Day of the Assassins (Jack Christie Series #1)

Day of the Assassins (Jack Christie Series #1)


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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 much anticipated scene that decides the fate of World War I, the end of the book has plenty of action." —School Library 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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763649951
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 08/10/2010
Series: Jack Christie Series , #1
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 8.02(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

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Day of the Assassins (Jack Christie Series #1) 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
ladydiarma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was pretty disappointed in this - the promo blurbs made it sound so good, and I normally like historical fiction. It seemed to take a long time to get past the "wind-up" of the story - and I never really warmed up to any of the characters.....Too bad, because the premise was interesting and I had been looking forward to the book. If you want to read a series that captures a lot about that time period (without the time travel element), read any of Jacqueline Winspear's mysteries......
jennieg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I usually don¿t care for time travel stories and not only was Day of the Assassins further proof of this, it was worse than most. From the dreary cover art to the author¿s preachy afterword, this book is an example of literature unlikely to appeal to its target market, 9- to 14-year-olds. Jack and Angus are fans of a computer game called Point-of-Departure, which has players attempt to ward off the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, thus avoiding World War I and much of the twentieth century¿s carnage. And, glory be, it turns out to be a draft of a time travel plot by Jack¿s long-missing father to achieve this goal. Naturally, Our Hero and his Faithful Sidekick get caught up in this and are sent to the past to change history. After 189 dull pages, they finally realize if they achieve this goal, one of them, at least, will be eliminated. Throw in numerous coincidences and mechanisms that fail for the author¿s convenience, not to mention the gratuitous suggestion that Jack¿s mother is having an affair with a man who may or may not be a bad guy, and we have a real loser of a book.
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Advance Reading CopyA dynamic mix of historical fiction, sci-fi, and adventure, Day of the Assassins is the first in a planned series of Jack Christie Novels, time-traveling adventures featuring teenager, Jack Christie, and his best friend, Angus."Preparing for transfer . . .14 . . . 13 . . . 12 . . .Transfer initiating . . . Suddenly the glass blast screen started to lower. Belstaff, no longer pinned to the ceiling, tumbled to the floor. He didn¿t move. Jack stared numbly at the body of his teacher and felt bile rise in his throat again as a terrifying thought suddenly occurred to him ¿ Belstaff might be dead. Jack saw Johnstone look down at his injured colleague and then up at him inside the Taurus. When he saw his eyes, he knew that boarding the Taurus had been the right decision. All of those men had one thing on their mind as they rushed forward toward him.3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . ."With a story line that crosses time and space, Day of the Assassins thrusts Jack into a crucible of European history, Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary, on the eve of Archduke Franz Ferdinand¿s visit. If Jack can thwart the assassination of the Archduke, can he save the lives of millions destined to die in World War I? Or will meddling in history create greater problems unforeseen? Tangled in the midst of a deadly philosophical imperative, Jack and Angus must decide.Johnny O¿Brien adds a unique spin to historical fiction, moving seamlessly between the present and past, and successfully marrying video game action sequences with thrilling episodes in history. The modern British setting and European historical venues add spice to this action-packed series debut, and the cover art is a perfect complementAn author¿s note, photo, and historical background completed this ARC. A timeline and map are planned for the final bound version.
locilocisu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
***My Review might contain spoilers***Unlike many of the reviewers in LibraryThing, I can't vouch favorably for this book. There are plot holes and I find the characterization lacking. By the end of the book, I failed to get a sense of his character, except that he's an asthmatic. At the end, the book points out that now he is physically stronger, but I could never get that sense of struggle with his "disability"... thus the fact that at the end he overcomes it doesn't feel like an achievement.I get the sense that the protagonists are simply thrown around by the situation revolving around them, never making decisions that brings any impact, except one at the end of the book. Reading the book, I felt that the protagonists are simply riding a roller coaster ride and then at the end of the ride, decided to quit. And then there's the problem that the "willful" adults, who went to lengths to kill people for their agenda, simply gave up when the protagonist decides to not go with their plan.All in all, the story was simply not fulfilling. I do enjoy the premise of "historical" adventure, but the execution in this book failed to achieve the great heights it potentially has.
tro214 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only reason this book is getting two stars is because the idea is wonderful. Teaching a little history to 9-14 year olds, while giving them a good read! Unfortunately the reader gets very little of both. The main characters, Jack and Agnus, are well developed and full of typical teen emotions, the rest of the characters seem to be just thrown into the story. The story line itself is slow (189 pages should be a rip roaring page turner) and really lacks historical detail. For the history lesson the only saving grace for this book is the photo and the Q & A at the end of the book. I will pick up the next installment just to give the 1st time author a second chance.
kurtguz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Day of the Assassins was a very surprising Teen Fiction read. The characters were detailed and the plot was eye-catching. I think that anyone (young or old) will thoroughly enjoy reading this fabulous book by Johnny O'Brien!
christine.schrader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Day of the Assassins", the first book in an upcoming planned series by Jack O'Brien, is a sometimes exciting, often uneven account of time-travelling teenagers and their pursuers (who are either allies or enemies, depending on which part of the book you are reading) as they hopscotch through the historical events leading to World War I, namely the latter planning stages of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Jack Christie, our somewhat less-than-intrepid hero, is no Harry Potter or Pevensie child. He seems to have all the less than stellar qualities these more likable characters occasionally exhibit-- equivocation, indecisiveness, incredible amounts of naive, wide-eyed shock about certain situations-- without all of their charm and pluck. The other characters of the story, however one-dimensional, act-- Christie, the other hand, waits for them to act around them, then mopes around about the consequences and levels various and sundry judgments about the morals of those people in the book that actually do anything.The book, of course, is somewhat wildly inconsistent, insofar as the plot device of contemporary characters with all sorts of whiz-bang devices fly around in the past unbeknownst to everyone around them is concerned. That is to be expected in most books of this type and genre. But the plot holes can't be justified here by any serious feelings for the main characters or what is going to happen to them. The writing is just north of Dan Brown-level mediocrity., with a somewhat unfortunate tendency to talk down to its young readers. The superior parts of the book are those that reveal a sense of humor behind the mundane prose; Christie's best friend, at first an extremely irritating secondary character that disappears as soon as he is mentioned, comes back with all guns blasting (literally) about two-thirds of the way into the book, and provides some welcome humor and relief from the tiresome task of having to read Christie's own thought process of incessant wondering about what is going on while consigning himself squarely on the sidelines of the action to wait out what will actually happen. The best thing I can say about this book is that it will at least introduce many children to the fact that Franz Ferdinand is not just the name of a band, and encourage them to look up some historical goodies on their own.
morganic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised upon reading Day of the Assassins by Johnny O'Brien. Upon realizing that the book was teen fiction, I figured that the book would be simple and a quick read. While it went by fast, the story for the book was intriguing. Most books that deal with time travel make it gimmicky and awkward. I never had that feeling with this one though. The characters were well developed and the action kept me turning the page to find out what happened next.This would be a good way for teaching children history in a way that will keep them interested. Looking forward to more from the series.
silentq on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fast paced young adult novel, following Jack and his friend Angus as they get caught up in a conflict between current and past members of VIGIL. The VIGIL organisation is a group of scientists who developed the capability to travel through time, but decided that it was too dangerous to use. Some members, however, thought that the benefits outweigh the dangers, and are trying to use the device to stop the assassination that started WWI while the rest of the organisation races to stop them. Jack and Angus are thrown back into 1914 and are pushed and pulled by the various factions, until, ultimately, they have to decide which side they're going to fall in with. Things are complicated by Jack's family being tied to the organisation and Angus's very existence being dependent on WWI having happened. There were some instances of telling rather than showing in the narrative, the action would jump to a different location and Jack would think about how he got there. Also, the WWI video game as a framing device was unnecessary, the scene was set sufficiently by their history class. Using current techonology (cell phone like devices that have intermittent time signals) as well as anachronistic weaponry being sent back to the past (esp. a WWII tank), tended to break the flow of the story, acting as Macguffins. The emotional ride was good though, with Jack struggling with trying to figure out who to believe, and what would be the right thing to do. People get betrayed and killed, and Jack grows up fast. There were enough hooks left dangling to make me wonder where the series will go next. Overall, a decent young adult book, but it would be even better with a few small edits. The ARC was in good shape, though, I only spotted one typo.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Any action/adventure series geared toward teenage boys needs to be fast paced. It requires suspense, daring escapades, narrow escapes, and of course, a little violence. Day of the Assassins has all of that while cleverly inserting a history lesson along the way. In order for character development and foreshadowing, Day of the Assassins starts off slow. Jack Christie is a typical video-playing teenage boy who comes from a broken home. While he doesn't really understand the nature of his parents divorce, he is smart enough to know when his questions are being evaded by mom. Interesting enough, all will be revealed when Jack and his best friend, Angus, are transported back in time to the year 1914, right before the start of World War I. Suddenly, they find themselves in Sarajevo with the bad guys one step behind. The only problem is Jack and Angus don't know who to trust. Everyone who appears to be on the right side turns out to be a traitor of sorts. It's a cat and mouse game played out through the days and events leading up to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.Day of the Assassins is cleverly enhanced with photographs, maps, background information and an author explanation for the book.
parelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As Lemony Snicket notes, "The moral of World War One is 'Never assassinate Archduke Ferdinand.'" To some extent, the book attempts to answer why - and what, if given the ability to change time, could be done about it. While the start seems somewhat slow, the action kicks in quite quickly, and keeps going until the end. The characters were pretty engaging - it's hard not to feel for Jack, and the personal dilemmas that he encounters are very well explained - it gives a human side to the problem. The secondary characters were fun. I do admit, as is the case with other YA novels I've read before, I did come out feeling that I'd like to throttle almost all of the adults involved, no matter which side they were on! However, I do have some concerns. It could be that I've grown unaccustomed to reading for a YA audience, but I was bothered by the narrow scope of the book. While the author's website makes it quite clear that it's intended to support a curriculum on teaching the First World War, I found that few of those terms, concepts, or ideas were really mentioned in the book. Yes, World War I is awful, but why could stopping this one incident stop the war? Yes, there's some historical background given in the text, but I truthfully don't think this was covered well enough in the book.There's also a strange combination of technobabble and a lack thereof - while great detail is given over to explaining how the time machine functions, there's not much in the way of explaining how these so called very convincing simulations work. This was also accompanied by a certain suspension of disbelief concerning the appearance and differences that future travelers have in 1914, never mind the advanced weaponry they so blithely tote around (would you trust a 14 year old with an assault rifle?)! Exactly how blind are the people in 1914 anyway? That said, it does handle moral and ethical concerns relating to time travel relatively well - even if I've some qualms about the methods! Overall, a pretty good book - perhaps not one I'd read again personally, but definitely good for its intended audience.
SmithSJ01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From opening the cover I had a feeling this book would be something different to other children¿s books. It was. It really does bring history to life and will inform and educate youngsters, in a way no teacher can, about the First World War. The maps and timeline provide the historical accuracy to go with the fiction and I think they were put in the book in the right order. If the timeline was at the front it may put off a few readers (and I would¿ve included me in that at the age this is pitched at). The book has a boys feel to it and I don¿t know how this could be altered but I hope plenty of girls would read it still. In some respects it¿s actually quite a lengthy novel but the time flies by from the second you open it up. The author has found a way to combine the very modern world of mobile phones and computer games with historical events of the twentieth century. My only criticism is why would Jack give a modern history text to someone from the past? This was the only bit that didn¿t ring true for me. Even though, as an adult, I know about the First World War; it felt so different reading about it through children¿s eyes. It did get confusing at times to work out who was on what side - in terms of the reasons why Jack ended up in 1914, not the events leading up to the war ¿ but other than this the book raced by. The background information at the end would answer any questions that the novel raised and I would hope inspire readers to delve a bit further. I think the future readability of other Jack Christie adventures would depend solely on the time in history they were set. Overall, a great read and one I¿d very happily recommend to adults and children.
camarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, all I can say is this book is good. Not awesome or incredible, but decent. I really appreciated the adventure with the time travel machine and the characters were fun, but not complex. This read was easy but the action seemed lacking. I never felt that the main characters were in danger and the description did not hold my attention. I do feel this series has potential however, because I like the set up and I hope the characters have more to offer in the next book.
mjbrunner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love historical fiction, and this book was a fun read! I found that I was looking forward to reading it, and it made me THINK as well, which isn't always a given with teen literature. Even though I am not usually crazy about time travel and science fiction, I thought that it was easy to follow, and again, it made you wonder what you would do if you had the ability to alter history. To be totally honest, I also thought that it was educational about WWI, and I appreciated the addition of maps and photos. This would be a wonderful book to include in a unit of study about aWWI, as long as the readers were warned about some of the graphic scenes. It poses a moral question that would be fascinating to explore.I look forward to more adventures with Jack Christie!
aleykat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was an absolute blast to read. It reads similar to a modernized Hardy Boys book, complete with hidden rooms and secret plots. Overall I would have no problem recommending this for a male reader who is comfortable reading at a young adult level. The writing isn't outstanding, but the pace is quick enough that there isn't much time to worry about it. There are some graphic scenes, but nothing I would personally worry about. On the other hand educators would certainly need to evaluate their own school environment before using this book.This book is apparently intended to be worked into a WWI curriculum, but is perfectly readable on it's own, and might just lead to some extra research on the war.I'm sure future books in the series will find their way onto our family's bookshelves.
JayM on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was pleasantly surprised when I finished reading Day of the Assassins. I've never been one for teen fiction really, even though I am a teen myself. But even though this probably wasn't something I would have picked out at the store, I found it to be quite good. I can see that it could be used as an addition to a World War I lesson, and get the readers more involved and invested in the subject. All in all I was happy to read it, and look forward to hearing more from Johnny O'Brien in the future.
Galorette on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A time traveling teenager winds up in pre-World War I Europe. Does he stop the assassination of the Arch Duke that eventually will touch off a war or does he simply let history take its course? Do you care enough to slog through the book to find out?When starting the book I hoped that time travel and historical fiction would go together brilliantly but improbably, like pizza and pineapple. Unfortunately, Day of the Assassins is more like sardine ice cream. The book might have chosen one thing to do and done it well. Instead, it tries to mix a variety of genres and ends up with something thoroughly uninspiring. Jack Christie takes his sweet time getting into the past. The time travel mechanism is neither persuasive nor unobtrusive. And once in the past, nobody seems to notice that somebody dressed as a contemporary teenager is running about a war ship.
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.