DAY OF THE ASSASSINS by Johnny O’Brien

DAY OF THE ASSASSINS

A Jack Christie Novel
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rival groups of time machine–equipped scientists duke it out for the loyalty of a teenager in this clumsy series opener. Caught between a residual bond with his brilliant but absent father—who, thanks to “computer simulations,” believes that preventing the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand will head off the First World War, and the entirely plausible view of his father’s erstwhile organization VIGIL that any meddling with the past is too dangerous—Jack travels back to 1914, makes his way across Europe by various unlikely means and finds himself standing near the assassin at the crucial moment. O’Brien folds in actual participants and even period photos for historical verisimilitude, but doesn’t even try to match that with credible time-travel gear or effects. In addition, he allows the “Do Not Disturb the Past” VIGIL party to litter the 1914 scenery with modern weapons and other anachronisms without an apparent second thought and in similarly plot-driven fashion trots in massive contrivances to keep Jack free and alive. A fast-paced debut with plenty of cartoon-style violence, but the time travel never gets beyond being a convenient MacGuffin. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4595-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Templar/Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2009