Hostile Takeover by Shane Kuhn (5 out of 5)

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I’m going to tell you once. Only once. If you have not read Shane Kuhn’s debut, The Intern’s Handbook, you’re going to be REAL LOST picking up this book when it’s released. That’s right, Shane Kuhn fans, you have to wait a few months for this one. I’m sorry, it sucks, I know. Except I don’t..because the lovely Wendy at Simon & Schuster sent me an advance. Yes, I begged. I did. There’s no way I wasn’t after I fell head over heels in love with the first book ( https://generationgbooks.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/the-interns-handbook-by-shane-kuhn-5-out-of-5/). This is the next chapter of John Lago, our assassin extraordinaire posing as an intern. I love John Lago. Really- if I could find a man like that (minus the bloodshed), I’d be a happy girl. Instead, I’ll just live vicariously through reading everything Shane Kuhn writes. And you should too! Start with the Intern’s Handbook.

Since we’ve seen our happy-go-lucky assassin last, the unthinkable has happened. He and Alice have indeed gone through with marrying (The wedding? Perfectly staged for these two). Immediately, the dynamic duo begin plotting a hostile takeover of Human Resources, Inc, the “job placement agency” that trains young assassins to weasel undetected into huge corporations and kill high profile targets. Again, if you did not read The Intern’s Handbook, you’re going to be very lost. However, our crafty couple may have misjudged how different they are in ways; and their wholly different ways of handling the way things are running. Not only do they grow apart, but they blow apart in a spectacular fashion. Worry not, readers and fans of these two, they do not buy cement shoes, but begin working against the other, believing that they were backstabbing each other the whole time. And that’s where the genius is. I was really quite convinced that Alice was a complete turncoat and a vile bitch (I REALLY like John Lago!) who had broken this man’s heart. Things get much worse on all fronts because not only have the two “broken up”, but Alice has a new HR target, and John has to go back and do the one thing he thought he was done doing- being an “intern” AGAIN. And he has to work gun-in-hand with Alice, despite their mutual loathing of the other at this point, to try to save the company, their asses, and their marriage. And I’m telling you, up until almost the end, I had NO IDEA what the hell was going on, or where it was going. Where it ended up going? Brilliant. I absolutely loved it.

Marriage with these two brings out all sorts of odd dimensions that were only hinted at with the relationship between them in the first book. Not only that, but if it’s EVEN possible, I think this was more darkly comedic than The Intern’s Handbook was. And I really didn’t think that was possible. I’m also one of those people who groans aloud at the “sequel” tag. Usually, especially in movies, they suck. And a lot of books in the past five years that have had a sequel? Should have just left it at one. I am so happy to report that this is not the case here. Another thing that really excited me was that Sue gets more of a role in this book, so you get to see what the kid is truly made of. I hope he continues to get significant airtime in the next novel. And yes, I REALLY hope there is another John Lago thriller coming. Because this is one sequel that doesn’t suck!

Hostile Takeover is out in July, via Simon & Schuster. That gives you time to read the first, if you haven’t already done so. Do it, and then read this one!

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~ by generationgbooks on May 15, 2015.

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