23rd June 2015, Clean Reads, 282 pages, Ebook, Review copy
Content: murder, violence, teen romance,
Summary from Clean Reads
There are three rules to staying an assassin at the corporation of Covert Operatives: (1) your parents must be deceased, (2) your contracts must remain confidential, and (3) you must be under the age of eighteen. After a murder mission goes awry a month before her eighteenth birthday, Covert Operatives assassin Jane Lu finds herself caught by the federal government and forced to spy for the CIA while remaining in Covert Operatives. Once her spying mission is over she will be allowed to live a civilian life without facing criminal consequences, a life sheís only dreamed of having. As Jane leaks information to the CIA, she uncovers secrets with enough power to both destroy Covert Operatives and her own boyfriend, Adrian King, whoís next in line to be CEO of the company. When her identity as a double agent for the CIA is discovered within Covert Operatives, she must decide where her allegiance, and her heart, truly lies.
Being a teen means being having to be an assassin, who are kept in the dark about the ruthlessness of their bosses. Now I do have a thing for assassins – fictional ones, ok? Real life ones = bad news. Murder is BAD! & wrong. I'm fascinated by fictional assassins, so wasn't quite expecting to feel repulsed by the first few chapters. It starts with murders which felt a little bit graphic considering that the characters are teens. I know it's Young Adult, but it's the kind of murder I associate with older characters. It certainly had an impact on how I felt about Jane.
I accept there was some brainwashing, but she wasn't exactly innocent, in my view. Yes she and the others were innocent of the darker side which their superiors kept from them, a fact which shocked me when it cropped up, but Jane did seem able to understand that death isn't good, that there were repercussions to what she did. It was bizarre that only teens were used for murder – because they were above the law. Although it makes sense and formed a major part of the story, I felt that somehow Jane and her friends could have carried on past 18, if they'd been super careful and had powerful alliances among law enforcement.
Despite the parts which I wasn't so keen on, Jane's story has some human in, and so moments which an only be described as cool if you like gadgets, spies, assassins and creeping around. I enjoyed the book a lot, there were just a few parts that puzzled me, and I'd read more books in what will be a fab series.
Find out more on Pema's website.