Tobey wants a better life - for him and his girlfriend Callie Rose. He wants nothing to do with the gangs that rule the world he lives in. But when he's offered the chance to earn some money just for making a few 'deliveries', just this once, would it hurt to say 'yes'?
I’m choosing this because:
Well it’s still March, so it’s still Malorie Blackman Month with Amy Bookworm! Also I had to see the Noughts and Crosses series through to the end, coz it’s how I roll. I have to say that I’m apprehensive about reading this, the previous two books were filled with hatred and anger but my main reason is the end. The series was wrapped up so well in ‘Checkmate’. It didn’t need another book. Yet here we are. With book 4.
Judging a book by its cover
It’s still black and white so it goes well with the rest of the covers, it just has a big “X” on it well to be fair the “X” has an “x” in it. Fits the title I suppose. I wonder how long that cover meeting lasted? Sorry, being a bit rude, but to be fair it is a really simple idea!!
Pricing the (possible) awesomeness:
The Amazon prices are pretty much the same as with the rest of the series £5.24 for paperback and £4.74 for the Kindle edition. Nice that they’re the same price, shame there isn’t an omnibus edition that’s slightly cheaper.
Well, this is a hard one to review. Partly because I feel that this book is good and partly because I feel that being part of the ‘Noughts and Crosses’ series ruins it. I mean ruins because it didn’t have to be, this book could have stood up by itself and been counted. It didn’t need to be tagged on to a series, it’s so relevant to the youth of today and it hits hard. Putting it in an alternative reality is like taking something that’s meant to cause damage and wrapping it in bubble wrap. It needed to feel like it happens in our society for the simple reason that IT DOES. The premise is good, I mean once I’d got into the story I adored what was happening. It wasn’t a slow burner and once Tobey was drawn into the gangs I was hooked! The writing is perfect, it paints the scenes so well without adding words that don’t need to be there. I genuinely liked the story. One of Malorie’s best ideas! (That I’ve read anyway!)
Tobey – Tobey is Callie-Rose’s childhood friend. He’s also our MC. This is the first time we’ve had his POV and at first I thought that he was more than a bit of a jerk. As much as he wants us to think that his actions are purely driven by events that happen to those around him, it’s a very selfish reason that means events snowball out of control in the first place. However I like that he tried to rectify his mistakes and that on the inside he was alright. Did I like him? I’m not entirely sure, I’m edging towards no to be honest. He did too little too late for me. He was incredibly realistic though, just the sort of person you can see getting caught up in the events of ‘Double Cross’.
Dan – He’s not the biggest character in the story but he is one of the most significant. He’s a total tool. I felt that not even his redemption part was enough for me. He just didn’t seem sincere. I felt like he might’ve had his own reasons for doing what he did. But we’ll never know (hopefully. I don’t want to! I want to imagine. This is not a plea for a book 5.) He’s a shady guy, if I met him I’d cross the road. Or knee him where it hurts if he tried anything... and I think he would.
Rebecca – I think she’s quite a random character to want to mention but she was actually one of the most likeable in the book in my opinion. She was the only character that didn’t feel like she had a dark secret or hidden intentions and I liked that. She didn’t deserve to be in the situation she was in. I wanted more for her. Why did you do that Malorie?
Overall, I liked this a lot. I loved the plot, the characters fitted the gritty reality of the story. The writing was what I’ve come to expect off Malorie, and more. As a standalone novel I’d hail this as one of Malorie’s best. However it isn’t a standalone novel. It’s a part of the ‘Noughts and Crosses’ series and I’m marking it down for that. Purely because it doesn’t feel like it belongs, it doesn’t feel like it’s meant to be in that world. It feels like it’s meant to be in ours. A few mentions of the L.M. and keeping the characters doesn’t make a book feel like it belongs. I can get why it was a good idea to market this as part of the series but for me it doesn’t work like that and that makes me sad.
As I said when I wrapped up my review I marked it down because of its unnecessary series usage. It really annoyed me okay? The term flogging a dead horse springs to mind, and resurrecting series is a pet hate. Other than that this is a great book and I really did enjoy it once it started on its story.