I first read “Boy Nobody” over the summer of 2013. I had enjoyed the teen political thriller so much, I was excited to see what I thought was a second book in the series when Netgalley blasted “I am the Weapon” by the same author. I jumped at the opportunity to read it. It turns out to be a rebranding of the original, so after rereading the whole book (it was worth it, even knowing the ending it was still a great read) I am going to review “I am the Weapon” by Allen Zadoff.
I am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff, Little, Brown Books (June 11, 2013)
Grades 9 and up. 352 (Hard Back)
I am the Weapon is a bit like what would happen if Jack Bower (of 24) was recruited at 12 and began secret missions for his country at 16. Boy Nobody is an assassin. He moves into a new place, befriends the son or daughter of his target and within weeks or days tragedy strikes and someone dies. His weapon of choice a hypodermic disguised as a pen that injects a deadly toxin that causes death in seconds. This is a fast paced thrill ride of a story. The conversational tone and clipped dialog fits the characters and the almost inhuman task of making a child into the perfect killing machine.
It was so much fun following Nobody and learning how he assessed situations, and his tactics on human behavior are spot on. As the story deepens and the plot twists come one after another you find yourself asking the same questions Nobody does and wondering “is this the right target?” Mr. Zadoff does a fantastic job of balancing Nobody’s almost robotic “soldier” voice with his more human “am I doing the right thing?” questions about his training and purpose. Also, for once flashbacks make sense as they add an almost PTSD element to Nobody’s psyche. The story runs full tilt until a heart stopping ending that sent chills down my spine.
So I ask you to “Puzzle it Out” and find if you have what it takes to survive life as “Boy Nobody”.
FYI ~The second book in the series is due to be released this year and is titled “The Lost Mission”. It promises to be just as exciting as the first so look for it.
See a trailer for the book at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/allen-zadoff/boy-nobody/9780316199681/
Parents note this book has a 16 year old as an assassin, and he does kill repeatedly, and some of the killings are graphic. Also, there is sex, but it approaches it honestly for a teen book. There is also underaged drinking and drug use. These issues make this book not appropriate for younger readers, and I encourage you to discuss it with your kids because Nobody discusses it and struggles with it in his internal monolog.