is to say about it. really liked this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like the Fowl series, you'll love this book!
StephanieTiner More than 1 year ago
Chevie is an orphan, the youngest F.B.I. agent, and a liability. After her first mission ends in disaster she is shipped to London as part of the W.A.R.P. program. Even Chevie knows its just a way to get her out of the way until the bureau can get through all of the political red tape and decide what to really do with her. No one expects the time pod she is guarding to suddenly start working. Riley is an orphan who has been raised by a magician who now uses his skills at illusion to assassinate people for money. Riley lives in Victorian London and has been taught all the tricks of the stage as well as the numerous ways to kill. But unlike the man who raised him, Riley want to kill people. Now his only hope to get away is to use everything he has been taught. With Chevie's help, they may just be able to stop a madman and save the future. I have been a fan of Eoin Colfer since I was in middle school when I first read his Artimus Fowl series. That fandom was the reason I checked this book at my local library. I was browsing the shelves waiting for my kids to pick which books they wanted to take home, when I saw this book being advertised in the "new books" section. I checked it out on impulse. I did like this novel, though not as much as I liked the Artimus Fowl books. The plot itself is intriguing and the main characters, likable. The settings, though unfamiliar to me, were easy to imagine and believable, having never visited London myself, either in the present or the past. I enjoyed the many references to other works of literature as well as notable characters in history. I was a little put off by the villain as he seemed rather unrealistically evil, as well as, unbearably intelligent. His knowledge of both the past and the present is understandable once explained but the manner in which he gains his knowledge of the future leaves room for blanks or gaps in his understanding that didn't seem to be there. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the ideas of time travel, Victorian London, and/or stage magic. This book was a good read, though I feel compelled to add: this book is violent. Much more violent than I would have guessed. It does not reach the same level as other novels in it's categories or those of adult literature, but given the title and the inner flap plot overview, there was much more violence than I would have thought.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the sample and I have been impressed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have read the Artemis Fowl series and are expecting the best book ever, don't. If you haven'tm and just think it sounds cool, then please, read this. But all people who have read his magnificent Artemis Fowl series, it is not as good. If I hadn't read Artemis Fowl, this book would have been so much better. I do really love this book. Its extraordinary, but not as good as Artemis. It snot better, hut almost just as good. Go aheadm read it. Its almost as bloody as the hunger games, but really awesome. I expected more of a plot, all this book really consists of is people chasing each other. But go ahead, read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome!
EnGage More than 1 year ago
This book started slow and the characters were not well developed. I was hoping for another great series but it did not keep my interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a long time fan of Eoin Colfer (started with the Artemis Fowl series at the age of 13 and now 22) when I found out there was to be a new book written by one of my favorite authors I immediately purchased it. I loved the book but I felt it was too short (about 230 pages) for me but it is a fine length for a young reader. I enjoyed the banter between the two lead characters, even though it was a similar banter you will find in any of Mr. Colfer's books. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book but someone tell me when the next book comes out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You people need to stop rating this book down just because you "don't know what its about" its probably a great book and Colfer is an amazing author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the book. Sup freaks ^-^. Reply to: A
Mythicalreader More than 1 year ago
Eoin Coifer has done it again! Not the same characters but the same intrigue and imagination as Artemis Fowl. This book is the beginning of a wonderful new series that many young people will enjoy and remember for a lifetime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had a grrat plot and charecters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SimonEponym More than 1 year ago
Eoin Colfer continues to amaze with style and craft. In The Reluctant Assassin, Colfer takes his readers on thrilling adventure as Riley and Chevie battle to define their places in time—between 21st and 19th century London—and just stay alive. There is hardly a slack moment when the two are not fighting for their lives against an evil super-assassin, bureaucratic henchmen, or street thugs, so they can catch their breaths and just worry about what wormhole-induced mutations they might fall victim to. Now that I’ve caught my breath, I look anxiously forward to the next installment in the W.A.R. P. series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
W.A.R.P. The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer is an interesting Young Adult Science Fiction. #1 in the W.A.R.P. (Witness Anonymous Relocation Program)series. This is the story of Chevron Savano and young Riley, it takes place between today and 1898 London. Riley,lives in Victorian London(1898),is an orphan,and is transported to a modern day London by a wormhole. Chevron is a 17 year old FBI agent from the future. This is where the fun comes into play for young Riley,who is followed into the future by Albert Garrick,an illusionist and a murderer. Fast paced adventure filled and action packed. Together Riley and Chevron must defeat the now evil Garrick and who is out to gain possession of the Timekey in order to change the world. Chaos,a bit of humor, chills and thrills you don't want to miss "W.A.R.P.The Reluctant Assassin" as you travel through time with these engaging characters. Well written with deph and vivid descriptions. The plot is thrilling as well as action packed. Any readers young or old will enjoy this title, especially if they enjoy Science Fiction,Fantasy and a fast ride through time. Very entertaining indeed! Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: NONE REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago