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BOOK REVIEW: I Am the Mission (The Unknown Assassin #2) by Allen Zadoff

BOOK REVIEW: I Am the Mission (The Unknown Assassin #2) by Allen ZadoffI Am the Mission (The Unknown Assassin #2)
by Allen Zadoff
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

He was the perfect assassin. No name. No past. No remorse. Perfect, that is, until he began to ask questions and challenge his orders. Now The Program is worried that their valuable soldier has become a liability.

And so Boy Nobody is given a new mission. A test of sorts. A chance to prove his loyalty.

His objective: Take out Eugene Moore, the owner of an extremist military training camp for teenagers. It sounds like a simple task, but a previous operative couldn't do it. He lost the mission and is presumed dead. Now Boy Nobody is confident he can finish the job. Quickly.

But when things go awry, Boy Nobody finds himself lost in a mission where nothing is as it seems: not The Program, his allegiances, nor the truth.

The riveting second book in Allen Zadoff's Boy Nobody series delivers heart-pounding action and a shocking new twist that makes Boy Nobody question everything he has believed.

That was before. And I’ve been taught to handle before. 
You put it away and replace it with now.


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Okay, so, I’m extremely mad at myself. Excellent story, wonderful flawed boy to obsess over, fast-paced and intricate story-line so there was no way I could lose my interest easily-and yet, here I am, the next day after finishing, wishing I would have waited to read IATM until this weekend. I was tired. I was dreary. I had, like, no time to read in more than 20% chunks…I am beside myself with how dumb this decision was. I wasted a wonderful, amazing book because I couldn’t keep my damn fangirling in check, and a wonderful book lost half a star because of that. *Face palm*

It hurts to watch her go. Not in my head. Someplace else, someplace deeper.
Closer to my heart.

This story was completely different than the first. For one, our dear, er, hmm, can I say his real name without it being a spoiler? Ummm okay, I’ll just use his ‘op’ name for this mission-Daniel, our dear Daniel has faced an emotional trauma from his last mission he isn’t likely to recover from. His heart is broken, but he knows what his job entails and he knows he must move forward. But now, on top of all the maturity he has to wrangle at his age, he can finally ‘feel’. He isn’t just an emotionless drone going from operation to operation-he is finally starting to question the morality and sanity of The Program. And with these doubts comes fear-what if he messes up again? Will it cost another life? And, most of all, when it comes right down to it, would he make the same decision again if he had to?

I see this too-thin, too-tired boy who has been up most of the night, first on a mission and then on postmission planning, and I transform his energy into that of a boy who had trouble sleeping because he is nervous about the day to come. A sixteen-year-old desperate to impress, yet confused about who he is and what he is here to achieve.
In short, I make myself into Daniel Martin, the new recruit at camp.

I really enjoyed seeing his struggle to make the right decisions and to know whether he was heading down the right path or not. The thing is, it all became blurred. He had very little sleep, was trapped where he couldn’t reach his ‘Mother’ or ‘Father’, and he was questioning every little thing set before him. But here’s the kicker-At one point?? I’m pretty sure Daniel went off the deep end. He wasn’t himself for a very long time in this story, and it was so sad (and addicting, sue me) to see him fraying at the edges, losing himself through doubt, determination, and a longing for someone to connect to. But one thing was clear-he would not make the same mistakes from his last mission. His last mission took a piece of his soul, and we get to see first hand how it effects him every single day. Poor widdle ‘Daniel’. 🙁

Physical pain is easy. It’s the other kind that’s new to me. The emotional kind.


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One thing was for certain in this story: The bromance stole the show, right alongside the action. It tore my heart to pieces to see two lonely boys finally find what they always wanted: An awkward best-friendship lol. At one point, and good lord this will seem weird, I totally laughed/squealed/giggled from the adorable-ness that is Howard and Daniel. I LOVE their friendship and it actually became my favorite part of the story-and if you know me at all, you know I don’t give two shits about friends in stories. A lot of people would balk at that, me not caring about friends and only looking out for the romance, but eh, that’s me! And for me to fall so hard for two best friends and almost tear up at the epicness that is their friendship? That’s huge (Think Jazz and, gasp, Howie, from I hunt killers and that whole series).

Before I can stop him, Howard rushes forward, squashing me in a bear hug.
I say, “I’ve got to be honest. It makes me uncomfortable when you do that.”
“Just once,” he says. “Then you can go back to being a tough guy.”

So, while I absolutely adored this story and am completely enraptured by this series and the boy that leads it, something key was missing here. Whether from my lack of sleep or time for this story, or from the lack of a romance I could get behind like in book one, something tiny was missing-Something that would make me go wooooooahhhhh, no way, like in book one. But, again, I screwed up and read the meat of the story last night with my eyes half closed and floated through every page when it was supposed to be perilous sooooo I’m guessing my rating would have been 5 had I read this when I should have. Anyway-Tortured, lonely, confused Daniel is someone I really fell hard for in this book. His humanity (or lack thereof near the end) was amazing to follow as we watched him decide just how far he’d go to prove his loyalty. I NEED book three now…damn it, why do I have to wait until JUNE?!!! UGH!

 

BOOK REVIEW – I Am the Weapon (The Unknown Assassin #1) by Allen Zadoff

BOOK REVIEW – I Am the Weapon (The Unknown Assassin #1) by Allen ZadoffI Am the Weapon (The Unknown Assassin #1)
by Allen Zadoff
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

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.

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 »

– 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 political subplot … felt a little unbelievable and partisan to me. Excuse my cynical French talking but –

*cough* Really?

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 »

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…

BOOK REVIEW: I Am the Weapon (The Unknown Assassin #1) by Allen Zadoff

BOOK REVIEW: I Am the Weapon (The Unknown Assassin #1) by Allen ZadoffI Am the Weapon (The Unknown Assassin #1)
by Allen Zadoff
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Previously published under the title Boy Nobody

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.

Buddy read with the amazing  Anna

 


Eventually people stop looking at me, stop meeting my eye.
There is nothing to meet.
There is nobody here.

 

So here’s the thing-I’ve found out a lot about myself recently. 1. I like flawed heroes more than I do any other kind of hero. 2. I enjoy fucked up scenarios in which the main character might or might not be a serial killer or any other type of cool thing like that (Most recently an assassin (obviously ^^^)). 3. I love male main characters or POVs, if done correctly, almost more than female POVs and main characters. And, lastly, I quite enjoy not-so-happily-ever-afters…to an extent. I’m still a bleeding heart-I’ll never lose that trait completely, I don’t think.

I remember that day. That moment. The smile.
I felt it then.
This sensation.
Not a sensation, I realize now.
A feeling.

None of this is shocking, really, if you know me at all. But I don’t think I knew, myself. No, most shocking to me is that I actually found this genre. I didn’t simply stumble upon it by circumstance, but because a great friend who does break the mold a little chose to gush. That’s all it took and I broke free of my safe little bubble and emerged on the other side victorious. I have found some truly astounding characters that will likely stay with me forever, and they are all male (Okay, so, clearly everyone knows I love my heroes but it’s completely different when I’m 100% in the male’s head the whole time, cut me a little slack). My point to all this?? I am so glad that I had a friend who read something that was so interesting and took the time to tell me about it so I would take my interest and actually put it to use, because now?? I have such a wide genre opened up to me that I would have never thought to look into before this moment and I am forever grateful that I chose to stalk this person’s reviews of that earlier series because I’ve read some great, albeit fucked up, books in the last month.

There are too many things like this lately. Things I do without knowing why, motivations that I cannot fully comprehend.

Bold. Daring. And most of all…Surprisingly deep and heartfelt. It started off kinda clinical, ya know? I was enjoying it immensely, but I felt like I was a third party when really all I wanted was to be inside his head to the point where I felt what he felt. I wanted that intensity and that deep rooted connection, and for a while I didn’t get that sensation…no, sorry, not a sensation, a feeling. ;). But then something happened. Benny boy’s door started to get some action-a light knock here, a dull thud there, then someone started to pound on the door until it splintered and cracked and ultimately exploded wide open. We were suddenly in this guy’s head. We had the inside track to what his weakness was, what made him human and not just some freaky assassin kid that doesn’t have any emotion. And the minute we started to see who this kid really was?? That’s when I just knew we were in for a ride-finally.

I had feelings once, too. I think I did. But that was a long time ago.
That was before.

Pulse-pounding, heart-throbbing, unpredictable and intense. I promise you-You won’t see what’s coming. You’ll think you know, but honestly? You don’t. The fast paced plot went straight to my bloodstream and made it impossible to breathe. I was so so happy to be back into a ‘criminal-type’ mind-It was like coming home, if I’m being honest. Even more truthfully, I’ve been looking for a guy that even halfway reminds me of Jazz…and it’s hard. It’s hard when you love a character so much and can’t seem to find that connection anywhere else. It stunts your excitement of other books. It makes you crazy. And dear old ‘Ben’ wasn’t quite Jazz and the stories are wholly different….but I can’t say he wasn’t close-In fact, he really touched me and made me think of Jazz more than once. That’s all I can ask for.

You learn many things with a knife in your shoulder.
You learn how to save your life. Or how to die.

Dealing with what it means to feel, to be human, to fit in, Ben will touch your heart in more ways than one. Losing your humanity when everything has been taken from you can make you a drone-immobile, a robot. But what happens when someone breaks through your shell? Makes you feel, makes you think about right and wrong, fair and unfair. So, yes, I loved this book very much. Will it be for everyone? Most likely, not. But…for those of you looking for a fun way to switch things up? Take a chance, try something you would never have tried before…And you might just come out in love with a whole new genre.


Sam is in my arms now, her body warm against mine, her lips so close that we share a breath.
“You went away for a second,” she says.
“I’m afraid to get close to you.”

 

 

 

********************************************

Because me and Anna NEED another sociopath dude like JAZZ. It’s an obsession and a curse.

Mission: Find a disturbed and tortured boy like Jazz
Successes thus far: ZERO
Are we ready? FUCK YES

The search continues….


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