I received a digital galley of The Reluctant Assassin from NetGalley and this is my honest review and I received no form of compensation. (Clearly, who would pay for my ramblings, but thank you to whoever approved it, I’m not sure I should have been approved because of the reader preferences on the publisher’s page!)
Although the story starts off slow, I feel this is a great beginning to a new series! I didn’t have an issue with the slowness in this story, but it was the one detraction. As with any first novel introducing new characters and concepts, there will be some pacing difficulties. How much action should there be? How much back story do you reveal? There were a few times where it seemed Colfer struggled, but it wasn’t enough to deter me, because the story is sound and engaging and the cast of characters are definitely interesting and keep you on your toes!
Colfer definitely sticks to his strengths in this novel. From the male and female protagonists tension/energy to the other worldly technology and history/mythology, he creates a sense of cohesion that doesn’t require to much suspension of disbelief. I’m not sure how the dynamic will develop between Chevie and Riley, but they have good chemistry and their witty banter is definitely a perk to the story! And as for characters, Garrick is evil incarnate! I can’t wait to see what happens in W.A.R.P. 2! (Witness Anonymous Relocation Program – Chevie makes a great crack about this, but you’ll have to read the book :-D)
What I would love to know is where Colfer comes up with his ideas!? The essence of this story: a teenage FBI agent (sort-of) is forced to babysit a time travel station and when everything goes wrong she meets a 19th century teenage assassin trainee trying to escape his assassin guardian (for lack of a better word) who isn’t all he seems. It’s much more convoluted and the travel back to Victorian England is great, but I mean wow!
Although the author bandies about some pretty heavy technological terms, I think he does a pretty good job of either explaining them in context or flat-out saying ‘look it doesn’t matter, it just does this.’ Plus, he throws in a Star Wars reference in Chapter 6, “This is like Star Wars, though Chevie. We’re the rebel base and Garrick is the Death Star.”, so you know I’m going to love it 😀
Recommendation: DEFINITELY read it! There’s a good mixture of humor for adults and young adults; there’s plenty of history and even more science-fiction! The story goes quickly and I couldn’t put it down.
Opening Line: “There were two smudges in the shadows between the grandfather clock and the velvet drapes.”
Closing Line: “‘I’ll be seeing you, Riley,’ he said to the glowing silhouette. ‘Real soon.'” (Whited out.)