Death Leaders by Kendra Hadnott. Book Review.

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 Click here to buy Death Leaders

This is a young adult fantasy novel. It is the year 2031. Death leaders must bring down the exploding population by killing their “assignments”. Things become complicated when Christopher, a death leader, feels an unfamiliar emotion for his newest target, 19-year-old Tracy Wilbourn. Things become even more complicated when he learns that her child was murdered the previous year.

Hadnott has a writing style that is smooth and comfortable to read. The novel is fast paced without being frenetic. The author doesn’t waste time on back story but just gets right into the action. Things are revealed in a natural and logical way as needed. The dialogue is smooth and natural, completely believable, and clips along at a compelling piece. The editing was flawless, not a comma or period out of place.

Most importantly, we care about the protagonist, Christopher. In the beginning, we are not sure who is good and who is bad, who is betraying him or setting him up, and who is protecting or defending him. Other death leaders are jealous of his father and project their anger onto him. Someone seems to be sabotaging his assignments and if a death leader makes too many mistakes, he is killed. It isn’t until the last chapter that everything falls into place and we fully understand what has been happening.

There is a hint of a love story but circumstances cut it short. It is a cliffhanger book with no lasting resolution.

This was an impressive first book of what I hope is a successful series.

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Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

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