Friday, December 6, 2013

Book Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

Best Bits: I love a good spy story. This probably has something to do with the prospect of excitement and adventure that I didn't always experience growing up in a small town. Funnily enough, that's sort of how Maggie's story begins, too. She's a safecracking genius, but she's spent the summer in Reykjavik...not doing too much. Of course, when she's sent to New York it means there will be action, and that the Collective (the super secret Robin Hood-type spy group) trusts her to complete a mission. What made the book fun was getting to watch Maggie develop friendships. What starts out as a mission slowly turns into her acknowledgement that she deserves friends (and a romance oh la la). She also experiences some ethical dilemmas. As she learns more about Jesse, she begins to see him less as a mark, and more as a person she can relate to. Her first friend, Roux, was a great character. She's experienced the downside of popularity, and is a social outcast at their prestigious school. I found the situation really realistic. Drama! Should Roux find romance in the follow-up, I hope it's with someone deserving.

Nit Picks: Well, now I'm completely skeptical that Angelo is a killer and not just a forger...but I suppose that's not really a nit pick, that's just a suspicion I will always have. I think my main criticism, which I'm guessing will be focused more on in the second book, is that I wanted to see more of Maggie in action. My favorite scenes in the book involve her spy skills, so I think that a bit more of that would have bumped this one up to five hearts.

Also Known As
By Robin Benway
Published by Bloomsbury
320 Pages


Copyright ©2009-2013 Cornucopia of Reviews. All Rights Reserved.