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 was so excited to listen to these books. I am such a big fan of his previous series (Artemis Fowl). Unfortunately, this book does NOT live up to expectations. Plot holes, lame dialogue, and un-relatable unrealistic characters are just some of the problems of this book.
Apart from content, the narrator is very mediocre. For someone who has to do an American accent and a female voice, this narrator has a very poor grasp of both. Problem not all his fault (because of the content) but very cheesy and again just overall poor quality.
I loved Artemis, can Colfer please re-discover his writers voice?
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'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.
otherwise it was ok. the story felt a little rough, but it all came together nicely as an introduction to the series.
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
Good universe, interesting characters, fleshed out backgrounds, well paced, overall good story telling. Yes, it's aimed at YA, but it's fun for all.
Children's book illustrator & toy designer living in Los Angeles. Addicted to audio books.
The characters seemed to have potential, but the writing- just seemed to not be up to par. It was like someone else wrote it and Eoin Colfer's name put on it. The villain had potential, but never seemed to grow - just kind of bla "here I am the bad guy come to ruin your day" without much motivation or menace other than the boy being afraid of him.
This was just missing something- no flair or spark. Not much humor. Did not like the girl character's inside voice monologs. They were eye rolling bad. She was a bland character for what was supposed to be a secret agent type. everything was just safe and bland and not that interesting.
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.
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