Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).
Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.
Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.
I piked this book up sort of impulsively at a cheap used book sale. I didn't really know much about this book except that it's a thriller. I was a bit disappointed, it wasn't as actiony as I expected, but it was very interesting!
Sara Jane thought her family was normal. They're a bunch of bakers, that's all. Then she comes home to find her family missing and her home ransacked. Turns out her family is part of the Chicago Outfit, basically a long-running mob. Now, Sara Jane is the keeper of the notebook, full of the Outfit's secrets, and must prevent it from getting in the wrong hands, as well as trying to survive, and find her family.
My main problem with this book is that it takes forever for things to happen. The first 150 pages is mostly just backstory. It isn't until then that her family disappears, though Sara Jane alludes to it in the very beginning. I was expecting a thriller, but the first half was a bit dull and just was leading up to the family disappearance, which it took way too long to get to. The second half was much more action packed, with made me happier. I finally got to know what was going on, though was some info-dump but that's okay mostly because Sara Jane didn't know what was going on either. I ended up finding the whole Outfit interesting as well as how everything was organized!
As a main character, Sara Jane is a great one. She's tough and smart. Many others in her situation wouldn't know what to do, but she was able to keep it together and figure things out. Still, she felt real. The other characters in the book didn't feel so real, they felt like there were just there, but most of them were necessary so...
As for romance, there is supposed to be some, but it's hardly there and it just felt so important. Sara Jane kind of has a crush on a boy, but nothing really happens with him. I also really didn't care about him because he was really flat. Good news: the romance didn't distract from the plot.
I sound like I'm just complaining, but I did like this book. It had a compelling plot and a great MC, it just was slow-paced for a thriller and the other characters felt too flat. I don't know if I'll read the next book or not, mostly because I've heard the the second book is a bit of a slump. Maybe I'll read it if I come across it, but otherwise I might pass.
When I first read the blurb for this book, I was so excited for a thriller with a female lead in the young adult spectrum. I mean, what's not to like if it truly is Bourne meets The Godfather. However, I was truly disappointed in Colf Fury.
What disappointed me?
First off, the action was extremely slow. I was expecting a fast-paced, on the edge of your seat pursuit where the clues just keep coming and you just keep getting thrown back with surprise. But none of that came. I was 100 pages into the book and absolutely nothing had happened. There was nothing to catch and keep my attention.
The writing felt more like rambling than flushed out and thought through prose. Its written as if Sara is looking back on the events of her life and telling her story to someone. This would be fine if she would stick to the main events, but instead, she tells us every little detail of her past and you just get lost in the minute details. She could have stuck to the big events and maybe kept my attention and interest better.
If you are the type of person who can make it through the slow parts to get to the better parts, then you might enjoy this book. However, do not expect Bourne or The Godfather, because unfortunately, neither of those are seen in this book.
This "ultimate power" and a few other small details in the story (trained rats?) made me think that this series may have an underlying supernatural thing to it, which is hard for me to describe because it did not go into too many details about the "ultimate power" yet... this is definitely an intro type of book, but do not be mistaken, there are no boring details here - every single moment is to be accounted for.
My only issue is that every single female character, other than Sarah Jane, were deeply flawed and unrelatable. Her mother, though loving and loyal, was secretive and seemed absent a lot. Her female classmates and friends were either gossips or bullies, and even her aunt was mean, controlling and vindictive. And although the male characters had their flaws too, they were more supportive and caring towards Sarah Jane. (The love between her and her little brother is heartwarming and adorable.) Which is wonderful to see. But I felt like it wasn't enough... it might just be me being a bit sensitive to how these female characters were portrayed.
However, I really did enjoy the typical aspects of the story where the mafia is involved - the typical stereotyped characters and their and names, quite humorous and fun. Yes, the whole book has a Bourne Identity meets the Sopranos vibe to it, but it is definitely the young adult version of it. The fight scenes and action are there, but not so extreme.
The ending just about killed me, but I couldn't see it ending in any other way! It's definitely a cliffhanger - not one that I expected at all! And it was such a good one too! One that you'll definitely appreciate and will keep you biting off your fingernails until the next book!