Monday, April 15, 2013

Children of Paranoia Series

Children of Paranoia
Author: Trevor Shane
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; Reprint edition (August 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451236912
ISBN-13: 978-0451236913

Book Description:
Since the age of eighteen, Joseph has been assassinating people on behalf of a cause that he believes in but doesn’t fully understand. The War is ageless, hidden in the shadows, governed by a rigid set of rules, and fought by two distinct sides — one good, one evil. The only unknown is which side is which. Soldiers in the War hide in plain sight, their deeds disguised as accidents or random acts of violence amidst an unsuspecting population ignorant of the brutality that is always inches away.

Killing people is the only life Joseph has ever known, and he’s one of the best at it. But when a job goes wrong and he’s sent away to complete a punishingly dangerous assignment, Joseph meets a girl named Maria, and for the first time in his life his singleminded, bloody purpose fades away.

Before Maria, Joseph’s only responsibility was dealing death to the anonymous targets fingered by his superiors. Now he must run from the people who have fought by his side to save what he loves most in this world. As Children of Paranoia reaches its heart-in-throat climax, Joseph will learn that only one rule remains immutable: the only thing more dangerous than fighting the war. . .is leaving it.


Children of the Underground
Author: Trevor Shane
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade (April 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451239296
ISBN-13: 978-0451239297
Even if you have choices, sometimes you only have one worth making.

Book Description:
The war had been raging for as long as anyone could remember. The secret, endless war between two opposing sides—one good, one evil. Neither side knows which is which; it is kill or be killed in an invisible conflict where assassination is the weapon of choice.

When she was just seventeen, Maria was pulled into this secret war and they killed her lover and stole her child. Now they are telling her to go home. To ignore what she knows is going on in the shadows all around her. They told Maria to forget all she’d lost. The trouble is, some things simply can’t be forgotten.

Now, with a loose-cannon killer at her side, Maria is going to do whatever it takes to get back what belongs to her. And that means starting a war of her own…

Idgie Says:
This is a different type of series. It's called Dystopian, but it seems to be set in the here and now and there's no general dark world vibe going on.  It's also populated with youngish people but I definitely wouldn't call it YA.  It's violent and written more like a crime/spy novel in my opinion.

The world is as it is today, with people going to work and getting married and raising families.  But there's a hidden war going on behind the scenes.  A war with no known reason, no known factions, no facts at all about it except that if your family is associated with the war in any way, so are you.  They recruit at 16 and you officially join at 18.  The goal: simply to kill the people "they" tell you to kill.  Without reason, rational or knowledge of any sort.

I did find this hard to let me settle into to the book with - I was frustrated that when they were recruiting new young people no hidden secret explanations came forth.  I found it hard to root for any of these people who were doing nothing more than killing a name on a list because it showed up for them to do so.  There are also plenty of rules that don't quite make sense and I found it hard to believe that these two mysterious factions would sit down together and make a set of "game rules" for the war.  Perhaps that's what it really is - a giant game board, Life Gone Brutal.  Or perhaps the author is trying to tell us he believes that given the chance to "legally kill" we wouldn't ask too many questions as we secretly would want to do it.

There are some relationships formed and lost, both between friends and lovers, but the basic premise of these books is the mysterious "war" and the espionage, skulking, spying and killing of the enemy.   There is a LOT of action in these books that will certainly keep a reader busy and on the edge of their seat waiting to see who makes it out alive.

The first book has Joe and Maria finding love and trying to make a life outside of the war, and the second book is Maria trying to find her own life and seek revenge after the war (her own side actually) takes everything from her.  A revolution is in the works in the second book, but when you don't even quite know what you're revolting from......

I would say that you definitely need to read these books in order, I wouldn't consider them stand alone novels.