Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: Bomb by Sarah Mussi

Title: Bomb
Author: Sarah Mussi
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Published Date: 7 May 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository

I received this title through NetGalley from Hodder Children's Books for review.

I'm Genesis Wainwright. I'm a sixth-form student. I come from Somerset. My mum is the best mum in the world. I play the guitar (badly). My best friend is Holly. I'm searching for answers to the Meaning of Life. I believe in True Love. AND I'M IN LOVE WITH NAZ. I want to be a performance poet. And I'm crazy about motorbikes.

I can remember everything.

Except last night.

When Genesis goes on a blind internet date, she just wants to get over her ex-boyfriend Naz. She 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 ...

Before she has time to figure it out, she receives an order through an 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, a walking weapon in the hands of a terrorist cell.

The countdown to detonation has begun: Genesis must re-examine everyone and everything she loves and make terrifying choices ... in the face of certain death.

A gutsy, compelling and chilling thrill-ride.
(summary from Goodreads)

Bomb is an edge of your seat thrill that will terrify and blow your mind.

No pun intended.

Seriously, I was on tenterhooks the whole time reading this book. The tension is through the roof. From beginning to end the novel is action packed, moving at a pace that keeps you aware, always, that the MC, Genesis, has a bomb strapped to her. I think the scariest thing about Bomb is the possibility of it being reality. Set in a near future, a terrorist group has gained footing worldwide, recruiting teenagers to cause as much fear and destruction as possible, and when recruitment fails, kidnapping and forcing them so as to cause even more fear. It works. Mussi's words keeps the fear palpable. In this world, acts of terrorism are so common that the police even have authority to shoot first, investigate later. So much about this book had my heart racing. Mussi definitely knows how to gut punch you and keep you thinking at the same time. The relevancy of the topic Mussi confronts is always on your mind as you read Bomb

There are some downsides to Bomb. It's pretty obvious from early on who has orchestrated Genesis's kidnapping and it can be frustrating that Genesis doesn't put it together quicker - but hey, she's got other things on her mind, like say, not blowing up, so it's easy to let this side. Especially as Mussi still keeps the tension high - who may be predictable, but the when, why and how's of it are enough to keep you glued to the page, eager to find out. There's also a lot of coincidences when it comes to Genesis's connections to the terrorist group, as well as their 'End of Days' plan, that can be slightly eye roll inducing. In the end though, I enjoyed the fast-paced, desperate and confronting thrill of Bomb enough that these are small nitpicks. 

What I absolutely loved about Bomb is the chapter titles. Split into three parts, each has a theme and it's chapter titles reflect that. Part one's chapters list the things Genesis wants to do before she dies. Each is pretty innocuous - swimming with sharks, going on a road trip with no planned destination, for example - but the way Mussi distorts them in connection to what Genesis is experiencing in the book is both clever and scary. In part two, the chapter titles list the rules recruits must follow to join the terrorist group, with a line in brackets explaining their true meaning in a way someone against terrorism interprets them. I found these infuriating. They add to the conflict and anxiety of the novel, that's for sure. And lastly, part three's chapter titles are life affirmations, sometimes inspiring, sometimes depressing, considering Genesis's situation. Honestly, I'm in awe of how something as simple as chapter titles can be so brilliant. I don't think I've ever paid much attention to them before, even. But they have me raving, as it's a level of awesomeness that adds to the overall tone of Bomb.

If you're interested in a nail biter of a read that will get your heart and mind racing, then I recommend giving Mussi's Bomb a go.



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