Book Review: Eoin Colfer’s The Forever Man

Posted May 17, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Eoin Colfer’s The Forever Man

The Forever Man


Eoin Colfer

science fiction, thriller in Hardcover edition that was published by Disney-Hyperion on June 23, 2015 and has 352 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Third, and possibly last, in the W.A.R.P. science fiction thriller series for middle-grade readers that is revolving around the very-young Special Agent Chevie Savano and her unexpected Victorian partner, Riley.

My Take

Jailed prisoners of today have no idea how good they have it!

The Forever Man threw me backwards and forwards in so many ways. It was horrifying and hilarious, and ended with simply sad. So much loss in so many ways. The witchfinding mentality of Mandrake was appalling. Talk about a bunch of sheep. On the other hand, the Mandrake FBI field office was pretty amazing. It’s a shame Chevie had to happen to it. Arghh. I do hate that heroic-act-without-thinking trope.

It is also confusing with all that back and forth of the past intermixed with the future and the various presents. Yeah, more than one present, and I don’t mean gifts. Contributing to the confusion is the dead professor whose ghost is alive and intellectually active with life still to come.

Using the holding trap as an opportunity for Riley to recap his past with Garrick was fascinating in a macabre way while the end was interesting and nebulous. That wormhole has worked some unexpected changes in Chevie, and it could actually be the end, or it could be the start of a new stage in Chevie’s life with potential for a partnership? Maybe??

The Story

A desperate hope to find and save his half-brother ends with Riley, Chevie, and Garrick falling through time to the witch-obsessed village of Mandrake. It doesn’t help Chevie’s case in 1647 that the wormhole is changing Chevie into a cat.

Luckily, the professor’s messing about is bringing time travelers to Mandrake. Unluckily, the professor’s messing about is close to bringing about the end of the world.

“Only kill the innocent.”

The Characters

Chevron “Chevie” Savano, a Shawnee Native American, is a juvenile consultant with the FBI who traveled to the past to fix the future. And her body is changing. Riley is a fourteen-year-old Victorian orphan who trapped his really evil master, Garrick, in the time tunnel.

In 1647, Mandrake’s Groan, Huntingdonshire, England, is…

…a Puritan community of 48 brick houses where Albert Garrick, a psychotic Victorian assassin who has also been known as the Red Glove, a murderous magician, is known as the Witchfinder. Only one of the many lives he’s lived since Riley threw him into a wormhole in 1899.

The humorless, power-mad Godfrey Cryer is the town crier, constable, and the last disciple of the Witchfinder. Thomas Cutler and Ben are two of the guards. Jeronimo Woulfe is a mason and brick worker. Lizzie is Jeronimo’s pretty daughter, and Anna is his wife. Master Baldwin Sherry is the silversmith. Bartleby Primly is the richest merchant in town and has twin sons: Randall and Henry. Women who were victimized included Millicent Lewis, a gentle midwife, and Christabella Clopton. Matthew Hopkins is the Witchfinder General.

The stranded FBI team
Fairbrother Isles, a.k.a., Fender Rhodes Isles, seems to be an African dullard with hopes for his coded name. His partner, Donald Pointer, hardly qualifies as human company anymore. Professor Charles Smart is a quantum physicist who, at the end of the twentieth century, discovered how to access wormholes, Einstein Bridges. The Hobbit Hole is an emergency hideout.

1899 London
Tom “Ginger” Riley is Riley’s lost half-brother. Sir James Maccabee is London’s most feared attorney, and he’s afraid of his Lurker. Tartan Nancy Grimes is a prison negotiator, a wheedler. Broadband is a guard at Newgate Prison. Otto Malarkey. Bob Winkle is Riley’s assistant. Redmond is his name.

2008 Malibu, California
Gary and Ted were bouncers in a casino.

W.A.R.P. is the FBI’s Witness Anonymous Relocation Program that stashes federal witnesses in the past. One problem with those wormholes? Not everyone comes out the way they went in, although silver helps. Cord Vallicose had been an instructor at Quantico. Rosa Fuentes got a bad end of the deal with the wormhole; she had been partnered with Agent William Riley to look after a Mob banker. Olaf the Boar is another victim of the wormhole.

The Devil’s Brew is a method of execution that involves pouring molten silver down the prisoner’s throat.

The Cover and Title

The cover is afire with oranges swirling in front of a collage of a clockface, windows, and signs, as Riley stands silhouetted in a bowler hat.

The title is all about Garrick, for he is The Forever Man.