Fifteen-year-old intersex, mixed-race (Vietnamese and Dominican) teenager Blake’s life with a special-agent dad and a helicopter-pilot mom is anything but “normal”—and it’s about to get a lot thriller-ier.
After Blake’s parents are killed, Blake, who chooses which gender to express each day, is kidnapped from protective custody by the Calvers, a family of “vigilante-bodyguards” including mixed-race, olive-skinned Daelan, who is about Blake’s age. Dru, Daelan’s sister, dates Kindra Weston, a former teenage assassin for hire who escaped her family (of assassins) to help the Calvers and gay couple (and AWOL Marines) Geomar and Aaron try to figure out what shady businesswoman Lillian French, who regularly employs the Westons, is planning. Can the Calvers keep Blake safe? Will worried Muslim special-agent godparents Altair and Fayza ever see Blake again? Can they decipher French’s plan and stop her before millions die? Cameron’s sequel picks up where Assassins: Discord (2016) left off but with a new focal character, Blake instead of Kindra. Both volumes are best read as one long, consciously multicultural, aspirationally inclusive, utterly implausible adventure. Every step forward in the investigation relies on a turncoat in French’s employ suiciding to deliver a coded message or infodump; on the other hand, angst-y episodes are realistic enough, but they waffle on a bit. Character names would fit better in a fantasy novel…which, in a sense, this is.
Readers willing to go with the book’s flow should enjoy this logic-free, apocalyptic caper. (Thriller. 12-18)