December 02, 2013

Reviews in Brief, Part III: Suspense Spectacular

Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff. This was my first time reading anything by this author, and while I found the premise stretched my credibility a bit, that could be my skeptical adult self finding it hard to believe that a government program—no matter how shady and secretive and lacking in scruples—would ever use teenagers as secret agent killer types. But certainly it's not a premise that's unheard of (and frankly, plenty of governments in other countries have no compunction against child soldiers) so having set that aside, I was pretty absorbed by this one. It's action-packed, and something I'd consider to be a good "boy book" and/or an excellent read for those who like things in the thriller/spy novel genre. And everyone likes a shady government operation, right? Of course, the interest here lies in the character's growth, and he grows to question what he's doing and why…and that's all I'm going to tell you.
Review copy source: Library ebook | Buy from Indiebound



Code Orange by Caroline Cooney. I hadn't read a Caroline Cooney book in a while, but she is excellent at writing quick-read thrillers, setting up intriguing situations, and just generally penning stories that are unputdownable. I had been putting off reading this one, though, because the premise here is kind of icky: over the course of researching a biology report on infectious diseases, Mitty Blake finds an envelope with scabs in it inside an old medical book. As you might guess, Mitty does the dumb-guy thing, and all of a sudden he has to do a really, REALLY good job on his disease research. This one's billed by the jacket copy as a sort of post-9/11 suspense novel, but the part I enjoyed (besides the fear factor) was the gradual "awakening" of Mitty, previously a rather lazy and unengaged student, to the fact that book learning could, in fact, be a matter of life and death. (Not the most subtle of pro-education themes, perhaps, but the author is preaching to the choir.)
Review copy source: Library ebook | Buy from Indiebound



Monsters (Ashes #3) by Ilsa J. Bick. I'm not going to be able to say much about this one without giving away spoilers. Suffice it to say it is a very good, solid, but not too pat conclusion to an extremely harrowing and suspenseful trilogy that would probably appeal to fans of Patrick Ness and the Chaos Walking books. If you liked the first two books, you're likely to find this a satisfying conclusion to the story of Alex and Tom and Ellie and Chris, with a lot of good vs. evil strategizing and scary twists and setbacks, revelations about the Changed, and surprises regarding both the good guys and the bad guys.
Review copy source: Library ebook | Buy from Indiebound

2 comments:

tanita♥davis said...

Yeah, BOY NOBODY left me sort of scratching my head... I kept expecting a break in the wall - a feeling of, "Oh, and then he did something that said I am a real teen," and ...nope. It's kind of eerie.

tanita♥davis said...

Also... MONSTERS! Doorstop! But, unlike so many, it wasn't an unedited doorstop, just a real conclusion.