Monday, January 13, 2014

Going Rogue - Robin Benway

[This is the second novel in the Also Known As series by Robin Benway. If you haven't read the first book yet, check out my thoughts on Also Known As.]

Going Rogue Robin Benway book cover
Going Rogue by Robin Benway
Series: Also Known As #2
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publication Date: January 14, 2014 (Get a copy tomorrow!)
Source/Format: Netgalley (Thank you, Bloomsbury!) || e-galley
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker 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. (from Goodreads)

Going Rogue is, without a doubt, one of the most fun novels I've had the pleasure of reading. It made me laugh, kept me on the edge of my seat, gave me new characters to be friends with to like, and made me fall harder for the characters I already knew. It really surprises me how much I fell in love with this sequel!

Honestly, I found Going Rogue a lot more thrilling and entertaining to read than Also Known As. While I liked Also Known As, it didn't quite inspire the affection and adoration I possess for its sequel. From start to finish, I was taken with this story! 

I loved the fact that readers are tossed right into the action this time, and that the stakes are definitely higher for Maggie, her family and her friends. The angle taken when it comes to spies and a case is a bit different in this one, but still connected to the plot of the first book in a minuscule way. I liked the fact that we see more spy skills come out to play, as well as resources that I could never have imagined being utilised too.

The best part of this novel, honestly, are all the characters in it. Maggie, for instance, is a great main character! Her thoughts were still fun to read, and I like how I felt a certain level of maturity had settled on her. It was also interesting to watch her deal with the reality of her double life, as Benway managed to make that feel so true to Maggie's character. Nevertheless, in spite of her worries and doubts, she's still a pretty kick-ass spy too, and I'm still jealous of her lock-picking, safe-cracking skills.

As for the others, well, it's hard not to just keep gushing about everyone else. I'm going to list down my thoughts on the others, just to keep it all organized:
  • Maggie's parents are still pretty bad-ass, both as authority figures and as spies. It was cool to get to learn a little bit about their history before they had Maggie. The parental concern they showed was touching! My only complaint? I wish there had been more of them!
  • Angelo, on the other hand, was still the coolest adult ever. He's as clever and subtle as ever, though it comes into play a lot more in this novel. It was also neat to see how intuitive he was about people, and how deeply he cared for Maggie and the others. I still want him to be my mentor in life.
  • Jesse is such a sweet boyfriend! Even though he does get frustrated by the whole spy business, it's only because he cares so much about Maggie and doesn't want her in danger. I loved seeing the two of them together, because he just gets Maggie and usually knows just what she needs at any given time. They share a lot more swoony moments in this one, which is definitely great.
  • Roux is sincerely awesome. I love that she gets more of a back story in this book! Benway manages to bring out her vulnerabilities, and find a way to make her situation better too. It was nice to see Roux was still rambunctious, eager and ready to do what was asked, but also nice to see her have more emotional moments too.
  • Ryo, Elodie and Ames are three new characters we get introduced to, and man, I just want to be part of their tight-knit group! I'm not going to say what role they play, but I will say that I think they're awesome.
Bonus points must be given to Going Rogue for using two of my favourite places in the world as settings -- New York City and Paris. Anytime a book is set in New York, and mentions landmarks or places I'd know, it makes me all giddy inside. And Paris, City of Lights, City of Love? It's always been one of my dream destinations, so there's no question of how excited I got when I realized part of the case in this book was set there.

Based on all the gushing, it's clear that I loved Going Rogue. It's got many elements that I can appreciate, such as the settings and the story. But, in the end, it was truly these amazing characters that got to me. If my staying up till 4AM to finish it is any indication, Going Rogue is a book that readers will definitely enjoy!

17 comments:

  1. Oh, I just love Robin Benway's novels, Alexa, and I'm so thrilled to see that you love this book, too! Isn't Roux just the best?! I loved learning so much more about her. Fabulous review of this one, girl!

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    1. Roux is adorable! I love that she got spotlighted a little bit more in this one, and I wish she'd get a spin-off story/series of her own (as she totally deserves it). Thanks, Melissa!

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  2. I loved Also Known As and am thrilled to find out that this is even better. The characters sounds awesome as always, and I'm definitely up for the NYC and Paris settings. I'm looking forward to picking up this one!

    Kris @Imaginary Reads

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    1. I'm really excited for you to read this one! I, too, enjoyed Also Known As, but was completely blown away by Going Rogue. I sincerely hope you're able to grab your copy soon!

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  3. Book one was really fun, so I can't wait to read this!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. Book two brings lots more fun (and shenanigans) into Maggie's life! It's definitely my favorite (over Also Known As) and I hope that you get to read it soon :)

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  4. You said everything about this book I wanted to but better. The setting! And the friends! And the parents! It was just all sorts of awesome and win.

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    1. Aww, Ashley, you're too kind! It was just SO FUN to read this story, and to revisit all these amazing characters that we loved in the first one. Glad you enjoyed it as well!

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  5. SO entertaining! Really enjoy this series.

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    1. Yes! I really enjoy this series as well. It's my sincere hope that Robin decides to write another one, or possibly a spin-off one with Roux.

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  6. I basically agree with everything you said! :D Angelo as a life mentor would be the coolest thing ever, and the dual settings were fantastic. Going Rogue is just plain awesome.

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    1. If Angelo were my life mentor, I'm fairly certain my life would be ten billion times more awesome! He always gives the best advice and encouragement.

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  7. You totally nailed it. I LOVED learning more about Maggie's parents, Angelo is so the coolest, I adored the new characters and just basically everything you said haha. So glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Aww, thank you, Brittany! I'm glad we felt the same way about Going Rogue. It's a great second novel -- now I'm just hoping there's a third ;)

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  8. Ahhh, I'm so excited for this, and I really hope I will love it as much as you do. I can relate to what you said about Also Known As: I thought it was fun, but it never quite wowed me. I'm glad that the characters are even more amazing in this one. Especially Roux - I love Roux so much. And the fact that this takes place in Paris... So glad you loved this, and your review has made me even more excited!

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  9. Oh I'm the opposite-I preferred the first book. This one just didn't seem to get going for me and by the time the new characters were added and more action was happening, I wasn't that interested.

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  10. This seems to be a series I would DEFINITELY enjoy, and I own the first, I must get to it, though.. you know me and seasonal picks, I'm thinking a nice spring read ;)

    Glad the second was as good as the first, yay!!!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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