banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

BOOK REVIEW: Bomb by Sarah Mussi

| 9 May 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Bomb by Sarah Mussi

Hodder Children’s Books
May 2015
Paperback, $14.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell



When Genesis Wainwright wakes up the morning after a blind date, she has no clue where she is or how she got there. To make things worse, she can hardly move… Before she can figure anything out, an electronic voice hisses an order through an earphone stuck in her ear. 

To her horror, Genesis discovers she is strapped to a bomb. She has become a walking weapon of mass destruction in the hands of a terrorist cell. 

The countdown to detonation has begun. Genesis must re-examine everything she loves and make terrifying choices… in the face of certain death. 


In Bomb, Mussi presents us with a world in which an ISIS-like cult is sweeping the globe, with celebrities and teens announcing their involvement in the Brightness Brotherhood with pride. With bleached hair, tattoos of flames up their arms, and slogans on their shirts about death, martyrdom, and rebellion.

The end time is here. Have  you converted yet? 

We radicalize your sons. We sacrifice your daughters.

We can get you. Anytime. Anywhere.

This cult has become so popular that even the kids who aren’t involved sometimes choose to follow the look. The government is trying to shut them down by outlawing certain practices, and even taking on a “shoot first, ask questions later” policy towards anyone even suspected of being a suicide bomber, but still the cult grows.

And parents just don’t know what to do; their children are saying that joining the Brightness is the only sure way to stay safe.

More people are drinking the Kool-Aid with each passing day.


There was a lot about this book that could have been improved upon:

– Inconsistencies

Stylistic choices such as italics for thoughts were not maintained properly throughout, with parts that were more narrative than thought in italics, and parts that were more thought than narrative not in italics.

– The stupidity of the characters

Despite waking up in some dank old warehouse, strapped and glued into a rigid vest, Genesis never even thought for a moment that the vest might be a bomb, until more than fifty pages in, when the voice in her earpiece said it outright.
Even though her thoughts constantly drifted to girls who had been filmed and blown up recently within the world of this novel.
Even though the vest was there from page one.

Several times throughout the story things happened that the reader could see, but that the characters seemed to be going out of their way not to notice, and choosing the most difficult paths possible, in order to keep the story going. This also fits into the following category.

– Deus ex machina

Things were too coincidental, with characters wearing the right clothes to put them in a certain situation; having the right skills and just happening to be in the right place; choosing the most difficult path possible in order to get the story to the conclusion the author wanted, even if it wasn’t realistic; and not seeing what was going on around them, while supposedly in a heightened sense of awareness and paranoia, in order to keep the plot going.

– Editing

The whole novel could have used a keener edit, with inconsistencies showing up both on a line by line basis, and in the repetition and inconsistencies within the plot.
And the Initial Capitalisation of Some Words in order to Add More Gravitas was Out Of Control!

Whilst I’m thinking of Death Scenes and how I Want to be Remembered for Doing the Right Thing, I open up the bag and pull out the folded papers.


Despite all these issues, I couldn’t put the book down. 

Devoured in a day, Bomb offered up a fascinating story which definitely could have been better written, but nevertheless proved hard to step away from.

There wasn’t really anything to the characters so no connection was felt, everything was told rather than shown, and the wording could be a little awkward at times, but somehow those pages just disappeared.

Before reading this book, I had a picture in my mind that it would be more realistically set, with the group controlling Gen actually being a part of ISIS. But the cult offered up had the potential to be a lot more scary, reaching further into the lives of everyday people, converting their children, their idols.

This could have been a terrifying read, could have offered up nightmares and made all readers wary of meeting new people, but something was lost in the execution. Somehow it came off as a little silly, with the characters not exploring the options that could have saved them a lot of trouble, because then the book would have been half as long and would have ended very differently.

All in all, it was a fun, easy read which would be great for those who aren’t sticklers for details, or who want to turn the technical side of their brains off for a while and just go along for the ride, just don’t poke too hard at it with the logic stick.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad