From the Assassins series , Vol. 1

Sexy and edgy, with plenty of surprises and fun.

In this series opener, assassination is a family affair.

Sixteen-year-old bisexual Kindra Weston is all too familiar with her family’s line of business. She has a penchant for sharp knives and elaborately costumed undercover stealth work—greatly aided by her family’s convenient “middle of the road skin tone” and ethnically ambiguous features—and she often does cleanup when her parents’ dirty work gets messy. This is all under the supervision of her tight-lipped, authoritarian mom, who’s kept the family business very professional and very close to the chest—unless, of course, that chest gets a bullet hole through it. Things go awry when Kindra’s father, the family’s lead assassin, misses a shot on a hit in New York City. With him temporarily out of the game, Kindra finds herself taking the lead in some of the business’ “wet work,” which leads to her kidnapping and the eventual unfurling of this complicated yet wholly enjoyable mystery. The plot moves quickly for the most part, and Cameron infuses her heroine and other characters with plenty of personality, sass, and coldhearted ruthlessness. There are biblical puzzles to be decrypted, Mafia-like family wars to be unraveled, mistaken personalities to be cleared, and many bodies to be piled up. The only disappointment readers might encounter is a lack of the kind of fantastical elements that the unconventional character names might inspire.

Sexy and edgy, with plenty of surprises and fun. (Thriller. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62649-422-0

Page Count: 412

Publisher: Triton Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016


Ghanaian teenager Gloria Bampo has hit a rough patch. She failed most of her school exams, her long-unemployed father has lost himself to religion and her mother is ravaged by a mysterious sickness. Her one consolation, her older sister Effie, has discovered boys and all but disappeared. Gloria is offered a job in a distant city with Christine, a doctor who needs househelp. Her father is quick to assent, with one condition: In lieu of payment, Christine must take responsibility for Gloria's future and adopt her as a sister. Gloria adjusts easily, studies hard and explores her newfound freedom. But when the temptations of her new life—brand-name clothes and handsome doctors—prove hard to resist, a misunderstanding cuts a rift between Gloria and Christine. Each must confront class stereotypes and re-examine the meaning of family. Badoe's sharp and engaging prose unfolds the story with spryness, deftly navigating readers through heady social issues. But she wastes readers' goodwill at the end with a conclusion both haphazard and overly moralistic, jarringly out of place in this otherwise thoughtful and well-excuted novel. (Ghanaian glossary) (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-88899-996-2

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010


When 14-year-old Ty witnesses a brutal murder involving neighborhood thugs, he and his mom are put into a witness-protection program in a small town far away from their East London home. Now named Joe, Ty enters a new school a year behind and finds himself haunted by his past and torn between two girls: Ellie, a physically disabled teen who trains able-bodied runners, and her sister, Ashley. Despite lots of Briticisms and the occasional longwinded spells of narration, David pens a mostly fast-moving page-turner. Her characterizations feel mostly fully fleshed, and their dialogue rings true. The staunchly un-Americanized text results in some odd, culturally specific references that could confuse some readers unfamiliar with the milieu: Kissing Ashley makes Ty's body sizzle like sausages in a pan, for instance. The contemplative pages within the blood-spattered cover may disappoint readers more drawn to gore than to the self-reflection the experience renders in Ty. However, if teens can move past these speed bumps, they’ll find a complex, engaging read about a boy starting a new life by escaping his past. (Thriller. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84580-131-9

Page Count: 358

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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