I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am the Traitor. I have followed this story from the beginning of the trilogy when I was first introduced to the Unknown Assassin series. I have always been totally enamored of government assassin books and when they have a nice hook in them like the Unknown Assassin books, well, I am even more ready to jump into the story. I received an early copy of I am the Traitor, book 3, in the trilogy from NetGalley. Honestly, I would pay for this series if I had to and sin they are out on audiobook, I will likely be doing just that for my long commute days and transatlantic flights. Allen Zadoff is a gifted writer. He does a great job with perspective. For example, how a normal child should respond to a situation, versus, a child trained as a soldier. How would an adult soldier respond in combat, even against a child?
In I am the Traitor, we continue the Unknown Assassin story where I am the Mission leaves off with our intrepid child soldier, Zach, in a load of trouble, where he has dragged someone he cares about. Now he has to try to determine how he can work his way out of this situation. His only friend, Howard, is missing. He is pretty sure he knows where he is and he has to figure out how to survive and make sure Howard also survives. Zach also has some pretty serious decisions to make about his role in "The Program". He also has his on investigation to make into his and his family's past. These mysteries help make this series what it is, great! Zach, is this well-developed character that, despite the things he has done, we can't help but cheer for, and keep wishing for him to pull through. Throughout the series we keep trying to determine if "The Program" is good or bad and we never really know for sure as sometimes we see reasons why it can be thought of as both. Don't misunderstand, training children to kill is never a good thing, but giving them a home, educating them and protecting them is always a good thing. What you ask for in kind is the issue. Asking for loyalty is not a bad thing to ask for as we are all loyal to our friends and family, and we are always closer to family that we see as being on our side when things are tough.
In I am the Traitor we continue to question the role of "The Program" and its purpose. I have to admit I always had a hidden suspicion about the whereabouts of what and who Zach was searching for and I was right in my guess but the thing about this story is that even when you think you know what is going to happen there is a twist. I have to admit that I was looking forward to a seriously kick-butt fight between Mike and Zach and I feel a bit cheated at how short that fight was but the outcome was another surprise. The action scenes, as well as the chase scenes, were quite exciting. One of my favorite parts was the way the chapter titles was done. I have to admit that the ending was what I hope is a setup for something great to come and I look forward to seeing what the author does with it.