Thursday, August 22, 2013

Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff YP FIC ZADOFF

He's always the new kid.  every few months, new town, new school, new name, new target.  He is Nobody, and when you meet him it means someone you know is about to die. He is a highly trained 16 year old assassin for The Program.  One job and new life bleeds into the next until he finally gets a job that feels too real.  A target that feels like a family and a place that feels like home. Now he's remembering the 12 year old boy The Program killed to make Boy Nobody, now he's asking questions, now he's the target.  Can Nobody become somebody again, and will he be able to face the truth when he finds it?

This is an amazing spy thriller. Not only does it have suspense, really well crafted action scenes, and twists and turns galore, but it also has an excellent main character that is both alienating and fascinating.  A soulless teen killing machine isn't the most likable or relateable person, but even before he decides to fight the man, rage against the machine, or whatever it is the kids call it these days, he's still a very human monster.  He's conflicted about the cold blooded murders he commits, but has been trained and conditioned to follow orders above all. I think the idea of a teen assassin makes for a great read.  They can slip in and out of places adults aren't allowed and their overlooked by most adults. Also, they can be made to be very loyal. It also works well in a storytelling sense.  I've always had an issue with the romantic portrayal of hitmen and hitwomen in fiction, because let's face it murder isn't very nice.  Making a teen hitperson gives a lot more leeway in understanding how and why he or she might get caught up in it. Zadoff clearly understands this and keeps the reader hooked with Nobody's amazing skill set and ruthless cunning, but also continually questions the justness of his actions.  That way the reader really gets put in his shoes.  We feel the thrill of all the cool cloak and dagger killing, but have to be reminded of the wrongness of it all. Like our poor Boy, we look to the action to distract us.  It's super smart storytelling and elevates the book from being way more than just an excellent action read.  But hey, it also is an excellent action read, so you're covered there too! Zadoff uses short clipped sentences to keep the plot moving and get inside the regimented mind of our narrator.  I highly recommend this to anyone that wants something exciting to read and to anyone that likes books with plenty to read between the lines.

You can find Boy Nobody in our catalog here.

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