Published MAY 2014 (first published January 1st 2013)
original title Boy Nobody
ISBN 13 9781408337769
edition language English
series The Unknown Assassin #1
setting New York City, New York (United States)
literary awards International Thriller Writers Nominee for Best Young Adult Novel (2014), Kentucky Bluegrass Awards Master List (2015), Northern Ireland Book Award Short Listed (2015)
other editions (26)
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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.
Not surprisingly this was an excellent example of never judge by age or appearance, after all even angelic countenances can hide black souls.
The Unknown Assassin is the name of the series and also happens to be exactly what our 16-year-old male lead has as his best asset, he is unknown therefore he is also underestimated as well as overlooked as a threat by his targets until it is much too late.
After having been trained how to plan, set up than smoothly execute the missions he has been contracted to fulfill by the members running The Program our teen is sent on his latest hit. A hit that from the beginning sets up warning flags for a young man whose training allows for no second guessing, whose very persona depends on him not questioning his orders or it may lead to his exposure and subsequent death.
However memories from the past seems to creep out at unexpected moments, memories of a life so different than the current one that it almost feels like a sign to walk away from everything. Unfortunately once you are in The Program walking away is not an option, not if you wish to continue breathing.
Why let this sit on my review list is a mystery to me, it was exciting, action packed, an honest as well as refreshingly candid look at a teenager whose inner conflict caused him to finally see that he was not as “free”
as he thought he was.
Although missed reading this sooner, the smooth and yet twisty plot lines keep one off balance but still not totally unexpected as to real target at the finale.
Cool logic states one should feel no empathy for the teen assassin, logic does not win!
[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]