Summary: An orphan from 1898 and a disgraced teen FBI agent from the present team up to survive (and hopefully defeat) a time traveling homicidal maniac.
Eoin Colfer is best known for writing the very good Artemis Fowl series (as you can see on the covers of any book of his that is not Artemis Fowl).
I read and really enjoyed the whole Artemis Fowl series, but I was not a fan of his adult oriented thriller Plugged and Colfer’s attempt at writing a sixth novel in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series was reviewed very poorly.
So if The Reluctant Assassin was not free on audiobook through the YA Sync program (two free audiobooks given away each week during the summer to encourage teen reading), I probably would not have picked it up.
Riley is the apprentice (kidnapped slave might be a better description) of Albert Garrick, an assassin and magician in 1898 London. Garrick is a person that loves killing, but he needs a small audience. So Riley has been forced to become his apprentice and witness all of his killings.
The book opens with Riley attempting his first assassination. Riley cannot go through with it and Garrick is forced to kill the old man they were paid to kill. That old man happens to be a refugee from the present, who invented a time machine and is hiding out in 1898 to keep it from being misused.
As the old man is dying, the time machine starts up and Riley (and the old man’s body) get transported to the present to escape Garrick.
It is there that Chevron Savano (17 year old FBI agent that was recruited to spy on terrorist cells in high school, but was exiled into babysitting a witness protection safe house in London after a botched operation that we hear fully described later in the book) takes Riley into custody for murder.
The book is pretty much non-stop action and violence from that point on until the end of the book.
This is not as good as the Artemis Fowl series. There is less plot and humor and a lot more violence. On the positive side, Chevron is a good female (and Native American) action hero and the main characters are all fairly well developed.
Garrick (and some of the other villains) are a bit over the top evil, but that is not too problematic for the series. What felt like a good stand alone novel, has an unexpected setup for the next book in the series in the last couple pages. Book 2, The Hangman’s Revolution comes out at the end of June.
The audiobook is well done and if you are a 12-16 year old that does not mind a little violence with your action book, this is worth picking up, especially if you can get it while it is still free (free audiobook ends May 21st).
Related Bookwi.se Book Reviews
- Plugged: A Novel by Eoin Colfer
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
- The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl #2) by Eoin Colfer
- The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, Book 3) by Eoin Colfer
- The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl: Book 4) by Eoin Colfer
- The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl #5) by Eoin Colfer
- The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl #6) by Eoin Colfer
- The Atlantis Complex (Book #7) by Eoin Colfer
- The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8) by Eoin Colfer