A Killer Conclusion to a Stunning Spy Series!
I Am The Traitor
by Allen Zadoff
Series: The Unknown Assassin (Book 3)
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.
Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson — he can’t trust anyone.
On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he’s forced to decide where his loyalties lie.
I Am The Traitor is a complete and total bang-up of an ending to The Unknown Assassin a.k.a. Boy Nobody trilogy. And if by “bang-up” you think I mean it was a bust or that it bombed, you couldn’t be more wrong! It is fiercely — explosively — spankin’ good!
If you haven’t first read books one and two, don’t read on, don’t pass go — if you’re looking for info on the series, go directly to my prior reviews. If you’re gonna read this one, start from THE BEGINNING.
Zadoff picks up right where he left off. Whereas Boy Nobody had questions about The Program in book two, in book three, he’s gone full-on rogue. Over the course of the series, Zadoff goes deeper and deeper with character development, uncovering more of what makes Boy Nobody tick, just as Boy Nobody becomes more self-determinate. And as his agency grows, Boy Nobody becomes more and more worthy of being labelled a hero.
Thematically, topics like trust, loyalty, and free-will vs. determinism (or programming) are still explored, but in more depth than before. As for plot: WOW! We learn a lot more about Boy Nobody in this novel — for instance, we finally learn his pre-Program name, and we learn the whole truth about his father. But en route to finding these answers, we have more questions than ever before. Look out: Zadoff skillfully keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you’ve figured things out, he pulls the rug out from under you. More than once!
I’m not sure there are many series — even many trilogies — whose successive volumes get progressively stronger and increasingly complex. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is one that immediately comes to mind; The Unknown Assassin accomplishes something similar.
Let’s not overlook one key difference, though. Where Collins’ series was dystopian, this is a straight-up spy series, and character development isn’t something readily found in spy novels. Action? Yes. Thrills? Yes. Adventure? Yes. Danger? Yes. Character Development? Probably not. Breaking from the mold, Zadoff’s trilogy checks off all the boxes making this a series not to be missed! My only let-down? That it’s over.
— Dawn Teresa
5 of 5 Hearts. A Killer Conclusion to a Stunning Spy Series!
With The Unknown Assassin, Allen Zadoff has created the perfect YA spy series. With each successive entry, he takes his plotting up a notch while also revealing more complexity and more likability in his hero (and yes, by the end Boy Nobody is unquestionably heroic). Though I Am The Traitor can easily be read in a day — heck, a sitting — resist. Proceed slowly. Savor it. For when you get the end, it’s, sadly, the end.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Little, Brown and NetGalley for allowing me access to the title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”