❋ ❋ ❋ ❋The concept behind The Reluctant Assassin caught me right off that bat! I mean, a witness protection program involving time travel? How could I resist?!
The Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (W.A.R.P.) takes very high level and important witnesses from major trials via wormhole into the past where (or should I say when) the bad guys won't be able to get to them before it's time to testify. When Victorian era Albert Garrick, an illusionist and assassin, brings his "protege" Riley along on a hit, it turns out the target is a WARP scientist, and Riley gets dragged into present day London along with the scientist as he dies. In the present, he is helped by "junior" F.B.I. agent Chevie Savano (only in London as punishment for a mission gone south) in order to evade Garrick who also managed to come through. Garrick has big plans; he plans to use his newfound knowledge to go back to Victorian London and literally change the world.
Eoin Colfer writes excellent characters (and Maxwell Caulfield is great at giving them voice!), so Riley, Chevie, and especially Garrick are fascinating to watch on their journey. Even though Chevie could be a bit stubborn at times it really works with her character and where she comes from. Colfer is also quite good at giving just the right amount of historical detail, so we can really get a good sense of culture shock on both ends of the wormhole. I also liked that we got a pretty good idea of how time travel works via the wormhole.
I definitely recommend this fast-paced, time-hopping, middle grade adventure for fans of Back to the Future, Doctor Who, Warehouse 13, The Twilight Zone, and Artemis Fowl!
Some favorite moments:
Charismo's Commander James Bond of Her Majesty's Navy, Pinkus Floyd "Another Brick in Yonder Wall", Batman of Gotham City, The Panther That Wore Pink, etc.
"Why would she bring me Scotsmen? What help would that be?" -Riley's thoughts on being told he would be getting some McDonald's later.
Agent Orange/Felix Smart should definitely be played by a grayer David Tennant speaking with his natural accent if this is ever adapted for screen! I almost expected Smart's password to be TARDIS rather than H.G. Wells!
When one goes through the wormhole they seem to come out freezing (and a little loopy) just like the Delorean!
"The Take That are most melodic and God bless Harry Potter is all I can say. If not for him all of London would have been consumed by the Dark Arts." -Riley on what he's learned from the tv of the 21st century while staying at the F.B.I. Out House.
I read this from May 28 - 31, 2014 and my review is also on Goodreads.