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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff

I Am the Weapon  (previously titled Boy Nobody)

A sixteen-year-old boy.  Cute enough, friendly, the new kid at school.  "Benjamin" watches to see what attitude he should strike to make friends fast; to be the kind of person you feel you've known forever and trust.  He does this over and over, moving from one new school to the next when he receives his mission from The Program.  

He needs to befriend a fellow student in order to get close to his target, usually the father of his new friend.  "Benjamin" is an assassin and has been trained since he was twelve.

Parts of the book are very good, but things begin to slip when "Benjamin" meets a girl he begins to care about.  The problem was not in being convinced that the boy could be an experienced assassin--the author does that very well.  The problem is that Sam, the girl, is not believable.  While "Benjamin's" character can be described as spare, Sam's character is simply tissue-paper thin despite an effort to build her character.

After completing the mission involving Sam and her father, Benjamin (almost without thinking about it) goes AWOL from The Program.  Certain memories have him questioning a great many things about his past, his training, and the purpose of his missions.  Cliff hanger ending with resolution in the next book, which will probably also end with a cliff hanger.

I would have liked this one so much more if the whole Sam thing had not interrupted my ability to believe the premise which, although far-fetched, worked for me.   The parts where Benjamin thinks like an assassin are much better the parts with his relationship with the Sam, which feels false from the first time he sees her.  

NetGalley/Little, Brown

Mystery/Suspense.   2014.  Print version:  342 pages.


  1. It's too bad the character development wasn't better. It can really hurt a book when that happens. The premise sounds really interesting though!

  2. Wendy - The character development for "Ben" was just right because he has so little of himself left. It was the girl who felt as if she were added for a little romance/suspense that felt simplistic to me. :)