Friday, July 15, 2016

#Friday Review - Going Rogue by Robin Benway (Young Adult, Mystery)

Series: Also Known As # 2
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Walker Children's
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 17-year-old safe-cracker Maggie Silver.

Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux.
Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo.

Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names.

Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.

Going Rogue is the second installment in author Robin Benway's Also Known As. 17-year old Maggie Silver and her parents work for an organization known as The Collective. The Collective is supposed to right wrongs, return money to retirement accounts, and expose bad guys. While Maggie is the best safe-cracker and lock picker in the business, her mother (hacker) and father (linguist & statistician) are just as valuable. But, this time out, the parents find themselves in a bit of a situation that will require Maggie (who has been on a "vacation" since the end of the previous novel and bored to tears), to jump in and help clear her parent's names.

Which means that Maggie, her parents, and Angelo have to deal with yet another villain who wants to bring them down. Which means that Maggie will more than have her work cut out for her in order to save her parents. She has to find the missing "coins" that her parents are accused of stealing, and she has to survive an encounter with assassins! :::gulp!::: Basically, it means that Maggie, along with Jesse and Roux (who are once again caught in the crossfire of being friends with Maggie), must break the rules, while also running for their lives to Paris where they meet others who have been betrayed by the Collective. 

Please meet Zelda (who made a brief appearance in Also Known As, Ryo, Elodie, Ames, and Markus. A talented bunch for sure. But, first, Maggie, Jesse, and Roux are once again adorable and funny and having them actually take an SAT prep course makes this story a bit on the realistic side. Maggie and crew spend less time in school this time around, and I am OK with that. Who needs all the High School angst, bullies, and teachers who are paid to teach, but instead preach? I must say that this book even with the humor, is a bit more on the serious side.

Maggie survived a brutal encounter with a traitor, and she hasn't had to move away quickly like she has in previous adventures IE Iceland. This makes for a bored Maggie. I adore Maggie, Jessie, Roux, and especially Angelo who has taken a special interest in making Roux feel as though she's part of the family since her own are just horrific. In a way, this book is more realistic than the first one. It puts Maggie into a whole new situation and forces her into dealing with a dual existence with both her job and her friends who want to be a part of her life no matter how dangerous it might be. 

I love Maggie's parents and am really happy that they give Maggie the room she needs to do what she does best. I said this in my previous review of Also Known As, but having actual parents around makes a whole lot more sense than having them NOT around. Oh, and I mention Ames and Roux? Yep, I'm definitely OK with that possibility. 
I'm sorry to say that apparently I didn't do much research first when asking the author about future novels. It appears that this was a planned duology and yet, I am truly hopeful that one day in the near future, Benway will come back to these characters. 

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