Riley, a teen orphan boy living in Victorian London, has had the misfortune of being apprenticed to Albert Garrick, an illusionist who has fallen on difficult times and now uses his unique conjuring skills to gain access to victims' dwellings. On one such escapade, Garrick brings his reluctant apprentice along and urges him to commit his first killing. Riley is saved from having to commit the grisly act when the intended victim turns out to be a scientist from the future, part of the FBI's Witness Anonymous Relocation Program (WARP). Riley is unwittingly transported via wormhole to modern-day London, followed closely by Garrick.
In modern London, Riley is helped by Chevron Savano, a 19-year-old FBI agent sent to London as punishment after a disastrous undercover, anti-terrorist operation in Los Angeles. Together Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip through the wormhole. Garrick is now not only evil, but he also possesses all of the scientist's knowledge. He is determined to track Riley down and use the timekey in Chevie's possession to make his way back to Victorian London where he can literally change the world.
©2013 Eoin Colfer (P)2013 Listening Library Audio
I'm a big Eoin Colfer fan, and his combination of humor and action is well represented here. The characters are unique and interesting with their own personal issues and motivations.
Maxwell Caulfield does a great job of balancing the many different accents throughout, including the strange case of mixing two distinct character voices at times to imply the struggle for control.
The villian, Garrick is absolutely the best reason to pick this one up. Already one of the smartest, if vilest, men in Victorian London, the technology of time travel gives him familiarity with the technology of today. His self-confidence comes to the surface in a delightfully "Bond villian" style where he feels completely unthreatened by Riley and Chevie.
"Agent Orange" was my second favorite, and favorite supporting character.
I listen on my commute, primarily, and at first this wasn't a hard one to stop when I got to work and home. As the story moved back to the past in the last act, howeve,r it grew ever more compelling to listen to. By this time in the tale, the listener shares the belief that there's really nothing they can do to stop or even escape from Garrick, and you need to keep listening just to find out how they might pull it off.
The one sticking point was Agent Chevron Savano's voice. Always a challenge for a grown man to pull off a young female character, but there seemed to be a lot of variation in her speech patterns. At times, the over articulation reminded me of Joe Mantegna from Criminal Minds.
Dialog is too juvenile for adults and there is too much graphic violence for kids. Colfer has the ability to craft clever stories that appeal to both as exemplified by the Artemis Fowl series. I'm not sure what happened with the WARP series but it doesn't meet the standards I expect from Colfer.
Tell us about yourself!
I can't believe that this was by the author of the Artemis Fowl books. Didn't care for the narrator either. Won't be bothering with the next book in the series
Colfer does it again with a new cast of characters. I found this to have a lot of the Artemis Fowl series fantasy flair, but to be far more grounded. The narrator was excellent. He had very distinct voicing that was consistent throughout.
Yes, I loved Artemis but it is done and it was time for his to start something new and this is every bit as good a series. Riley is a plucky young man who although shifted to the 21st century from the 19th, he handles it well despite the obvious confusion from such a time shift. Chevron is not Holly but she is a smart teen who just happens to be working for the government. I can't wait for book 2.
I thought that it would be more sci-fi than it turned out to be.
I really like his books that are funny and way out there with the fantasy and sci-fi together.
I thought that he did a good job narrating this novel
I did not listen to the entire book, so I would not be able to answer this effectively.
This book just wasn't my cup of tea
This was Fagan as an insane assasin who's training the Artful Dodger meeting up with Dr. Who.
He could have done a better job by being more considerate of his fans and not pieced together old fiction. It lacked more than just imagination. As a fan of Colfer's novels, I kept hoping for things to turn around. I just may return the recording.
When the announcer said, 'Audible hopes..."
No. I'm not convinced this was all written by Colfer. But being so vacuous, it should really do well with American audiences. Perhaps that was the intent. I know that Hollywood would've ruined Artemis Fowl (making it into a pieced together mess). And this may be Colfer snickering at Hollywood and American audiences. Still, I take umbrage at being a true fan in the middle who gets the smack.
The reader was brilliant. The performance tops the story. And that is the only benefit owing to Colfer's latest. He was taking a p..s.
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