Thursday, 28 August 2014

Review: The Hit

The Hit (The Unknown Assassin #1) by Allen Zadoff
Title: The Hit (originally Boy Nobody)
Series: The Unknown Assassin, #1
Author: Allen Zafoff
Published: Orchard Books; 2014
352 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

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 few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target.

When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's next mission.

My Thoughts:

The Hit was one of those books that I know I would have enjoyed a lot more if I had read this when I was younger and going through that "spy kids" phase. I was in love with Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Alex Rider, CHERUB... you know the sort of books where young kids investigate crimes, are into turned spy or secret assassin or something equally epic? Reading this now, however, wasn't much of a thrill - in fact it was awfully tedious, dull and a bore.

The plot started well. It almost reminded me of the television show Elementary because the main protagonist shares the amazing ability to interpret the most minor and subtle of body language just like Sherlock can. It was fascinating to see something as common as your every day school class dissected and interpreted. I never even thought of half of the things that "Benjamin" noticed and I found it quite fascinating.

The rest was a major let down.

The spy side of the plotline could have been better if the author had decided not to venture down the completely cliché path of having his assassin fall in (real) love for the first time and start to question everything he had been taught... blah, blah, blah. We have all seen that scenario played out before. The ending attempted to bring a shocking surprise to hide the clichés but it didn't work too well at all.

It also would've helped if I could of formed any sort attachment to the characters. I could understand why we didn't want to necessarily relate to "Benjamin" because he was supposed to be robotic and emotionless and all that. I didn't mind that so much as it kind of worked out well. The other characters however were awful. I didn't like any of them. They were all too cold, aloof and distant. How we supposed to form attachments to people like that?

This book could have been better and while I didn't hate it, it won't be something I will be picking up again. It had the potential but fell a little short so I will leave it at that.

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Allen Zadoff and Hachette Children's Books, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.

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