Classified book 1
**Contains minor spoilers – read with caution**
This is some X-Men shit!
I received a copy of this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Her mission is to get close to him for inside information. His mission is to kidnap her for a supernatural militant group.
Recruited in her teens for a life of espionage, Julia Caldwell, now 19, is the youngest CIA agent on record. Her mission is simple: get close to Cole Thomas for intel on his father, a known and dangerous weapons dealer. As she grows closer to Cole, something is off. He might not be who she thinks he is. And worse, his mission will put an end to hers. Always believing the government’s story that her purpose in life was to keep the world safe, Julia doesn’t know who to trust or who to believe. But now, THE SWAY has a different story—a different purpose for her—that goes well beyond all she ever imagined
I wasn’t expecting any kind of supernatural stuff to go down so I was pleasantly surprised when it all went nuts and people were doing cool, albeit crazy things.
“I wanted to sigh, but secret agents didn’t get to sigh over boys.”
Julia: So our girl Julia is just living her life as a teen CIA agent after years training in a secret government organisation when her world is flipped upside down by a boy named Cole and another secret organisation…yup!
I quite liked Julia and it was interesting watching her navigate a new set of emotions when she makes her way to THE SWAY. By makes her way, I really mean kidnapped because nothing ever runs smoothly when you’re a teen secret agent. Even though she is highly trained and could probably kill you without a thought, she is very much a giddy 14 year old stuck in a 19 year old’s body when it comes to boys. Her relationship with Cole moves fast for someone who has been emotionally stunted for so long and this definitely entered the instalove zone in true YA fashion – thankfully there are other things going on to help distract.
Julia (Jules) has some pretty cool character development and her involvement in the bigger picture is really interesting – I can’t wait to see her new skills manifest in the next book.
Cole: Sweet, chiseled Cole. I wasn’t convinced he was a good character in the beginning and I was pretty sure he was going to be a bad guy but boy was I wrong. Cole has an interesting relationship with his father which is expanded on greatly throughout the book and has a flow on effect for many of the characters and the overall arc of the story.
The way he protects Julia – who is practically a stranger – is both sweet and at times annoying. There were a few times I wanted to reach into the book and yell in his face, “you just met her creeper” but then he would do something that would help center her and you couldn’t help but be happy for them.
In terms of character development, Cole is pretty much the same throughout the book as his ‘special skill’ is established very early as is how he plays into the plans set out by THE SWAY.
“Bravery is required, honesty is necessary. Trust is only given when earned. The brotherhood will sway the world to unite. Never underestimate the power of loyalty.”
THE SWAY: “When marimba rhythms start to play, dance with me, make me sway” – I can’t help but think of this song and Michael Buble when I read about this organisation. THE SWAY is pretty cool; they’re a sort of underground vigilante group whose goal is to protect the planet and humans alike. A lot of little mysteries are uncovered when Julia enters their establishment and starts to align herself with the people and their cause. The leader of the organisation is expectedly unexpected (make sense?) and the organisation is populated with fantastic characters that pack some serious power. Some dope X-Men mutant type shit goes down too which is pretty cool – characters like these always make you realise how ordinary you really are.
Eisenhower: Why are the bad organisations always lead by strange old men and have pretentious names? After finding out what Eisenhower is and seeing first hand what they are capable of, you can’t help but hate them as an institution and hope they get their comeuppance. I’m feeling a revenge plot in book 2.
Okay so real talk, I did like this: it’s fast paced, there are a few little twists, the characters don’t suck and there are some cute YA romance moments that won’t make you gag – there are also some that will because duh, #instalove. One of the reasons I’m not able to give this a higher rating is because I did feel like the book was a little rushed at times and therefore some of the moments that should blow your mind are over too quickly.
I wouldn’t say there is a cliffhanger ending but you can definitely tell it is left open for a sequel. Even though this isn’t outstanding, I still enjoyed the ride and will definitely be picking up book 2 when it is released – what will Cole and Julia get up to next!
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