Book Review: Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

Boy Nobody cover imageBoy Nobody never goes by his real name. Not since he was recruited into The Program when he was 12. He also never asks about his assignments: he goes in, gets the job done, and leaves. He’s good at eliminating people The Program tells him have made the wrong choices and are a danger to our country. Yet when his next assignment has him getting close to the daughter of the mayor of New York City, he begins to question his past assumptions. This job, though, is unlike any he’s had in the past, and questioning could end up hurting more people than he needs to while putting his own life in danger.

Reminiscent of The Bourne Identity, Boy Nobody compels you on a fast-paced ride that twists and turns in unexpected ways. Boy Nobody—known as Benjamin through most of the book—shows how young teens can be effective in accessing and killing people who are dangerous to our society. It’s easier for them to get close to their targets because they raise little suspicion.

But the morality of training and using children as assassins is a good one to consider and discuss. Would it be justified if it was the best way to eliminate threats and prevent harm to our society? Would we trust the people in charge to make the right decisions and have the best information about who poses a threat?

Being inside Benjamin’s head as he calls on his training to stay out of danger and complete his missions will have you cringing at the normal things you do, and I can guarantee you’ll never look at the new kid in school the same again.

The conclusion is surprising, bringing up even more questions good for discussion. And while this was the first in a series, Zadoff did a great job of tying up this story in a satisfying manner while also sending out intriguing teasers about what may come next. I’m hooked.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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