Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane

This book is really hard to explain.  It's dystopia, kind of, and scary, kind of, and a thriller, kind of, and espionage, kind of.  It's set in our world, but with a secret war being fought (if you're familiar with the game Assasin, it's kind of like that).  There are two main rules: You can't kill anyone under eighteen and you can't kill civilians.  The main character, Joseph, is an assasin for what he is convinced is the "good" side.  He doesn't know why he's fighting or who he's fighting against, all he knows are the names he's given as targets. The actions of each side are disguised from civilians as accidents or random violent crimes.  Joseph has been trained to kill and he's good at what he does, but everything changes when he meets Maria.

I really enjoyed the style and thought the author accomplished exactly what he wanted.  The action starts on the first page and never lets up.  I was tense throughout the entire book, which is exactly what I want in a thriller.  My only complaint was that the "moral" of the story was a little heavy-handed in parts (War. What is it good for?  Absolutely nothing.)  Other than that, I was into the characters and loved the continuous action.

Entertainment value
Again, it's a perfect thriller.  It's a very unique idea - not the straight up dystopia but also not the typical espionage/spy/assasin book either.  I'm usually not into the whole war/Tom Clancy/spy games genre, but the dystopian twist in this one made it much more appealing to me.  It's a quick read, and completely engrossing.  I'm probably going to end up forcing it on Luke.

I forgot to post this in my original post, but I want to make sure it's included.  I was privileged to get to read this one as part of a Crazy Book Tour.  You can find a list of other blogs that will be reviewing it as well as information about the book here.  Also, check out the video trailer here.


  1. I really liked this one! I can't wait to read the next in the series!

  2. I'm excited for the sequel too! I was frustrated not to find any information but I had to remind myself that it JUST came out.

  3. I really enjoyed this one and am glad to be part of the tour!

  4. It's amazing how many people don't seem to grasp the heavy-handed "moral". Honestly, I would call what you've identified as the moral of the story to be more of a theme of the first book in the trilogy. I think that you'll find that the second book definitely focuses on a different theme and the trilogy's ultimate moral may not be what you'd expect.

    Anyway, thanks for the great review and I'm very glad you enjoyed the book!

    -Trevor Shane

  5. Trevor - Thank you for the comment! I can't wait to read the next book.