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The Hit by Allen Zadoff

The Unknown Assassin #1. Hatchette (May 2013) NetGalley
Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend's family to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target. 
When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's next mission.

Ben was taken away from his home and given a choice: stay loyal to his parents and die or join The Program, an organization of assassins.His decision transformed him into a killer who moves from place to place, making friends, and killing those friends parent. He takes on his targets with a poison pen. He takes on his enemies with his wits and strength. He's very methodical in his actions and doesn't see anything beyond his mission. Anything but he does question when it will all be over.

In The Program there are two major leaders that he gets training and target info from whom he has to call Mother and Father. That is totally messed up. Not only did you kill my father but he has to talk to them like they were his parents. The Program is very much a brainwashing system where they take away your past and instead make you mindless and loyal to one cause. Ben has this moment in the beginning where he isn't that mindless machine. He wants to leave the program but, it's not something that he can control. 

I really enjoyed the beginning of the story. The plot and protagonist intrigued me. Then the story continued on and the character felt stagnant to me. I know he's supposed to act a certain way but he felt flat for me. The whole story was really interesting and at times suspenseful especially towards the end yet Ben was not a character I could like. I know he's a killer so the initial reaction is not to like him. The thing is I should at least care about him. I needed to feel like his voice in the story was worthwhile to read about.

Bem's latest mission is to insert himself into the life of Samara, the New York mayor's daughter. She's completely unexpected in her brashness and strong sense of morals which I absolutely loved about her. She was actually a great, dynamic character although a moment in there was a little iffy. She's a great love interest however, Ben's mission to kill her father is supposed to last him up to 5 days. They seriously fell in love in less than that time? I find that ridiculous. I also didn't like this secondary character that Samara defends who turns out to be really disgusting. I know he's a guy and he's being bullied but what he did was completely gross and creepy. I have no idea why that whole situation would be put in this book.

The suspense and plot of The Hit was very interesting and kept me turning the pages. I really wanted to know what was going to happen. The downside was that I didn't like the main character and the instlove. It did end amazingly however, The Hit fell a bit on its mark for me. 

Comments

  1. Too bad about the insta-love and the fact that Ben's character became stagnant is sad..as growth is something I would have liked to see. I do like the overall sound of the plot and suspenseful moments.

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    1. Yeah, it has a great concept - I mean assassins? You've got me already but Ben could have grown a little more. He did have his moments of getting away from the Program and opening up but his voice in the writing just stayed the same.

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  2. I really like your honest review. It can be hard to enjoy a story when we don't like the MC. It sounds like the book has some strong points, but sorry to hear it fell a little short in the end.

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    1. I know... the MC is the main part of the story and Ben was just meh.

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