Top positive review
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A thrilling ride! Slick assassin novel for the YA market
on 2 June 2013
This was a great read, gobbled up quickly. I found myself drawn in, holding my breath at various key points.
The narration has a breathless quality, being first person present tense and quite spare in style. There are no superfluous descriptions. There is nothing flowery or ornate about the writing. It's just matter of fact, precise, cool - which gels perfectly with the character of a trained assassin. Interestingly, although there is a certain coolness and distance to the voice, it's easy to engage with him and root for him.
Boy Nobody is a teen assassin, working for a shadowy agency. Through the course of the novel, via flashbacks, we learn something of his past: his appointment, his training, but there is still clearly a lot we don't know about him (perhaps in future books we'll learn more?). The novel introduces us to his life and submerses us into the experience of a particular engagement. The more I learnt of his background, the more he had my sympathy, despite his morally questionable way of life. The novel makes clear that, for all the black and white thinking - and lack of questioning - he's trained for, life is all about the greys and I think the novel would make a great class reader for some interesting debates on morality and responsibility.
That said, it's first and foremost a great read, and teens will enjoy it. Although it's about the life of an assassin, it isn't gory and it does prompt moral debate, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to teens of all ages.