Also by this author: My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies, I Am the Mission, I Am the Traitor
Series: The Unknown Assassin #1
Also in this series: I Am the Mission, I Am the Traitor
Narrator: John Salwin
Length: 7 Hours 21 Minutes
on May 13th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Boys & Men, Action & Adventure, General, Law & Crime, Social Issues, Violence
Buy on Amazon
Previously published under the title Boy NobodyThey needed the perfect assassin.
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 a few friends and doesn't stay long. Just long enough for someone to die -- of "natural causes." Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.
But when The Program assigns him to the mayor of New York City, things change. Somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and a girlfriend; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program's mission.
In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.
Why Did I Listen To This Book?
Frankly, just having Allen Zadoff’s name on the book is a ringing endorsement. I’ve read two previous books by Zadoff and enjoyed them. I thought they were funny with a touch of crass realism. Also? I have been on a series kick and because I have the three books in the Unknown Assassin series at my disposal, I thought I would give them a shot. I went for audio for I Am The Weapon because I unfortunately never downloaded the Kindle book from netgalley and thus, did not happen to have a copy on hand. Also! I have been on this read all the Netgalley books kick lately, and this series was definitely going to be next on the list.
What’s The Story Here?
Essentially, I Am The Weapon is about this kid who goes by Benjamin for the majority of Zadoff’s book. His parents were killed by his friend Mike when he was a teenager. Then Benjamin was recruited to essentially be an assassin. He receives training and is honed into the best possible weapon. From there, he is given coded assignments, gets close to a mark – usually another kid at the different schools he is sent to – and then kills their parent. This time, Benjamin is assigned to the mayor of New York City’s daughter – Sam. He ends up being really interested in Sam and also coming to like the mayor. So, he decides he wants out of the assassin business. Will he get out? That remains to be seen.
How’s The Writing?
True to form – Zadoff’s writing is witty, snappy, and well paced. Although I listened to this as an audiobook, I thought nothing was lost in the translation from words to audio. I Am The Weapon is a quick listen. There’s action, characterization, and plotting in spades here. I feel like this is a promising start to the trilogy.
How’s The Characterization?
You know how sometimes you read YA books that purport to be about assassins, but the assassin in question has never actually killed anybody? Thus you find yourself wondering why they are calling themselves an assassin? I Am The Weapon is not that kind of book. The main character, Benjamin, has actually done the deeds assigned to him. I thought it was interesting seeing Benjamin try to act like a normal teenage boy, yet at the same time, have this precise training in the back of his mind and a mission to complete as well. It is an often intriguing dichtomy and one that Zadoff does a good job unpacking. As for Benjamin, he has this interesting checkered past. I like that we get to slowly unravel what has happened to his parents and why — but there is still enough mystery surrounding Benjamin that will take us through to the next book. Further? We do not even know the main character’s real name until the end, just the alias that he goes by.
If you like your characters to come across as the all or nothing type, you’ll love the protagonist of Allen Zadoff’s I Am The Weapon.
How’s The Narration?
I have never listened to a book narrated by John Salwin before. More the pity. I Am The Weapon‘s audiobook narrator is on fleek you guys. He does not miss a single beat. To better compare, his narration reminds me a bit in tone of the narrator from the I Hunt Killers series. Salwin is that good. This opening audiobook is only 7 Hours and 21 Minutes. It is a quick read – one that you can likely finish in a matter of days if you have a lot of driving and other tasks to complete. I have to say that I am at least going to listen to the second book and then we shall see with the final book of the series.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
Not a gif, but a perfect image to represent this first book, nonetheless.