Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day of the Assassins by Johnny O'Brien

The Year: 1914, The Place: Sarajevo, The Mission: assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Jack Christie and his friend Angus are caught up in a major event that will dramatically change the future. Should they intervene? And, more importantly, will they survive? Join Jack and his friends on a dangerous chase across pre-war Europe to the rain-sodden trenches of World War I, as the future of mankind hangs in the balance. 

When I was approached about reviewing Day of the Assassins, I thought it would be an exciting and educational (in a fun way!) book. And although, at times I did find it a bit boring, and a little confusing, it proved to be an enjoyable read!

Angus and Jack made such a pair! Angus was confident, funny, loyal and a little bit of an idiot. But I loved him! He was a fantastic character, my favourite in the book. Jack was the quieter, more intelligent of the two. He was kind and loyal. I liked his character as well. Another character I thought was fantastic was the professor! He was a bit crazy, but really good to the two boys. And Anna, the woman from 1914. There wasn't many girl characters so she was great! The way she was fighter, and didn't just sit back and let the men do everything!

The writing was exquisite. The descriptions were very exact. For some people, that is the type of writing they would like the most, but for just didn't work. I found the descriptions a bit too long and tedious. At times I even skipped over little bits of it. Also, the words that were used were very.. Ehh...Big. OMG I can't believe I can't think of a better word! Sorry! I'm awful :) And I'm meant to be good at English?! Anyway, the words were very big for the targeted age group (9-11) and I don't think a lot of children that age would understand them. Even I didn't understand a few...

This was a book with a lot of machinery and guns in it. Guns, cars and tanks and all that aren't quite my thing, so I didn't understand a lot of the terms used! I think kids who are interested in that type of stuff would love this book, but I do wish that there were more explanations of the different machinery for those of us who don't know anything about stuff like that (in other words, me)!

I liked the way you didn't know who were the bad guys and who were the good guys. It added a bit of mystery, to go alongside the adventure, to the story. Because VIGIL'S cause seemed better, but the Revisionist people seemed nicer. It was really hard to tell who was right! But in the end I think Jack and Angus made the right choice. 

The book was really good at the beginning and the end. I found the middle part a bit boring. In fact, none of it was 'gripping' as such. It was enjoyable, but I didn't feel, you know, compelled to turn the page at any point. I stopped reading it for a while when I got bored, and read another couple of other books, but then when I started reading this again I enjoyed it much more! I think I just needed a break to read something lighter!

Overall, I did like Day of the Assasins, but I just don't think it was my type of book. I think younger girls and boys, but maybe more boys, would really enjoy it. It is educational too, in a subtle way! Reading it, I even found myself learning a lot!

                                                    Rating: 3.5/5
Source: For review
Pages: 224
Age Group: 9+
Official Publication Date: First 1st June 2009, this edition 1st February 2010
Publisher: Templar
Author Website: or


  1. Interesting review! I got a really good feel for the type of book this is, and I think I know some people I should recommend this to. Thanks!

  2. Amazing review! I agree with you about everything you said, and I think this will be a popular book soon to come. :)

  3. Such a good review :) This sounds like a pretty good book to get young boy to read (you know, because of the guns and whatnot) if they're a tad reluctant. As for the big words, it used to annoy me, reading books where I couldn't understand half of what was being said, but you have to appreciate it when you're older :)

  4. Hi Cliona,

    Thanks for following Fordie Fresh! In answer to your question- yes :) You have one entry to the giveaway. Good luck!


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