Sunday, October 6, 2013

Don't turn around by Michelle Gagnon

For the past few years Noa has been living off the grid, knowing that if she is caught they will throw her back into the unappealing world of revolving foster families and time spent at the Centre.  She only managed to escape using her mad computer skills to create a fictitious foster family, and working freelance as her pretend foster father to make money to pay the bills and keep some money in the bank.  It was the perfect invisible life, but now someone is collecting the bill on that invisible life - because Noa has woken up in a secret laboratory after some mysterious medical procedure and the people who have experimented on her desperately want her back.

At the opposite end of the social scale is Peter, a spoilt rich kid who only really wants one thing - some undivided genuine attention from his parents.  Lacking that, he has carved out a niche for himself as a hacker and creator of /ALLIANCE/ a coalition of anonymous hackers who use their skills to expose the deadly, dangerous, and despicable.  When he comes across a reference to AMRF he can't resist the temptation to dig up more information about them - and that just opens a huge can of worms.

Peter and Noa are both on the run from mysterious men who are highly trained and highly organised, and highly focused on stopping Peter and bringing Noa back in.  No one in their lives is safe, especially with the quietly menacing Mr. Mason on their trail.  Noa and Peter need to discover what AMRF is and what the experiments are about, because Noa is not the only victim of their experiments, but she may be the only success and the shadowy men in black in desperate to get her back - no matter how many people have to die in the process.

Don't turn around suffers from the fate of having a terrible cover, one that doesn't reflect the adrenaline packed read inside - the version I have looks almost more like a horror novel cover, rather a cover more fitting to a tensely written psychological thriller/teen adventure story.  Luckily later editions of the book appear to have fixed this, providing a cover that provides a better taste of the reading goodness inside the novel.  The first book in a trilogy, Don't turn around sets the scene for coming events, but is also a strong stand alone book with a satisfying conclusion (leaving room for the rest of the books in the series but also providing some closure at the end of the novel). 

Gagnon did not disappoint with Don't turn around, creating a believable premise that will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next for Noa and Peter.  There is a sense of foreboding for most of the novel, the sense that someone very powerful is pulling strings in all kinds of places to keep what they are doing under the radar - and that they are targeting some of the most vulnerable people to move forward with their plans.  Through Noa and Peter we learn more about their plans and what they are willing to sacrifice to get their work done, but there is a niggling sense that there is more than Gagnon is hinting at.  Noa and Peter are fully formed and believable characters, and I found myself part of their cheering squad quite quickly as they work to outwit and out manoeuvre the bad guys on their trail. I can't wait to get my hands on Don't look now to see where their investigations take them next.

If you like this book then try:
  • Don't look now by Michelle Gagnon
  • Altered by Jennifer Rush
  • Mila 2.0 by Debra Drizer
  • Reboot by Amy Tintera
  • Arrival by Chris Morphew
  • XVI by Julia Karr
  • Subject Seven by James A. Moore
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Variant by Robison Wells
  • Proxy by Alex London

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment