YA Book Review: The Reluctant Assasin by Eoin Colfer

 

The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P., #1)

I am a HUGE Artemis Fowl fan. So, despite the fact that I found Unplugged, Eoin Colfer’s adult novel, not to my taste, I was excited that he had a new young adult series coming out.  Given my growing stack of summer To Reads, I decided I’d knock it out in audio form, and quickly downloaded it. First of all, let me say that I found the narration quite good.  Maxwell Caulfield does an excellent job with the many accents and characters, and his pacing is excellent.

As for the book, well, I can’t say I was very impressed. It’s a fine time travel novel, but it’s definitely not outstanding. I never felt sympathetic toward any of the characters, which made it hard to care if they lived or died. There is plenty of action in this book, though. Perhaps a little too much — if not for the sometimes brutal violence sprinkled throughout, it would be an excellent tween crossover title.  Since there is some gore and torture, though, I wouldn’t feel super comfortable giving this book to a tween who is a bit tenderhearted.

One super-minor thing that bugged me like crazy was the fact that Chevron, one of the main characters, never uses contractions. Given that she’s a Native American, it seemed a little weird and old-fashioned – almost like people who think that all Native Americans speak in broken English with halting grammar. I’m pretty sure that’s not what Eoin Colfer intended, but that’s the way it read to me.

This book wasn’t very long, but it seemed to take me forever to get through it. I think that, Artemis Fowl notwithstanding, Eoin Colfer’s style just isn’t my favorite. I definitely won’t be picking up the next book in the series, although I would recommend it to teens who are looking for a little Victorian-time-travel-action.

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