26 April 2015

Bomb - Review

by Sarah Mussi

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What they say: My head's ringing. And I'm cold, lying here on my back. And stiff. I can't seem to sit up. And something's dripping, like I'm in a cavern. There's a sour taste in my mouth. 
I raise my head and open my eyes. A blinding flash slices, like white fire, through the edge of my vision.
Where am I? 
'Hello? Anyone there?' 
When Genesis goes on a blind internet date, she just wants to get over her ex-boyfriend Naz. Just wants someone to like her again. But when Genesis wakes up the morning after the date, she can't remember a thing. She doesn't know where she is, or how she got there. And she can hardly move because she is strapped into some kind of body armour ... and there's some sort of earpiece stuck in her ear.
And then a voice sounds in her head: 'You have been chosen for an assignment ... The vest you're wearing is packed with high explosives. And with one mobile call we can detonate it.'
To her horror, Genesis has become an agent of mass destruction. The countdown to detonation begins NOW...
A gutsy, compelling and chilling novel that counts down to an explosive ending.
Coming May 7th from Hachette/Hodder Children's - ISBN: 9781444917864

I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: With the current rise of extremism Bomb is very topical. The book provides a modern take on radicalism by looking at a fictional extremist group. It analyses how such groups gain support, why people are willing to join terrorist groups and commit such violence.

The overall concept is very clever and I found the opening chapters interesting in a disturbing kind of way. The story focuses on teenage girl Genesis as she finds herself unwilling involved with 'The Brightness', as she is subject to their mercy - It's a sort of dark satire for teens.

Genesis is very matter of fact about everything and spends most of the book analysing where she went wrong and how to escape her current predicament. Although the book is cleverly handled I did find Genesis a little irritating at times. She wasn't very likeable, but then perhaps she wasn't intended to be. 

Genesis did seem to be extremely tied to the unlikeable Naz. We never get a real explanation as to why - I wouldn't have thought he was the stuff teenage dreams are made of, but the story focuses on how anybody can be corrupted. She didn't seem to have a great deal of empathy and was more concerned with Naz than anything else. I could understand that a teenage girl would be obsessed with her boyfriend. I felt sorry for the poor unsuspecting Dave. The other problem I had with the story was that at times, certain events seemed very convenient. I did however appreciate the message Sarah Mussi was trying to portray and I understand the commentary on how innocent people can often be coerced into making terrible choices.

I enjoyed the action and the fast pace made for a refreshing change. The premise was good but I wasn't completely won over by the characters. I really liked the cover which was what first captured my attention and got me to read Bomb. The concept demonstrated a worrying heightened look at how far extremism could potentially go.

3 Stars in my Sky!


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