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4.7 out of 5 stars42
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 29 May 2013
It has been a long time since I've picked up a book and read it cover to cover but after picking up a Boy Nobody sampler from London Comic Con last weekend, I found myself going home with a finished edition in my hand and the journey home was made a lot easier by a truly enthralling read.

The story of a teenage assassin was always going to draw me in, hitmen are great fun when it comes gaming, film and now books but this one is a little younger than most and far harder than you'd expect from a teenage boy. Think Bourne but with a coldness until the book opens up and Boy Nobody finds himself viewing his victims not as targets but as friends.

Of course things never run smoothly in stories like this, Boy Nobody has a job and that job must come before anything else... even love.

It's a truly interesting read and a page turner through and through. So glad that there was a sampler, I may have missed out on Boy Nobody otherwise. Great stuff, well worth the time!

Explosive and engaging. Boy Nobody rocks!
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VINE VOICEon 5 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was an absolute page turner. I haven't read such an exciting, fast moving piece of teen fiction for a long time.

'Ben' transfers to high schools across America regularly, makes friends easily but is also a highly trained assassin working for The Programme. Having achieved his mission he fades into the background and awaits his next assignment...

The main part of the book takes place in New York which provides an almost filmic backdrop.

It's a well written and well paced novel. I think reluctant readers will like the short chapters, and the unfurling of 'Bens' backstory makes the reader uncomfortable but questioning at the same time. The ending gives you no doubt that this is the first in a series. An assassin might be an unlikely character to sustain but it certainly makes for an interesting story line. I particularly liked the sections that dealt with the nuts and bolts of getting a new life in a new town and how 'Ben' communicates with The Programme.

My only small criticism is that the title of each chapter is also the first line too, I often forgot this and missed a salient point, but got used to it eventually.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
Wow, what a gripping read. My son is a big fan of Robert Muchamore but I think he's going to rate Allen Zadoff even higher when he gets the chance to read this intelligent, compelling thriller.

"Ben" is an intriguing character, recruited into the "Program" at an early age, he is now 16 and beginning to have doubts about the wisdom of absolute obedience to his handlers, "Mom" and "Dad". He is likeable despite/or maybe because of his obvious flaws. I have a feeling the upcoming movie adaptation will be a blockbuster and deservedly so.

With short snappy chapters, Boy Nobody, will appeal to both male and female fans of the YA thriller genre. There a few sexual references which might make it more suitable for 13+ but nothing overly overt. He's a 16 year old, not a saint!

Although there is a proper conclusion, the stage looks set for a series about Boy Nobody, welcome news for parents of reluctant readers. Highly recommended.
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on 15 June 2013
In Short
- Boy Nobody had me hooked throughout the whole book.
- I liked how Zadoff flicked back and forth, going through some of Boy Nobody's memories.
- This is a very action packed book.
- Boy Nobody's character is one which I found myself really liking despite his 'crimes'

In Long
After reading the blurb for Boy Nobody I couldn't wait to start reading it, I was really in the mood for a book which could have me hooked throughout the whole book. Boy Nobody most definitely did have me hooked from the first page right until the last page.

Boy Nobody is written in such a unique, interacting way which really made me feel involved in the story and like I was actually there. I really enjoyed how Zadoff flicked back and forth between the past and present; it gave an insight into Boy Nobody's life and helped me understand his feelings and actions.

The storyline is one which literally has action from the first till the last page, there was never a right time to put Boy Nobody down and had to force myself to when I had something to do.

My favourite thing about how Zadoff has written Boy Nobody's character is that he really is his own person. I never felt like Zadoff tried to make him a character which he wasn't, I can imagine that as this book was written Boy Nobody's character just took over as his character is so powerful. I found myself warming to him more and more throughout the book and despite his faults and the crimes he commits I really liked him.

Final Thoughts
Boy Nobody is a fast pace addictive read which will have you hooked right from the first till the last page.
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VINE VOICEon 9 July 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a story of Benjamin, or "Ben", who is a well-trained, knowledgeable, thorough and he is an assassin. Since the age of twelve, he's been serving as an assassin from an organisation called `The Program'. Ben's mission is to kill a particular target deemed dangerous. He accomplishes his job by blending into the background and by getting close to his target.
His missions always succeed. He is scarily good at what he does.

This Book was one of best of this summer's reads, and was a real page turner.
The growth of the story is well done, there are unexpected twists near the end, the choices Ben needs to make, because of new information that he receives will make him question his loyalties to The Program in the future. All these salient parts made for an astounding story. Ben is a spectacular character, and he really drives the narrative. I will definitely looking for the rest of this enthralling series of books
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I loved the complex main character, Ben. He was so well trained and I loved hearing his thought processes about how to deal with difficult situations, but also his softer side too. I loved the romance that blossomed, and I don't agree with other reviewers that it developed too quickly. I would have been so bored with additional pages of them mooning over each other.

I thought the story line moved along very well. At no point did I want him to get on with it (even though I usually hate it when the main character cannot complete their mission, which is high praise indeed for the author!)as it didn't feel drawn out for the sake of it, but actually part of the complexities of Ben and how he thought things through.

I was compelled to keep reading to see what happened to the relationship and I was in no way disappointed.

The only downside to the whole book was the titles of each chapter was the first line of the chapter. This was confusing and pointless and didn't add to an otherwise terrific assassin novel.
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on 17 August 2013
This book surpassed my expectation. Which is pretty rare. Also, despite the main character not having a lot of emotional depth to him, yet (for good reason) which is usually crucial for me to enjoy a book, it didn't put me off reading. There's a good reason for this, as the potential reader will find out. And by the end of the book, things start to change in that area for him. Having lots of emotions wouldn't have worked well for the character, in his position.
This book's extremely well written, and the paper and cover are of good standard.
I look forward to the next book. This is the first part in a series, for those who didn't know.

4.5 stars.
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on 16 February 2015
Since the end of the Alex Rider series and Young Bond, I've been looking for a similar YA thriller series which will leave me with sweaty palms and a racing heart. I think I've finally found it in the shape of the superb Boy Nobody books by Allen Zadoff. If you're a thriller fan, who enjoys tense, nail-biting reads which are fast-paced and incredibly exciting then you definitely need to get your hands on these books which are described as Jason Bourne meets James Bond.

'The Mission' is the second instalment in the series about a nameless teenage assassin who works for The Program; an organisation which is shaded in mystery. As it's secrets gradually begin to be revealed, Boy Nobody, starts to question everything he thought was true. I like the fact that you are never really sure whether his missions are ultimately good or bad, but having been used to following orders for so long, he is almost afraid to discover the truth about the people who command him.

This time around, our assassin has a new target but is left out in the cold when communication with his superiors is cut off. Working alone and without back-up, he has to decide how to act, when some surprising revelations come to light. I was glued to each chapter, as the story gets more and more tense and exciting and I wasn't sure who was going to be left standing at the end.

This is a real edge of your seat read. You never know what is going to come next and Allen Zadoff certainly isn't afraid to pull any punches. If a character is superfluous to the plot or has served their purpose then they have to go. This keeps the reader in a state of anticipation as you don't want to get too attached to anyone.

This series has it all. Action and excitement, plus a great over-arching plot and a protagonist who you want to believe in, even when you question his actions. The only thing I'm disappointed in is that after finally having stumbled across such a fantastic YA thriller series, there is only one more book in the trilogy still to come. 'The Traitor' is the concluding instalment and is due to hit shelves in June 2015.
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on 16 August 2014
I received a copy of Boy Nobody from the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Weapon is a 16 year old boy who's a trained assassin, we follow his story while he's on his latest assignment, given to him by The Program. The tension builds slowly as his assignment progresses through twists and turns and conflicted decisions that will have you turning page after page.

This book turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting. It was the cover that first caught my eye and then on reading the blurb I found the premise intriguing. I initially picked it up thinking it would be an ideal book for my son, I almost always read most books myself first before allowing him to read them, it's a habit I find hard to break even though he's old enough now that I really don't need to.

I ended up enjoying the book very much myself and read it in one sitting. The way it's written just grabbed my attention and didn't let go. It's told in a first person POV and is done so well that you actually feel like everything is happening right at the moment of reading. It's fast paced, full of action and hooks you, not letting go till you have turned that last page.
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