Title: Children of Paranoia
Series: Children of Paranoia Trilogy
Author: Trevor Shane
Genre: genre stew (self proclaimed by author)
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Publication Date: September 8, 2011
Published By: Penguin Group, Dutton Adult
Source: Publisher for Blog Tour
Synopsis from Goodreads
ALL WARS HAVE RULES
Rule Number One: No killing innocent bystanders.
Rule Number Two: No killing anyone under the age of eighteen.
BREAK THE RULES, BECOME THE TARGET
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.
I discovered this book by perusing the books being offered for review by Crazy Book Tours. I have seen many bloggers be part of tours and I was curious to see how they worked. Trevor's book was the one that piqued my interest the most. For some reason it struck me as a kind of Battle Royale, Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies kind of book from the description. It wasn't even close. It wasn't what expected at all. But that doesn't mean I didn't like it, because I did.
Children of Paranoia is an intense kind of book that immediately drags you in and pulls you along through the story, not caring as your flesh is scraped raw by the bumps and bands along the way. The writing is superbly done, especially in the beginning. The writer uses intrigue and perfectly executed foreshadowing to draw the reader deeper and deeper into the story, never giving them an excuse to close the book and walk away.
Foreshadowing is one of those techniques not a lot of writers can get right. Some never use it to its full potential, but many more overuse it so much you cringe every time it appears on the page. Mr. Shane has foreshadowing down to a science. I never cringe when it's used. It doesn't slap you in the face with its presence, but it's there just enough to know what you might expect in the following pages.
The story is very realistic. Mr. Shane writes the story to be believable. I find myself looking around wondering if the people around me could be caught up in some invisible war. It is possible. The facts add up...and I still find myself asking...who were the good guys...and who were the bad ones? What makes one side good over the other? Interesting question to ponder.
Some of the characters frustrate me at times. The main character is so smart, yet at times he doesn't see the most clear things right in front of him, and he doesn't make the choices we all know he should (and the choices he has been trained to make all his life). This seems too convenient for me and a small, yet annoying flaw in the writing. I saw things coming way before the main character did, and he should have seen them first.
The pacing slowed towards the end and I found myself tiring slightly of the story...but I pushed myself through and I was glad I made it to the end. And you will too. The ending completely shocked me. I never saw (most of it) coming. I actually might just read the next book in the series to see what Mr. Shane intends on doing next because I am intrigued, yet again...