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The reluctant assassin


First U.S. edition.
New York : Hyperion, [2013]
Physical Description:
341 pages ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 1.
In Victorian London, Albert Garrick, an assassin-for-hire, and his reluctant young apprentice, Riley, are transported via wormhole to modern London, where Riley teams up with a young FBI agent to stop Garrick from returning to his own time and using his newly acquired scientific knowledge and power to change the world forever.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Middle Grades 6.1 13.0 Quiz: 158575.

Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.1 13.0 158575.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.7 19 Quiz: 60742.


Call Number
Colfer, E.

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Eoin Colfer was born in Wexford, Ireland on May 14, 1965. After taking a three-year degree course in Dublin, he qualified as a primary teacher in 1986. Returning to Wexford he began teaching in a local primary school by day and wrote at night. In 1991, he left Ireland and spent the next four years working in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy. Resettling in Wexford after his arrival back in Ireland, he recommenced his teaching career, continuing his habit of writing after school. His first book, Benny and Omar, was published in October 1998. His other works include Benny and Babe, the O'Brien Flyers series, and the Artemis Fowl series. He became a full-time author following the success of Artemis Fowl. The Wish List won a Bisto Merit Award in 2001.

In 2015 he won an Irish Book Award in the children's category with his title Imaginary Fred.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

After a wormhole transports Riley, a reluctant assassin's apprentice, from Victorian to modern-day London, Riley and teenage FBI agent Chevron Savano must evade and defeat Riley's evil mentor, Garrick, who gained quantum abilities during his own trip forward through the wormhole. Capably plotted time-travel adventure filled with hand-to-hand combat, canny reversals and tricks, and sarcastic repartee will ably reward Colfer's longtime fans. (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

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)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Magic and murder kick off this new series about former illusionist Albert Garrick and Riley, his 14-year-old apprentice. Add in Chevie Savano, a 17-year-old FBI agent with a chip on her shoulder and a fierce determination to prove herself, and the stage is set for a fast-paced thrill ride. Garrick makes use of magician's secrets to carry out his nefarious tasks, and the FBI employs WARP technology to conceal people in a truly secure witness protection program the past. Unfortunately, not all of those who are hidden have learned their lesson, and the stakes are amped even higher when Garrick manages to transport himself into the future. By setting the story in both present day and 1898 London, award-winning author Colfer is able to explore the intersection of magic and technology in a clever, double-pronged way. Fairly gruesome murders and mutations, as well as alternating time periods and points of view, keep the action moving. Everything is tied up sufficiently at the end, but Colfer leaves a few threads that can be pulled to further the universe of this fascinating high-octane thriller. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A new series by the author of the internationally best-selling Artemis Fowl books? Yes, please.--Osborne, Charli Copyright 2010 Booklist