Reluctant Assassin
by Colfer, Eoin






A first entry in a new series that puts a high-tech spin on classic themes from Oliver Twist follows the misadventures of Victorian orphan Riley, who becomes a reluctant assistant to a murderous illusionist and is transported to modern-day London, where he is aided by a teen FBI agent.





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. Copyright 2012 Booklist 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) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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