YA sci/fi fantasy isn’t always my go to fiction choice. Lately, though, I’ve started reading a bit in order to find things that I’d like to read with my kids once they get bigger, or things that they’ll be able to read when they want to. I am a book buyer. Some say hoarder, but hey, I like books.I have been making an effort to purge my books of things that are just so so in order to keep things from looking like a dilapidated used book store. Unfortunately, before I had kids I got rid of a fair amount of YA fiction (yeah, I got rid of my Harry Potter set), so now I am replenishing it with new finds. I liked the Artemis Fowl series, or at least the part that I read, I never finished… As I said, YA isn’t my favorite and there are always so many other books to read. I thought Eoin Colfer would be a good place to start.
Not going to lie… W.A.R.P is kind of dark… and I kind of liked it. W.A.R.P stands for Witness Anonymous Relocation Program that involves a time machine and Victorian England. If you want to hide someone, Victorian London seems like a great place to start. The book begins in England as the orphaned apprentice of Albert Garrick, magician/assassin, is being forced to commit his first murder. It does NOT go as planned. Riley ends up teaming up with Chevie, a young (and I mean teen-aged young) FBI agent that has been sent to England to hide out until her past transgressions have been forgotten. Riley and Chevie get caught up in a time machine and join forces to stop Victorian England from being changed by Garrick who possesses the scientific knowledge to alter reality as the world knows it.
So, yes, it is predictable at times, the way only a YA time travel book can be. You’ve got young kids with amazing fighting skills and knowledge… it is up to them to save things. That being said, Colfer likes to suspend disbelief and provide interesting characters who will change and grow over time. They aren’t always perfect and they don’t make the best decisions, but you can count on them to be interesting. This is the first book in a series, and while I think boys in general would prefer this book over girl readers (despite Chevie being a girl) it has a decent appeal. It is violent. It is about murder, so I wouldn’t say that middle grade readers should run out to read this one, but I do think parents and kids could read it together to explain some of the more gruesome happenings. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series.