The Mission by Allen Zadoff, published by Orchard Books on 4th September 2014
He was the perfect assassin. No name. No past. No remorse.
Perfect, that is, until he began to ask questions and challenge his orders. Now The Program is worried that their valuable soldier has become a liability.
And so begins a new mission. A test of sorts. A chance to prove his loyalty.
But nothing about this mission is as it seems: not The Program, his allegiances, nor the truth.
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.