Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Going Rogue by Robin Benway

Going Rogue 
by Robin Benway
Read: December 7 - 24, 2013 (includes a 2 week break)
Published: January 14th 2014 by Walker Childrens
Source: NetGalley - THANK YOU Bloomsbury
Category: Spies, YA

Series: Also Known As #2
Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.

NOTE: See my review of book 1 in this series Also Known AsHERE


Going Rogue is the second book in Robin Benway's Also Known As Series. In my review for the first book, I declared it to be a perfect palate cleanser, and I'd say exactly the same for this one. Overall, this book was light, fun, exciting and low on angst. 

Maggie and her parents are spies for an organization called The Collective. It used to be that her family traveled constantly and she didn't have a permanent home or friends. That all changed after her last job in New York City. Now Maggie's former mark Jesse is her boyfriend, she has a best friend named Roux, and she's (mostly) turned into a regular high school student, including SAT prep. Then Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins and everything changes again. 

In Going Rogue, Maggie realizes the consequences of being a safe cracking spy with friends. Not only is her family in danger, but they are too. This causes a lot of stress for Maggie, and also some tension with Roux and Jesse when she tries to protect them by hiding things from them. But thankfully her mentor/'uncle'/spy master Angelo is always there to set Maggie straight, and she begins to realize that they are better off all together. Thankfully, despite this set back, Going Rogue book is wonderfully low on relationship drama. Maggie and Jesse are young and have to figure out how to navigate through Maggie's very dangerous job. But they are thankfully committed to seeing it through. Plus Roux provides some much needed hilarity. 

I particularly liked the moments in this book when Maggie, Jesse and Roux have to work together, and I'm hoping that there are more of these in the next installment (if there is one). My initial hesitation in this story was that I wanted these three to 'go rogue' together and form their own spy group. It doesn't exactly work out that way. Even so, I enjoyed the new characters introduced and the way that Jesse and Roux were included in everything. 

I also enjoyed the travel to Paris, though I wanted a bit more international spying. I felt like everything was just coming together - the new characters, intrigue and action - when the book ended. In my head, I keep comparing these books to Ally Carter's Heist Society series, and I like those better, but Benway's books are fun and I'd read another one. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low (I think there's more books to come in this series)


  1. I love everything spies. I mean, Nikita isn't like all about spies, but it sure does the job well by fitting somewhat into the category and I adored and loved that show so much. I really want to start The Callagher Girls series and I hope to give AKA a try as well. I really appreciate the fact that these books are just plain fun and youthful, plus going rogue sounds like a helluva lot fun in itself haha. I think I'll start with Ally Carter's books before going into these, but I know that I can trust your opinion and I wouldn't mind trying these books as well. Thanks for your honest thoughts, Lauren :)

  2. Low on angst?!? Woo-hoo! I'm over-angsted lately with all the NAs swirling around blogs. And spies? Yes, please. *grabby hands*

  3. I adore Roux...I think she was my favorite aspect of the first book. I have this for review, but I think I'm going to opt for the audio since the author is narrating again. She just does such a fabulous job of bringing her characters to life. I haven't read Ally Carter's books yet -- though Sunny keeps pressuring me, too :) -- so I have no comparison, which is probably best since you like those books better, anyway. Super excited to hear the angst factor is so definitely *sounds* like the perfect palate cleanser.

  4. I was definitely thinking Heist Society as I was reading this review, and even though you felt those books were better I'm glad these are still really fun, light reads. Sometimes all I want is to be entertained and be left with a smile on my face by the end, and it seems like this series does that for sure. I'm keeping these on my "read after a really dark, soul-scarring book" list:)

  5. I've found Benway's books to be a lot of fun too and, like you said, low on angst or romantic drama. I just haven't been drawn to this series though, so I'm not planning on reading it soon unless I'm in the mood. On the other hand, I did read Death Sworn, so expect an e-mail about it in your inbox later today (when I get home from school, lol). As always, though, a thorough review, Lauren! :)

  6. This sounds like a fun and cute read, Lauren. I haven't picked up the Heist Society series but this does sound very similar to that, and I know that has a huge fan base. I'm not sure this is my type of read as the characters seem really young, but I'm glad you found it enjoyable! Wonderful review. :)

  7. I did like the first book, but it disappointed me because like you, I compared it to Heist Society and I expected MORE. But now that I learned my lesson, I hope I'll like this one as much as you did. A palate cleanser, that's what I'll think of it as!

  8. This series is penned by the same author who wrote Audrey, Wait!, and Heather highly recommends that one! I like knowing I can turn to this author when I'm in search of a fun and lighthearted read. I need to create a bookshelf on my GR account dedicated to books similar to this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lauren! Very clear and concise work! :)

  9. I really want to see another installment in this series, especially if Benway decides to feature the new characters she introduced more prominently. It was fun to tag along with Maggie and her friends as they raced to figure out how to solve the mystery/problem in this book! I'm glad you enjoyed reading this one.

  10. I love the idea of the small group going rogue together-that would have been really cool! As it was, I ended up being a bit disappointed with this installment especially when the new people were introduced so late in the book.

  11. Forming their own spy group would have been really cool...maybe the next book? I'm glad you liked this, too! I always enjoy books that incorporate humor into the story, though, so as you say, this series is a great palate cleanser between heavier books.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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