Synopsis: Teen FBI-Agent Chevron Savano can think of better ways to spend her time than guarding an old time machine. Until of course it spits out a dead man and Riley, a boy on the run from his master. Now Chevie has to protect them both from Albert Garrick who followed Riley into the wormhole to kill his principled apprentice. The safest place or rather time seems to be Victorian London.
What a dragon thinks: With its slightly steampunk-y art style the German cover looks pretty awesome and it was that that eventually convinced me to read the book.
We went off on an easy start, getting to know the characters one person at a time which gave me a smooth entrance into the story. I liked Chevie from the moment I met her: she is grumpy, snarky and badass. The fact that she was an FBI-Agent did not even strike me odd. I’ve probably read too many books with teen spies, assassins and agents. Still, Colfer provided us with such a ludicrous explanation for her badge, I wouldn’t put it beyond the American government to actually give it a try.
For a boy from Victorian London Riley is very gentlemanly and considerate which I appreciate very much. Not knowing better, he called Chevie, a native American girl, a savage exactly once and never said anything of the sort again when he realised he had offended her. There are other racial slurs throughout the book, fitting the 20th century. Riley’s backstory was too sappy and lacking creativity: the orphan boy who is taken in by the magician and assassin Garrick who shows him the ropes. But careful. Plot twists ahoi!
The point of view shifts between the different characters, giving us an interesting insight on Garrick’s plans as well. Illusions and elegant killings wrap him in mystery and shadows and very much make him a great villain. Garrick reminds me of Dr. Facilier, the creepy but awesome villain from ‘Princess and the Frog’ and I couldn’t help but see a Victorian Era Shadow Man before my eyes while reading.
The story progresses fast, rushing our protagonists from one dire situation to the next. Running, fights, banter; a combination I truly enjoy. The further in we go the clearer it becomes that nobody is who they seem to be. Plot twists pepper the path like land mines, ready to leave the reader blinking at the pages in surprise. It was a solid story however, with a good plot. The science-fiction elements were actually kept to a minimum. Apart from the time-travelling and Garrick’s talents the story was rather close to reality. I don’t know why but I am always cautious when it comes to time-travel (says Doctor Who loving me) because it can be written so terribly wrong. Not in this case, though. I truly enjoyed the book but I am not sure whether I will continue with the trilogy.
Favourite characters: Chevie, Garrick
Conclusion: A fast-paced story which takes us through modern day London and then back in time. Good solid characters and a great villain make the chase interesting. Lots of witty and snarky dialogue kept me in high spirits. In conclusion, it was a lovely read even though I am not convinced whether I am going to read the next part.
Details about the German version of the book:
- Author: Eoin Colfer
- German title: WARP – Der Quantenzauberer
- Translator: Claudia Feldmann
- Pages: 346
- Publishing House: Loewe
- Date of publication: 14.2.2014
- Binding: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-3-7855-7909-1