by Allen Zadoff
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They needed the perfect assassin.
Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.
But when The Program assigns him to the mayor of New York City, things change. Somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and a girlfriend; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's mission.
In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.
Goal: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to review this book in such a way that readers can be interested to join The Program without revealing them too much classified information.
Agents: Please read enclosed file on Project I am a weapon thoroughly. Parts of the file are encrypted, please only use code spoilerTAG to unlock the contents exclusively after reading the book. Warning : Due to the critical nature of this mission, please keep in mind that you’ll have to decide whether or not what I’m telling you is accurate. Secrecy is needed, so you might as well read the book to decipher.
➊ Successful infiltration
✔ The writing flows easily and the choice of short sentences and first person POV appears to be perfect for this kind of book. Indeed while it’s sometimes misused by some writers, this writing style adds here to the feeling of speed we get throughout the book.
✔ The plot is well-wrapped and captivating, offering us a fast-paced, action-packed kind of novel where boredom doesn’t exist.
✔ The male-lead, who we will refer here as Ben, is a well-trained and realistic assassin. No fluffy sweet here, for once. Although he can come as a Gary Stu, his training can explain his high-level of abilities. I mean, did you see Jason Bournes’ training, for real? See? You know what I mean. Organized and focused, as a soldier he kills to obey orders but never needlessly or for the sick “pleasure” (ugh) of it. Not this kind of assassin here, but anti-hero still, because
thank you thank you thank you for once here’s a character who acts and think as an assassin. Indeed contrary to many authors, Allen Zadoff dared to introduce a character who we’re not meant to love. Don’t get fooled though, Ben is a multi-layered character and as it is, he could start questioning his orders and maybe open his heart to sensations feelings. Maybe, maybe not. I guess you’ll see.
✔ The flashbacks, where we learnt details about Ben‘s training and early days in The Program, peaked my interest and I’m really curious to learn more about his past in the sequel.
✔ I absolutely adored the ending which let me both satisfied and eager for more. Moreover, it resolved some of my issues, so take my complains below with a grain of salt.
➋ Facts to stake out : please keep a low profile
✔ The relationships between the different characters, if generally well-done, aren’t perfect by any means.
– The romance I didn’t buy, because I never really felt the connection between Ben and Sam, daughter of the New York’s major who Ben is supposed to kill. To be frank, they were cute enough, I guess, but the short timeframe prevented me from rooting for them as a couple. Don’t get me wrong, Sam was an interesting character, and not our regular dumb female-lead changed by love. She’s smart, strong-minded and independent, and their interactions quite interesting, even if not free of roll-eyed worthy moments. Moreover, the “romance” is only a little part of the plot, so it didn’t bother me too much. View Spoiler »I love the ending, did I say that? Yeah? « Hide Spoiler
– However I appreciated the evolution of the relationship between Howard and Ben, and to see the beginning of a possible friendship pleased me.
✔ Overall the teenagers are portrayed in a realistic way, therefore their actions seem quite… immature and stupid at some point (except for Ben).
– First Sam’s best friend. Seriously, his “back-off” show was ridiculous. Now, is it believable? Sadly, I think it is.
– The “she got her heart broken because A FEW YEARS AGO she had a relationship really deep that turned wrong”. She’s 16. How in the world can she … You know what? I don’t want to know. View Spoiler »The explanation we are given satisfied me way more than this stupid romance at 12. Happy sigh. « Hide Spoiler
✔The political subplot … felt a little unbelievable and partisan to me. Excuse my cynical French talking but –
And that’s the only thing I’ll say. Now, everything isn’t as simple as it appears at first, so you may be pleasantly surprised, as I was. View Spoiler »Indeed I liked that in the end there’s no “good country” because it’s a part of the plot that bothered me. « Hide Spoiler
☠ You’re cover is blown : please stop right now!
To sum up, if I am a weapon is far from perfect, I read it in one sitting and that’s saying something, isn’t it? Despite his flaws, it stays a pretty good first book in my opinion and the ending gave me hope for an exciting sequel.
► Review terminated. To be continued…