Riley, an orphan living in Victorian London, has had the misfortune of being apprenticed to Albert Garrick, a former illusionist turned murderer, who now uses his conjuring skills to gain access to his victims’ dwellings. On one such escapade, Garrick brings his reluctant assistant along and urges him to commit his first killing. Riley is saved from having to complete the grisly act when the intended prey 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—with Garrick close on his heels.In modern London, Riley is aided by Chevron Savano, a seventeen-year-old FBI agent. Together, Riley and Chevie must evade Garrick, who has been fundamentally altered by his trip thought the wormhole. Garrick is now not only evil, but he also possesses all of the scientist’s knowledge. He is determined to track down Riley and use the Timekey in Chevie’s possession to literally change the world.
I was pretty excited when I found out Eoin Colfer was writing another series for young adults. I loved Artemis Fowl (with a little less enthusiasm for some of the later books) and had fun reading Half Moon Investigations, The Supernaturalist, Airman, and The Wish List. Eoin Colfer is a fun writer with twisting plots and charismatic characters. WARP was a fun creation with Time Travel at its center. I was wishing I knew a few more details about Victorian London so I’d know what Colfer invented and what was fact. This book seemed to me to combine some of the historical vibe from Airman and the sci-fi of both Artemis Fowl and The Supernaturalist. The two protagonists were interesting and fun. Riley is a 14-year-old kid who is just trying to survive to eat his next meal, while keeping his guardian from killing his assistant (him). He has many talents thanks to his master, who taught him skills in fighting, lock-picking, thieving, and illusions. On the other side of the century is Chevron Savano, also an orphan and California native with Native American roots and a full training skill set from Quantico. When these two meet, and Riley’s mentor kills Chevie’s, they find themselves allied out of need and on the run to prevent the devil incarnate from changing history for the worse. This was a solid adventure, with some grisly details of stabbings and murders. There was a little mention of Jack the Ripper and I found myself scrunching up my face in distaste at the horrible person that Garrick is. I have high hopes for the next books in the series.