Author: Shelena Shorts
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Publication: 07.09.2012 by Lands Atlantic Publishing
Summary: For centuries, the Petrescu family has been protecting society from a danger that moves among the population undetected. Eighteen-year-old Vasi Petrescu has never had a problem carrying out his duty, but, when ordered to eliminate an eighteen-year-old girl, he is immediately taken out of his comfort zone.Thoughts: I was excited to read The Syndicate since I first heard of it because it sounded so interesting. It didn't seem like a book I would normally read from the summary, but I am really glad I picked it up because I loved it. The Syndicate turned out to be a well written story about family, conspiracies, romance, betrayal, and even included some paranormal elements.
The Syndicate has never targeted a female before, yet somehow this one has ended up on more than one hit list. Vasi would like to find out why, but there may not be time.
Now, he'll have to decide whether or not to keep her alive even if it means going against his own family.
The action, mystery, and conspiracy in The Syndicate will take readers on an immersing journey in which decisions are not only life changing, but irreversible.
• Setting: The Syndicate takes place in a world very much like our own, with one exception: Hybrids. And because Hybrids exist, so does the Syndicate. Hybrids are men who have turned into evil creatures (think zombies) and the Syndicate hunt them down and kill them before they can do much damage. Since they are an undercover and live on their own, it was easy to find this world a believable one. It would not surprise me if these secret societies actually existed in our world.
• Characters: Vasi is a trained assassin, a Guard, and one of the best at what he does. He was born to kill Hybrids and at the age of eighteen, he is a no-nonsense kind of guy who does his job and does it well. Every month, the Syndicate meets and figures who have become Hybrids and who will kill them. As usual Vasi has his sister Rosie, a Scout, find out about his assignments, but when she comes back with news that Riley is a girl, he begins to question what he has always known as truth. Vasi is definitely a more serious character; he's brave, honest and loyal. I wasn't sure if I liked him at first, but he grew on me really quickly. He changes a bit as the story develops, but only becomes more likeable. He is determined to get answers, is hesitant about his feelings but also turns affectionate, stays loyal but his loyalties change, and proves his bravery as the plot thickens.
Rosie, Vasi's sister, is a more fun character, adding a more humorous and lighthearted addition to the family of serious men. While she is also very good at her job, she is less hesitant to turn on what she has always known and follows her instincts instead. Vasi is the only blood family she has remaining and she accepts and believes in him and what he does. She was definitely a favorite.
Riley is an innocent girl who comes off a little week, but proves to be quite brave when she has to be. She decides to trust Vasi, even though he is sent to kill her, and we can definitely see why they connect. We don't get to learn that much about her, but I did like her a lot and definitely was rooting for her to survive what she was going through.
• Supporting characters: While there were plenty of other characters involved, it didn't get confusing to keep track of them. They were also each unique, well described, and played important roles that made the story a lot better for me.
• Plot & Pacing: Told from a male POV, which I have not gotten too used to, turned out to be quite entertaining. Vasi isn't as emotional, complicated or confused as a girl would have been and gets things done. He is ready to defend what he cares for at a moments notice and this definitely provides a lot of action. The book is filled with faced-paced scenes as Vasi struggles to figure out what is going on and what to do about the secrets he uncovers. Never a dull moment, The Syndicate kept me hooked until the end.
• Writing: For the most part, the writing was smooth and easy to read. I only thought that the first few pages had too much explanation, but this did not drag the book down. I definitely wanted to learn more and was not deterred by this minor problem I had with the beginning.
• Romance: While the romance isn't as emotionally attaching and instant, it definitely felt more realistic because it starts off with only an unexpected physical attraction between both characters. It definitely does become a little sappy, but in no way overwhelmed the story with too much gushiness.
Overall: I really enjoyed The Syndicate and definitely recommend it to others. It has plenty of twists, shocking turn of events, mystery and an interesting romance. It is a unique book that will leave you wanting more (and like many others, I hope that there is a sequel coming in the future to answer some questions!) I look forward to reading more from this author in the future, and I can't recommend The Syndicate enough.
About the author: Shelena Shorts graduated from George Mason University with a degree in English and Education. Her passion for igniting a spark in teens led her to teach American literature in both traditional and online classrooms. When she's not in the realm of teaching or reading, she's writing novels geared toward young adults and the "young at heart."
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Thanks to Shelena, we have a special giveaway for you! Shelena is offering two prizes for one winner! The first is an ARC copy of The Syndicate, as well as a swag pack. Just go ahead and enter below using the form.
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