Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thursday #Review - Lies That Bind by Diana Rodriguez Wallach #YALit #Thriller

Series: Anastasia Phoenix (#2)
Format: Paperback, 322 pages
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult / Thrillers & Suspense

The Italian Job meets Bourne Identity meets Spy Kids in this sequel to Proof of Lies.
What if saving yourself meant destroying everyone you love?
Still reeling from everything she learned while searching for her sister in Italy, Anastasia Phoenix is ready to call it quits with spies. Then she and her friends learn that Marcus’s—her kinda boyfriend—brother, Antonio, has also gone missing. Luckily, they track down Antonio in a fiery festival in England, only to learn he has been working for the enemy, Department D, the whole time. But Antonio wants out. And so does Anastasia.
But before any of them can leave espionage and their parents’ crimes behind them, a close friend turns up dead. No one is safe, not while Department D still exists. So Anastasia and her friends embark on a dangerous plan to bring down an entire criminal empire, using every Dresden Kid they can find.
As their world becomes surrounded by spies, and the children of spies, Anastasia starts to question who she can really trust. Including her best friends…

"What would you risk to learn the truth?"

What do you do when you learn your entire childhood was a lie?  Reeling from the truths uncovered while searching for her sister in Italy, Anastasia Phoenix is ready to call it quits with spies. The only way to stop being a pawn in their game is to remove herself from the board. But before she can leave her parents' crimes behind her, tragedy strikes. No one is safe, not while Department D still exists. Now, with help from her friends, Anastasia embarks on a dangerous plan to bring down an entire criminal empire. 
From a fire-filled festival in England to a lavish wedding in Rio de Janeiro, Anastasia is determined to confront the enemies who want to destroy her family. But even Marcus, the handsome bad boy who's been there for her at every step, is connected to the deadly spy network. And the more she learns about Department D, the more she realizes the true danger might be coming from someone closer than she expects…
Lies That Bind is the second installment in author Diana Rodriguez Wallach's Anastasia Phoenix series. The book continues the storyline from Proof of Lies. Anastasis has done the near impossible. She traveled across the world to Italy, found her older sister Keira, and rescued her from her kidnappers at great danger to her own life. She uncovered a shocking secret involving a dangerous ground called Department D, and some huge shocks regarding her own parents. Secrets that are still reverberating. 
Now, she and her collective must try to find whether or not Marcus Rey's brother Antonio is alive, if they can honestly trust him. After all, he works for Department D, the enemy with the long reach. This story does a fair amount of traveling. Ana and her group, Kiera, Marcus, Julien, and Charlotte, travel from England, to Boston, to Rio just to name a few places. Ana, as the undisputed leader of the group, has some ideas at how to get back at Department D, and that involves the so called Dresden Kids.

The Dresden Kids are kids who have been wronged by Department D. The idea is to collect as much information as they can and then turn it over to the CIA who can hopefully shut down Department D for good. The problem is that once they involve others, will Ana and her colleagues fall into a trap? Will they have the leverage they need to bring not only Department D down, but also Randolph Urban, the CEO of Dresden Chemical Corporation who has gone into hiding? Will anyone else die thanks to Department D's malfeasance? 

I join in others in saying that I will never be a huge fan of the so called romance between Ana and Marcus. There's a whole lot to hate about Marcus, but there is also a few things to be wary about when it comes to Ana's emotions and her drive to push people away when things get dangerous. There are so many things that have come out about her parents that I seriously question some of the ideas and steps that Ana and her group come up with. 

Ana has gone from trusting nobody, to opening up her circe to others who she doesn't know from Adam and Eve. After all, Ana and Kiera are supposed to be in CIA Witness Protection, not running around the world trying to take down an organization that can literally destroy a person's life and reputation and kill an innocent without any emotions or regrets at all. 

You also have to question Ana's motives when her own parents have so many unanswered questions about their own activities over the years. How can you honestly trust anything they say, after all that has happened? The story itself ends in a very twisted way. A way that leaves no doubt that the third book could either be the best book of the series, or a huge letdown if things don't go as Ana and her group hope for.

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