Review: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane

September 12, 2011 Dutton, Review, Thriller 5

  • Hardcover:384 pages
  • Publisher:Dutton Adult (September 8, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0525952373
  • Source: Publisher


Rule Number One: No killing innocent bystanders.

Rule Number Two: No killing anyone under the age of eighteen.


Since  turning eighteen, Joseph has been fighting a war he’s not certain he believes in, assassinating people he has been told are on the other side.  Not everyone is a soldier in the War; thousands of unsuspecting individuals go on with their everyday lives.

Those that are to become soldiers in the war have lost family members to the war, growing up experience the heartache of death early on.  But it’s not until they near the age of adulthood that they become aware of their fate. They don’t know know the identity of their enemy either, it could be a random stranger walking down the street.  From the age of eighteen on, their lives are in constant danger.

Killing people is the only life Joe knows, that is, until a job goes very wrong and he is sent away on a dangerous assignment as punishment.  He falls in love, his priorities and feelings about the war forever changing.  The only way to have a life outside the War is to escape it, becoming a target of those he’s worked alongside for years.

My desire to read Children of Paranoia began months ago when I began receiving postcards for the book. Each postcard listed one of the rules listed above.  They grabbed my interest from the start, I was left wondering, though, what my mailman thought. 

Children of Paranoia didn’t fail to live up to my expectations. The pacing of this debut thriller literally starts within the first few pages and continues throughout the entire book.  What I appreciated about this book is the social commentary; the world within Children of Paranoia could just as easily be the world we live in now. Our country always seems to be fighting one war or another.

One can’t help but feel sympathy for Joe’s character. Yes, he’s a cold-blooded assassin, but he has a heart as well. For years he’s been told to kill, sometimes individuals who have a potential for being the enemy, but haven’t committed an act of war yet.  He has no say in where he goes or what he does, he’s at the mercy of faceless voices, directing him where to go and whom to kill.

I’m excited that this is the first book in a trilogy; I want to learn more about the cause of the War as it seems to have been raging on for decades. While the reader learns the fate of certain characters at the end of this book, the fate of the future is still undetermined.  Highly recommended.


5 Responses to “Review: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane”

  1. Julie
    Twitter: JulieJustReads

    I loved this book as well. It was a real adrenaline rush for me. I can’t wait to see where Mr. Shane takes us next!

  2. stacy -

    This book was just full of awesome!!! I was a little worried at the beginning about not being able to relate to Joe, but Shane did a superb job. I was pulling for Joe all the way until the end.

  3. Julie
    Twitter: JulieJustReads

    Two of us read the book and both of us had very different reactions. I loved it but Jenn did not. I don’t usually like dystopian novels but this didn’t have that feel to it for me.