I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff – Review

June 17, 2015 Reviews 3 ★★★★

I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff – ReviewI Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff
Series: The Unknown Assassin #3
Also in this series: I Am the Weapon
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on 6/9/15
Genres: Action & Adventure, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: Mature YA (Characters have sex, but it is not shown; Violence)
My rating:
4 Stars

In the third and final installment in the Unknown Assassin trilogy, Boy Nobody is on the run from The Program and uncovers a secret about his past that forces him to decide where his loyalties lie.

The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard who was captured by The Program. Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson -- he can't trust anyone.

Allen Zadoff packs the third book of the Unknown Assassin series with even more action, higher stakes, and mind-blowing reveals that will leave readers riveted.

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My Take

***NOTE: This review is for the third book in a series and may contain spoilers for the first two books. Click on the links to read my reviews of I Am the Weapon and I Am the Mission.***

I Am the Traitor is the exciting conclusion to the Unknown Assassin Trilogy. It’s full of just what I’ve come to expect from this series – action, intrigue, double crossing, twists and a dash of romance. In this book, Zach is on the run, trying to discover what really happened to his father all those years ago. In order to do that, he has to rescue Howard, who has been captured and who Zach is sure is being questioned – and possibly worse – so that the Program can find out what Zach knows. Of course, Zach can’t manage this rescue mission completely alone, but he doesn’t know who he should trust. There’s Mike, who claims he wants to help Zach (and now claims that Zach’s father is dead, just like Zach was told all those years ago), and then there’s Tanya, who Zach discovers along with Howard and just can’t bring himself to leave behind. But Zach has learned that going against the Program is very dangerous and every step that he takes might put himself and the people he’s trying to protect in even more danger.

 What I enjoyed:

  • Action and suspense. Usually, I give multiple bullet points on my likes and dislikes about a book, but everything amazing about this book can be pretty much summed up with this one category. Just like the first two books, this third installment was filled with action and suspense. Zach is pretty much used to running for his life at this point, but this time, he has other people with him that he wants to protect. Then there’s the little matter of trying to figure out who he should trust – it’s almost impossible because everyone has ulterior motives, and Zach is constantly having to calculate the odds to determine whether it’s worth the risk of trusting the people around him. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. But Zach definitely isn’t willing to give up without finding out what happened to his father. This leads to a lot of action-packed scenes and tons of twists and turns as Zach struggles to learn the truth about his father and about the Program itself. Nothing is as it seems, and Zach is constantly being manipulated – the question is, by whom, and what is their final endgame? Finding out just might cost Zach his life!

The negatives:

  • The ending. I was surprised that the ending seemed so open-ended. Not to say that the story that’s been building for the past three books wasn’t sufficiently tied up (it was, rather spectacularly!), but that this book’s ending almost seemed to hint at a completely new beginning. I almost wonder if there’s a spin-off series coming or something?
  • The romance. Based on what I know about this series, I had serious difficulties with trusting Tanya. I just kept waiting for her to turn out to be something other than what she claimed to be. And I didn’t understand how Zach could possibly let her guard down around her so quickly because of his past experiences. This made it really hard to get completely on board with the romance portion of the book – I kept waiting for Tanya to turn traitor! (Not telling whether or not that happened, of course.)

Another exciting installment in the Unknown Assassin Trilogy. Zadoff gives us big payoff and a satisfying conclusion! I give this book 4/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About the Author

Allen Zadoff is the author of the new thriller series, The Unknown Assassin which earned starred reviews and has been optioned for a feature film by Sony Pictures and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment. His YA novel, Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award and was a YALSA selection for Most Popular Paperbacks of 2012. His second novel was My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies, the story of a techie hiding from life after a family tragedy. His third novel Since You Left Me is set in Los Angeles and tells the story of a religious school student who doesn’t believe. He also wrote the memoir for adults, Hungry:Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin.

Allen is a graduate of Cornell University and the Harvard University Institute for Advanced Theatre Training.


Author Links:
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3 Responses to “I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff – Review”

  1. jazmen

    It would be interesting if there was a spin off to the series. I know what you mean about Tanya, I was giving her the side-eye for a while but I think it worked itself out. Great review!

    • Nicole

      You’re right that the Tanya thing worked itself out – I was just having a hard time trusting her and wondered why Zach trusted her so easily (considering his track record). 🙂

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