The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P. #1) by Eoin Colfer
London, 1898 -- Riley stands over his mark, an old man sleeping in his bed. His master, Albert Garrick, has brought Riley here to make his first kill. He edges closer to the mark. He doesn't want to be a killer, but he's more afraid of Garrick than the man in the bed. The man wakes up, and it's clear he's no ordinary man. Before Riley can figure out what the strange man means when he says that others will figure out what happened, Garrick forces his hand. But as the man is dying, something very strange happens, and Riley finds himself transported.
London, present day -- After embarrassing the Bureau when her first assignment goes south, teenage Special Agent Chevron Savano finds herself babysitting a strange pod in a house in London, working with the strange Agent Orange, who will tell her nothing but that she must watch the pod. Chevie expects nothing but boredom from her assignment. Until the pod lights up and releases Riley (and the corpse of the man Garrick killed) in modern day London. Unfortunately, Albert Garrick soon follows, and Chevie and Riley must team up if they are to survive the murderous wrath of Albert Garrick.
I really enjoyed this book. I polished the whole thing off in one long, late night reading session. The opening sequence, with a knife in the dark, reminded me of Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book, and Albert Garrick is a villain of the same stripe as the Man Jack in that book, with a bit of Gaiman's Croup and Vandemar thrown in as he stalks Chevie and Riley across time and space. I also really liked Riley and Chevie. Sometimes I find it difficult to suspend my disbelief when kids are also kick-ass spies and such, but Colfer built a believable world for his kick-ass characters in a story that's a fun blend of The Bourne Identity and Oliver Twist.
As you can see, this book is the beginning of a series, but the book works very well on its own, so if you want a great action story without committing to a series, you should definitely check this out. And, if you really like the characters, you can look forward to their future adventures without waiting at the edge of a cliffhanger.
This is cross posted at (Library Lass) Adventures in Reading