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A-red-lipstick-wearing bibliophile extraordinaire. Word nerd & Joss Whedon fangirl; Literature lover & book reviewer. Lady Libertine; Tea collector; Potterhead.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Review: Sabotage, Jimmy Coates (#4)

NJ-7 finally achieved their heart's greatest desire: Jimmy Coates is out of the equation. Well, so they think.
After an elaborate ruse in the previous book, Jimmy successfully faked his own death to escape the clutches of the British Government. Again. Only to reluctantly walk into the open arms of the CIA, who promised him save passage out of the USA and protection from the Prime Minister, Ian Coates.

Unfortunately for Jimmy, his relocation attempt goes awry. His plane going down is the least of his worries when he discovers NJ-7's next grand scheme. It's called Neptune's Shadow; a secret missile base disguised as an oil rig. Information has it that the missiles are pointing towards France. Britain is planning on starting a war.
Stranded in the middle of nowhere, and all alone, it's all to clear what his next mission is. It involves a little bit of sabotage, but the question is: can he successfully foil this plan and stay dead?

I hope further along in this series I don't have to start all my reviews in this way, but poor Jimmy Coates. You would think I'd get used to his hardships by now, but alas that's not the case. I found this one particularly difficult to read, for the simple fact that I've never seen him struggle as much before. Alone in the wilderness, this young boy hasn't got a soul to share his burden with and you can see how much it starts to affect him.
Very early on, his obsession with caution turns into full blown paranoia. His doubt in the CIA bubbles constantly under the surface of his skin, and without his family, he heavily relies on his programming to aid him. This eventually just brings him full circle to his ever present inner turmoils of being a reluctant assassin. As the story (and his programming) advances, the more you can see Jimmy try to grasp at the tendrils of humanity with sweaty palms. This is especially shown in the periods where the assassin completely takes over the 38% acts as his moral compass, reminding him what he believes in and more importantly who he believes in. It's a very sharp reminder that his enemies aren't the only people who he's constantly fighting.
Often, heroes in children's stories are very linear, and are particularly morally sound. There isn't much room for the blurring of lines, but this isn't the case here. I really enjoy the fact that Jimmy is a complex character, and quite often gives in to his 'villainous' side, which ironically humanises him more than anything.

I always look forward to reviewing these books, as it's definitely become one of my most enjoyed series. If you haven't started it yet, I'm frankly ashamed I haven't convinced you, yet.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Publisher: Harper Collins Childrens
Price: £6.99

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