The Hit by Allen Zadoff

The Hit

The Hit, aka I Am the Weapon, aka Boy Nobody, is a fast paced action packed tale about a boy assassin whose mission in life is to befriend and kill his targets. And for the most part, it’s delivers on its promises. The first person present tense helps add to the experience, instead of hindering it, and the writing was smooth.

Ben (an alias), came home one day to find that his friend killed his family. Since then, nothing has been the same for our little hero. He’s recruited into the Program to be an assassin and now works for Mother and Father. He learns to fight, kill, and never lose focus during a mission. To think of anything else would be suicidal, in more ways than one.

His latest mission is to infiltrate a prestigious private school, where he’ll befriend Samara (Sam) and then kill her father. Normally, a mission like this takes at least a month. You need to get friend with the kid so that they trust you completely, but this time it’s different. Ben has only five days to complete the task.

What makes this case even more troubling is that Sam’s father is the Mayor. Ben isn’t like other kids, he knows how to get in and out and remain undetected, but soon memories from the past start to creep up on him making him question everything the Program stands for. And soon enough, he’s starting to wonder who he can trust, the Program, Sam, or himself.

All in all, this is actually a really fun book to read. One of my biggest pet peeves is when first person present tense isn’t done correctly. If a writer decides to use that style, then things need to happen. It doesn’t really make sense if it’s slow. Maybe it does, I don’t know, but I haven’t read a book with a first person present tense style that is slow and was good. If you know of any, let me know.

In any case, this book does this writing style justice. I zoomed through the pages and never felt like there was a dull moment. Even when there were slower moments, I still felt the same intensity so it was never boring.

The plot is also good. The idea of using child soldiers, because that’s what Ben is, to kill things with no feeling is interesting. It kind of reminded me of Gunslinger Girl, except without the overbearing handlers and prosthetics. Actually, the only thing that is common between the two is that it deals with child soldiers who are taught not to think of anything except the mission. It’s sad, but fascinating. You want the kids to have a good life, but you also want to know what happens next. It kind of makes me feel bad; but thankfully, it’s fiction.

There are great things about this The Hit, but I didn’t really believe Ben. Sure, he had some scenes where he’s a killing machine and we’re shown this, but for someone who was trained to not think but do, he seems almost too emotional for the job. I mean, the moment he meets Sam he’s smitten by her, which is fine. Really, it’s fine. But he falls hard and fast and starts to think about running away with her. When this happens, he stops thinking clearly. Like when he finds out that Sam has a crazy ex-boyfriend who sometimes gets a little stabby when Sam is involved with a guy, he just shrugs his shoulders and accepts Sam’s affection. After three days together, Sam takes off her clothes in front of him and they have sex.

Not saying this is wrong or right, but for someone who is trained to be a machine you’d think that they’d stop thinking via their nether regions and use their brain here. Something is clearly off here, but he refuses to see it. And when the Program tells him that the Mayor is no longer the target, but Sam is, he starts to question everything.

I get that he sees a bit of himself in Sam and he likes talking to her, but whenever she was around he stopped being a badass assassin.

I was a little disappointed by this.

Overall: By the end, I was happy again and will read the next book to see what happens next to our little Ben. The writing is great and the plot, thankfully, didn’t go into predictable political clichés. The political plot deals with Israel and the Mideast Conflict, so I was extremely nervous while reading this. Thankfully, it’s okay.

Ben is a bit emotional, but if you can get passed this I think you might like it.

The Hit was provided by netgalley

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Book Trailer Reveal: The Girl from the Well

Today marks the release of The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco. I’m currently reading it now and loving every moment of it. It reminds me of a Japanese horror movie like the Grudge and the Ring. Think creepy girl with hair that falls down her face, ready to pounce and eat your soul. Ah, it’s right up my alley in terms of things I like. I’ve only just started, so I’m hoping that the good vibe continues and that this ends up being a deliciously creepy book.

If you haven’t heard of The Girl from the Well yet, then check out the book trailer reveal.

the girl from the well

Synopsis: Okiku has wandered the world for hundreds of years, setting free the spirits of murdered children. Wherever there’s a monster hurting a child, her spirit is there to deliver punishment. Such is her existence, until the day she discovers a troubled American teenager named Tark and the dangerous demon that writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Tark needs to be freed, but there is one problem—if the demon dies, so does its host.

With the vigilante spirit Okiku as his guide, Tark is drawn deep into a dark world of sinister doll rituals and Shinto exorcisms that will take him far from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Japan. Can Okiku protect him from the demon within or will her presence bring more harm? The answer lies in the depths of a long-forgotten well.

If you didn’t already know, I’m actually a part of the book tour for The Girl in the Well. That means that on September 5th, I’ll be posting my review and hosting a giveaway for this. Giveaways and reviews have already started to spring up, so do be on the lookout for those.

The 100 Society by Carla Spradbery

the 100 society
317 pages
Expected publication: September 201

 

The 100 Society isn’t a perfect book. It’s not mind blowing, it’s not revolutionary, and it’s not really all that creepy. But somehow, I found myself enjoying this. Once I embraced the campy sort of feel, everything was okay.

The book starts off with Grace and her friends trying to complete a game of sorts. The game is called The 100 Society. The mission is successfully tag 100 locations around the city without getting caught. This might not sound like a big deal, but Grace and her friends are part of Clifton Academy. A boarding school filled with mostly rich kids, where doing things like this is seen as sinfully tempting. If caught, not only are they faced with expulsion, also (maybe, but not really) risk jail time. Tagging, despite how pretty some of the artwork can be is still very much against the law.

The high stakes involved in this game doesn’t deter Grace and her friends, it only makes them more determined to complete these tasks. Grace is especially connected to this, because her older, smarter, and all round awesome brother tried to do this when he was a student in Clifton. He got bored and never finished, but Grace only has four more places to tag before she’s done.

Things do start getting out of hand, when text messages and emails appear telling Grace and her friends that nothing is as it seems and that someone is lying to them. This wouldn’t be so weird, except there’s also a stalker who is breaking into their rooms and attacking them. To top things off, the school’s Headmaster/Principal stated that if he catches another tagging, then there will be consequences.

By the end of the book, not everyone will survive. But till then, who does Grace trust when everyone seems like a suspect?

Like I mentioned before, The 100 Society isn’t a masterpiece. The characters never feel real. I didn’t connect with them and those that I did find someone interesting were hardly shown. There is romance here, but it’s the same kind of romance that you see in a lot of things. Pete loves Grace, but she sees him as only a friend. Grace loves Trick, short for Patrick, a bad boy scholarship student with tons of tattoos. Faith, Grace’s best friend, is in love with Pete.

There’s also Ed and Cassie, but they’re together and not part of this square. Well, there is this one guy named Daniel who loves Cassie, but she sees him as a creep.

In terms of characterizations, no one is really developed. I do think Cassie had potential, but after an attack she’s hardly shown again in the book. Trick does have some depth, but its pretty clichéd. He’s a scholarship student who constantly feels like he has to prove himself that he belongs at Clifton, even though he didn’t pay for it like everyone else. I feel like Grace was trying to be a fully fleshed out character, but nothing really developed in her favour. She kept mentioning how she feels like her dad loves her older brother more than her, even though we never really see this happening. She also feels like she needs to step away from her brother’s shadow, but the only thing that connects her to him is this 100 society thing. She kept saying these things, but as the reader we never really see where she is coming from.

I did want to like Grace though, because I can relate to being under an older siblings shadow. But I kind of wish the book showed us this instead of telling us.

The writing is also a bit of a miss in some scenes. For example, there’s one where Grace and Cassie are talking about a character that died. Cassie says something like, “You don’t think (said character) is….” And Grace thinks to herself that she knows what Cassie is asking. The readers know what Cassie is implying here, but Grace has to spell it out by saying. ‘Cassie was asking if said character was dead.’

I feel like you need to give the reader a bit of credit here and not have to spell everything out. But this sort of thing does happen in the novel.

Despite that, I did enjoy reading The 100 Society. I liked the plot and even though I was right about who the bad guy was, I still wanted to see where Spradbery would take the story. Things were predictable, not only when it came to the plot, but the romance as well. Still, once you stop taking the book so seriously and view it more as campy, you tend to enjoy it more.

Plus, Faith is a bit of a jerk to Grace and it was kind of fun to watch. Since Faith loves Pete, she tends to take her anger at the love being one sided out on Grace and telling her things like, “Pete deserves better.” And things like that. I kept shaking my head and wondering what she was on about. The first introduction we have to Pete is him making puppy dog eyes to Grace as she tells him, “You’re a great friend.”

Then I started to think that maybe Grace knew about Pete’s one sided love, because it was obvious, but she doesn’t. She’ll constantly tell him that he’s a great guy and a good friend, but according to Faith this is leading him on.

She did kiss him, but that was because of certain things……

Anyways….

Overall: if this was a television show I’d probably watch it, which is why I think I liked the book even though it had a lot of things that I don’t normally like. The writing isn’t the best, the characters don’t always feel like they’re really there and are clichéd, the romance is predictable, and Grace is a bit stupid. But I did like the plot and the overall campiness of the story. It’s not the greatest, but it did help pass the time.

 

Novel was provided by netgalley

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