Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What we're reading: Assassin, Book Two

As I had hoped, 8+9 Book Club members picked I Am the Weapon (formerly Boy Nobody, which I reviewed here), by Allen Zadoff, as their book to read for October. And now, the 10-12 Book Club has also chosen it as their December book! So given that we will be immersed in the world of a teenage assassin for a while, I decided to read the sequel, I Am the Mission, this past weekend.

Same basic plot as the first, in that there is a boy who drops into an environment in which an adult would stick out but a teen would fit right in, gains the confidence of his mark and his target, eliminates the target, and gets out without a trace. But this second in the series has an accelerated timetable for Boy Nobody (known in the first book as Benjamin and in this book as Daniel): He is walking blind into a mission at which another "operative" already failed.

Eugene Moore owns and runs an extremist military training camp for teenagers in rural New Hampshire--somewhere that maybe a parent at the end of his rope with his "difficult" teen would send him to learn self-discipline and responsibility. But this camp goes way beyond that in its scope of influence; Boy Nobody's bosses in the Program suspect Moore is training these teens to be domestic terrorists, and they want Moore taken out before his influence spreads beyond their control. They already sent in one undercover teenager to do the deed, but he went off the grid and hasn't been heard from since. Now it's Boy Nobody's turn to try his hand at accomplishing the mission.

This was a great continuation of Boy Nobody's story. Good plot, breathless thrills, interesting twists, similar writing style. In addition to the nonstop action, it continues and expands upon Boy Nobody's uneasiness and growing sense of doubt about the methods, motives, and even the identity of his employers. The only reason it doesn't get five stars for a killer thriller (pardon the pun) is something that happened in the last 10 pages that took the reader so far beyond the suspension of disbelief as to be ridiculous. I suppose you wouldn't encounter anything more unlikely in a James Bond book, but...it made me sit back, jump out of the story and say No WAY did that just happen! (And you know it had to be pretty outrageous in the context of this book of already unlikely events to do that!) But if you excised that one thing from the story...awesome.

There is a third book in the works--I Am the Traitor--coming out in June of 2015. Don't worry, it's already on our list!

If you want to watch a trailer for the first book...

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