Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: Cloak and Dagger ( The IMA #1 ) by Nenia Campbell

Cloak and Dagger by Nenia Campbell
Excerpt

Michael Boutilier is a young assassin working for a mysterious organization of mercenaries called the IMA; an organization so powerful that government denies its existence. When a hacker breaks into their computer's mainframe, they send Michael out to finish off the loose ends. But so far, there's just one lead to go on. The hacker's daughter, Christina Parker.

Christina seems like any other high school senior. And she is — until she gets kidnapped by a group of people who think she's the key to the malicious code that has infected their mainframe system and she is plunged into a world where the lines between right and wrong are blurred beyond all recognition and terror knows no bounds. What do you do when the odds are against you, and the stake is your life?
As she quickly learns, there are good guys and there are bad guys. Sometimes Michael's one, sometimes he's the other--but usually he's both. And right now he's the only one who can save her.

Genre

Thriller

Review

Wow! This is absolutely fan-freaking-tastic!

I had one hell of a wild ride and stayed up to 2am to finish it up. Cloak and Dagger is full of action-packed moments, a lovable anti-hero at his worst/best, a heroine that causes whole loads of mayhem and a villain that is so sick he makes Javier looks normal. 

Christina Parker is like any normal high school senior minding her own Spanish studies and dealing with an over demanding mum. Her mum is one wicked woman, yet I find her hilarious most of the time. Her normal life turned upside down when both her parents goes missing and she got captured by a masked man. 

My mother's religion was thinness; it was her false idol, her golden calf - and she was determined to convert me.

Michael Boutilier is an IMA agent assign to handle Parker's case. Their security had been hacked into by Parker and now he need to capture his daughter as hostage. Now you must be thinking, another Stockholm story again? Well, kind of. But it didn't make the book any less entertaining. 

"You always threaten me. You don't respect me. You're violent, and cruel, and sadistic, and -"
"Finished?"
"No - "
"Too bad. Game over. Insert new fucking quarter."


From the blurb, my first impression of Michael Boutilier is that he is an assassin with a heart of gold. How wrong that turn out to be. From his POV, he sounds like a normal lad who might be working for a government agency. Turns out he is like one of those Anne Stuart's gamma hero that we should loathe, but we ended up loving him anyway. He is a killer for hire and he acted like one. Non of those hallmark bullshit and chick flick moments. I abhor some of the things he did to Christina, but that's what make their time together felt realistic. That's normal procedure for a captor, anyway. The author didn't romanticize the situation and she gives us the raw and gritty bits of being captured. 

His is full of sarcasm, which I later learn he use to hide his own emotion.

"God, for a moment I thought - "
"What? That I've started my own BDSM club and your invite got lost in the mail?"


Christina is suppose to be an easy job. Held her hostage to flush out the parents, but luck is not on Michael side and things just turn complicated for him. With a paranoid boss, a sadistic colleague who wants to take him out and a young hostage that looks at him as if he is a devil incarnated, Michael has his plate full of ugly worms. One wrong move, he will be dead. And so is Christina.

Where the hell had she gotten her education? A parochial school? Remembering the name of it - Sacred Heart, or something like that - I suspected that might not be too far from the truth. And here I thought Catholic schoolgirls were supposed to be kinky.

Considering the things that happens in the book, this sounds like something dark like 'The Dark Duet'? But is not. I find this quite a light-hearted read with both the hero and heroine full of sarcasm, is action-packed ala Hollywood style, whereby you know the protagonist is going to come out on top. 

"I'm sorry! Are you in a lot of pain?"
No I'm just lying here because I feel like it.


Overall, I find this is one hilarious read with a lot of action and suspense that kept me at the edge of my seat bed. Michael had a lot of one liner that makes me laugh or roll my eyes. Although he is kind of a villain in itself, I find him totally likeable from the start. Okay, there might be seriously something wrong with me. But even if you hated him in the beginning, I'm sure by the end he is going to win you over.

Things sorta died down in the end and they no longer in imminent danger. We are treated to a bittersweet ending that seems fitting, although it did make me shed some sad tears. I can't wait to read the next book, of course. I'm so glad I have all 3 books with me right now. I can't wait to read more on Michael and Christina shenanigans to bring down the bad guys. 

One of my favourite Michael's line.

"Stop that gasping. You're not in a porno, for fuck's sake."

Rating 5/5

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