Review Room

Book reviews and miscellanous thoughts

Book Review: Children of Paranoia

Written By: amodini - Oct• 11•11

Children of ParanoiaTitle : Children of Paranoia
Author : Trevor Shane
Publisher : Dutton
Genre : Dystopian Thriller
Release Date : September 8, 2011
Source : Publisher ARC
Pages : 371
Rating : 4.5/5

There is a war on and Joseph is in the thick of it. It’s Us vs. Them with the Rules of War clearly laid out. Not obeying the Rules has harsh consequences, and those who dare to do so find themselves hunted by both sides. Joseph or Joe, is a good soldier, fighting the war which generations before him have fought. But, lately, he is beginning to wonder about his steadfastness to it. He is beginning to ask questions. And when he meets Maria, and falls in love with her, he must break the Rules anyway . . .

This is a dystopian novel. Joe’s world could be the one you and I inhabit. It looks the same for people outside the war. But if you are in it, you belong to one side or the other. And you have to be constantly on your toes, because “they” could be coming for you. The book itself is unusual one for me, since I hadn’t read a novel where the hero was an assassin. In the first chapter itself Joe kills a woman and the murder is described in quite a bit of detail. And while I’ve watched “assassin” films (a la Jason Bourne) and seen people kill each other on screen – plop! plop! Two sound-muted bullets! People drop dead! – reading about it is a whole new level of unsettling.

Joe then, starts off as a very unlikely hero. Still, the author manages to build him up as a sympathetic character, because he is beginning to question this mindless killing. The book is told in the first person from Joe’s point of view, and I quite liked that. The tone and narrative is that of a person recalling memories, and relating them. This is a really interesting technique, since it pulls the reader right into the book. It not only defines Joe’s character for us, but lets us get a look-see into his mind and innermost thoughts. When the action happens, we’re in it, blow by blow. And when Joe is plagued by doubt, we can feel his desperation, raw and unconcealed :

The following morning, I remember waking up with my eyes still closed. I just lay there for a few minutes. I didn’t want to be awake. I didn’t want the morning to come. With the morning came the payment of debts unpaid, the revealing of truths unspoken. I could hear you next to me. You were awake. I glanced through partially closed eyelids. You were sitting up in bed, the sheets wrapped around under your armpits for warmth. I could see the fear in your face – fear and determination. Slowly, I opened my eyes.

“Children of Paranoia” was a pretty intense read, and completely un-put-down-able once I had started on it. It moves fast, with unexpected twists and turns and you are hanging in there, just hoping for the best. This is an outstanding debut, and since this book has an ending which bodes well for a sequel (it is set to be a trilogy) I hope I can get my hands on it the moment it comes out! Highly recommended.

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  1. […] really like this Children of Paranoia review from a blog called the Review Room.  They compliment both the style of the narrative, calling the […]

  2. […] 2. Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane […]

  3. Children of Paranoia” is one of those books that I normally wouldn’t have picked up, simply because it is a bit outside of my normal reading genres. Trevor Shane weaves a tale that is both extraordinary and believable, keeping the reader turning pages in an effort to find out what happens next. My full review at

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