Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Regional Office is Under Attack!: Don't be a stranger

Superpowered female assassins

Defending the Regional Office is Sarah (who may or may not have a mechanical arm)

Weaving in brilliantly conceived mythology, fantastical magical powers, teenage crushes, and kinetic fight scenes
I'd seen the book The Regional Office is Under Attack! (don't forget the exclamation mark) a few times around the interwebs and when I finally picked up a copy and looked at the back cover summary, well, those lines jumped out at me. So naturally I had to take the book home with me.

This book probably comes the closet to the book I WANT to exist though it never really gets there*. BUT this is better than any of the other books I thought would fit that mold. There are multiple narrators and POVs (a fav style) as the book opens with the titular attack on the regional office, an underground headquarters for a cadre of assassins under the shell company of a travel agency for billionaires (excellent cover story). The story shifts back and forth mainly between two characters, Rose, a mercenary leading part of the attack, and Sarah, an executive assistant to one of the heads of the organization and one of the few people still at the office. We get what they're doing in the present and how they got to this point.

There are also chapters from a history book The Regional Office is Under Attack: Tracking the Rise and Fall of an American Institution explaining how the office came to be, including some history on the precogs who help identify future employees. There are also a few other POVs though the three above are the main ones.

What exactly do these super powered female assassins do, when their office isn't being attacked? Oh just save the world from total devastation. Alien invasions, inter-dimensional travel, that sort of thing. But the focus isn't on those stories. They're mentioned in passing. Right now the attack on the office is what's important. Why is this happening? Who ordered it? Can the regional office be saved (...well I mean, the title of the history chapters sort of tells you, no) and should it?

Overall the story was entertaining and kept me turning the pages, although the set up was more interesting than the execution by the end. I was still entertained but I was less invested in the characters. Even now I remember wanting to know read on and see all the twists and turns, but at this point, 6 months after I finished it, I can't actually remember exactly what happened.

Good, if ultimately not-that-memorable of a story.

Gif rating:
*The Office but instead of a paper company, it's something ridiculous, like a company of superpowered assassins or a company that deals with zombie removal or some other exciting and action-y professions juxtaposed against the mundane every day office life. Is that too much to ask?

Title quote from page 106

Gonzales, Manuel. The Regional Office is Under Attack!. Riverhead Books, 2016.