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 seventeen-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.
GREGOR THE OVERLANDER, RANGER’S APPRENTICE and ARTEMIS FOWL’s first books are all on my five star book list. For RANGER’S APPRENTICE and GREGOR THE OVERLANDER, those five stars account for the entire series. Overall, I thought the books kept up a constant stream of happy Eli so I rated the entire series five stars. It’s just those two that are like that. No other books on my favorites shelf is like that.
ARTEMIS FOWL is even more special. There are fourteen books, eight primary ones, in the ARTEMIS FOWL series. I’ve read all of the primary and two of the other ones. I would say that the first half of ARTEMIS FOWL was in the running right beside GTO and RA for a long time. Then things started getting weird, with the fairies and whatnot.
I admit, the second half had more action and adventure. Also mystery. But it just wasn’t my thing. I enjoyed the second half, but not as much.
That’s the same feel I get from this book. There are moments in it that remind me of the feelings I had in the first half of the AF series. I love Eoin Colfer’s voice and the way he writes. Then there are moments that remind me of the second half, which I just couldn’t seem to love the way I loved the first half.
I liked the characters, especially Chevie and Riley. I always appreciate good time travel, so that was a huge plus for me. The steampunk elements were also highly regarded. Those steampunk themes reminded me of Eoin Colfer’s AIRMAN, which I really liked.
Only thing though: This book was really violent. The cover and Eoin Colfer’s rep as a middle-grade author makes it seem like it’s middle-grade fiction, but I don’t think it is. I loved the action in this, but sometimes it felt a little more gory and violent than truly necessary. I mean–I enjoy some violent movies. I’ve got nothing against them. Same thing goes for books. But would I recommend this book to a junior high student? No. That’s all I’m saying.
All in all, a good book. Will be looking forward to more of this series. 4 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 321
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]