The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer Book Review

The Reluctant Assassin: W.A.R.P. Book 1 by Eoin Colfer

Riley has the serious misfortune to be the apprentice of the one time illusionist turned assassin Albert Garrick. But let's make no mistake, Albert Garrick is nothing more than a cold, calculating, and cunning serial killer. After numerous escape attempts in which Garrick always finds him, Riley has all but given up hope. Garrick drags Riley along to commit his first assassination, but an unwilling Riley has no idea that their intended victim is a time traveling scientist and Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern day London.

Meanwhile, in modern London, Chevron Savano, a seventeen-year-old FBI junior agent has been given the task of watching an empty metal egg in a basement, "just in case something happens". Chevron is rather shocked when a scared Riley and a very dead scientist appear and the boy keeps babbling on about someone called Garrick who is going to track them down and kill them. Chevron follows her training, but something far worse than death has followed Riley out of the wormhole.

How do you make a serial killer scarier than they already are? Well, first you create a back story, slowly revealing the horrible things they have done and all the things they have learned. Albert Garrick has trained in every fighting style he could find in Victorian London and beyond. He has the practiced patience of a criminal mastermind. There is no mercy in his cruel heart and the only soft spot he has is for poor Riley. And then we add the wormhole. Garrick mind melds with one of the agents as he is traveling through and suddenly he knows everything about the 21st century, at least everything the agent knew. This includes security procedures, codes, passwords, everything. Then he discovers that his body has also undergone a transformation and he is to change his cells and body at will. So here we are, a Victorian serial killer with all the knowledge of an FBI agent and a body that can literally do anything. Shudder.

Riley's character was fun and interesting, but he was really just a foil for Garrick and spent most of the book saying, "Garrick is coming," over and over again. Chevy Savano was a strong female lead but her character always felt out of place for me. I just never fully bought the whole junior FBI agent sent to London on a super secret mission dealing with time travel/witness protection. It wasn't that Chevy wasn't capable, it was that I didn't believe the scenario and so her character just didn't hold as much weight for me.

I thought the book was interesting and I love when characters from the past come to our future, it's always fun to see how they react to 21st century devices and such. However, the real star of the show was Garrick, and it made me feel a little icky to really be in the head of a serial killer. Obviously, I am not the type who watches shows like Dexter and Criminal Minds. I definitely think there is a crowd out there for this book, I'm just not it.