Review: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer


Genre: historical fiction, adventure, science fiction  Age Level: young adult Series: Scarlet #1
Genre: historical fiction, adventure, science fiction
Age Level: middle grade
Series: W.A.R.P. #1

The reluctant assassin is Riley, a Victorian boy who is suddenly plucked from his own time and whisked into the twenty-first century, accused of murder and on the run.

Riley has been pulled into the FBI’s covert W.A.R.P. operation (Witness Anonymous Relocation Program). He and young FBI Agent Chevie Savano are forced to flee terrifying assassin-for-hire Albert Garrick, who pursues Riley through time and will not stop until he has hunted him down. Barely staying one step ahead, Riley and Chevie must stay alive and stop Garrick returning to his own time with knowledge and power that could change the world forever.


I have yet to read the last two books in the Artemis Fowl series and am at the awkward stage where I know that if I read them I’ll have for sure forgotten most of the plot but don’t fancy re-reading the whole series. However, I remember enjoying them tremendously as a kid. Now I think I may have to because I love the way Eoin Colfer writes.

I only ended up reading, well technically listening (it was an audiobook) to The Reluctant Assasssin, because it was one of the few books my whole family could all agree on for our roadtrip. I truly did not expect to like it as much as I did and was beyond impressed.

The book is pretty original both conceptually and in the tone of the story. It is a science fiction novel set in the past, a story of adventure filled with brilliant characterizations that feels like a fantasy novel. It has assassins, double agents, magicians and wonderful characters. In other words, it’s rather awesome.

Riley is smart and observant, and Chevie is sassy and strong. Plus, she’s Native American which was a huge bonus for me in a world of books with no representation of culture. Garrick is wonderfully evil and I love how he uses his magic as a weapon. As the story progresses the characters lives unfold and shape themselves in interesting, and often unexpected ways.

The plot is quite genius and it is impossible to know what will happen next amid the twists and turns. I enjoyed the role reversals as first Chevie must teach Riley about the wonders of the modern world and then Riley must protect Chevie from the dangers of the past. The flow of the writing is surprisingly natural and easy to read. The Reluctant Assassin ranges anywhere from funny to gruesome and is extemely captivating. Be prepared to be hooked from the first sentence and sucked into the fast paced tale.

There are loads of culture references which usually annoys me to no end, but for some reason I really enjoyed them. I didn’t really have any issues with the book apart from wanting it to be longer and never end. I am super exited to read the next book in the W.A.R.P. series and read Eoin Colfer’s other books.

Recommended to fans of Brandon Mull and action packed time travel stories.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!


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