5.18.2016

THE REGIONAL OFFICE IS UNDER ATTACK! by Manuel Gonzales

Author Manuel Gonzales takes you way underground, to a top secret location, where a clandestine group of enhanced assassin-warrior women guard the world against evil. This book tells the tale of the day that this Regional Office, as its called, comes under attack.

Told in an mixture of flashback, snippets of the attack, and through sections of a report prepared analyzing the theories behind said attack, REGIONAL OFFICE keeps the pace moving as the back story is filled in and smashes toward the conclusion.

First we meet Rose, a member of the team attacking the Regional Office. We then meet the Regional Office's defending point-of-view character, Sarah, as the gapes are filled in on how they got to their respective places in the conflict as well as blow-by-blow accounts of their part in the assault on the office.

Gonzales' witty dialogue, keen use of flashback and grasp of female angst is both charming, well done and fun to read. I dare you to not like his playful writing style, weaving in pop culture references as he goes. There is also a wonderful section about midway through the book, an "interlude" which fills in even more gaps in the tale of the assault on the Regional Office, adding even more layers of complexity to the story.

I was hooked, taken with this tale of female assassins trained for top secret missions, oracles brought on board to help detect global threats, intriguing shifts of perspective, questionable kidnappings; all of which had me constantly wondering just who is good and who is evil. Who am I rooting for? The book is a worthy gamble, an exciting adventure to take to get to the very end and see how it all plays out.

Also it reminded me of a favorite novel from 2006, Austin Grossman's SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE, which was the tale of an evil genius bent on world domination and a superhero team and the internal dynamics of that group. (If you haven't read that, also seek it out, it's terrific). I mean this as a fine compliment, as both works are intricately woven, humorous and well done.

Also what both books have in common are spectacular titles. I plan to post a follow up to this review with my top five favorite titles (soon, I promise).

I think THE REGIONAL OFFICE IS UNDER ATTACK! is a worthy read, a fun adventure which would make a spectacular film. I sense this is a one-off type of novel but I would certainly read more in this world. 

And I totally want a badass, mechanical arm.

Disclosure: The above title is published by Riverhead, an imprint of Penguin Random House. I work at DK, also an imprint at Penguin Random House. There I said it. I was not asked to write this review. I had heard about this book and sought out a copy. This is my personal blog, sometimes I talk about books from work, sometimes I talk about books from across the publishing industry. I only write about books I think are worth talking about.