by Robin Benway
Original Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Length: 32o pages
Publisher: Walker Children’s
Obtained Via: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley from the publisher. I was not compensated for this review, and this is no way affects my opinion of the book.
Format Read In: E-ARC
View at the Traffic light:
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 bring the wrath of the now corrupt Collective down on all of them. Can Maggie and her “new team” defeat their former allies?
Going Rogue was a delightful follow-up to Also Known As, filled with more adventure and romance than the first book. Whereas Also Known As was a mostly fun and light read with just a dash of danger thrown in towards the end, Going Rogue definitely read as a slightly more mature, dangerous story that still retained the original heart of this series.
And oh, how these characters are wonderful! There’s a new villain who plays a far more dangerous game than the first, which really took Going Rogue to the next level. While I enjoyed Maggie’s spying activity in Also Known As, I was never quite convinced she was as good of a spy as she was supposed to be for her age. Going Rogue convinced me. There was at least double the amount of spy action in this book, and Maggie totally proved her worth and her ability to do a job. Roux was as charming as ever, but also gained quite a bit of depth. By the end of the book, I felt I really got her character in a way I hadn’t before.
One thing that was really wonderful about Going Rogue was getting to see Maggie and Jesse Oliver(Who I will never be able to refer to in another way) behave as a real couple, without Maggie’s secret hanging over their head. Okay, there are still some secrets involved, but at least Jesse Oliver isn’t Maggie’s mission anymore. My heart broke for them at times because when this book took a turn for the more serious, it definitely effected this relationship. However, in the end I was pleased with the way Benway handled the romance. And there’s a scene that takes place in Paris that is quite possibly the most adorable scene I have ever read and made me love both Maggie and Jesse Oliver even more.
One of my favorite things about Also Known As was how involved Maggie’s parents were in her life. I think this is a plus of Benway’s books, and it’s definitely still highlighted in Going Rogue. There is a case of parent separation for a bit, but it totally makes since with the plot and up to that point, Maggie’s parents actually act like real parents. They worry about her, argue with her, but also love her in a way that translates onto the page. This is contrasted with Roux’s parents, who often ignore their daughter, and I love how Maggie’s parents start caring for Roux as well. Even though this is a spy book, the family dynamics are some of the best.
The heart of Going Rogue is still as humorous and light-hearted as the first, but with more adventure and actual spy action. Every returning character made me love them just as much, especially Angelo, who I barely mentioned at all up to this point but was definitely one of the winning points of Going Rogue. I will say that there are some new characters introduced who I felt didn’t get enough time to really be developed in the way I thought they were suppose to be. Still, once again Benway made me like the teenage spy genre, a type of book I never thought I would pick up.
With the minor addition of some new characters I didn’t feel I knew enough about by the end, I highly enjoyed Going Rogue, even more than the first book! Maggie’s adventures were delightful to read about and I like how the stakes were considerably raised in this one. 4/5 cupcakes.