- R]ollicking good fun.- -- New York Times Book Review
-A tour-de-force.- -- Laura Miller , Slate
In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization--the Regional Office--and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation. Read more...
- R]ollicking good fun.- --New York Times Book Review
-A tour-de-force.- --Laura Miller, Slate
In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization--the Regional Office--and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation.
At its helm, the mysterious Oyemi and her oracles seek out new recruits and root out evil plots. Then a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now, the Regional Office is under attack.
Recruited by a defector from within, Rose is a young assassin leading the attack, eager to stretch into her powers and prove herself on her first mission. Defending the Regional Office is Sarah--who may or may not have a mechanical arm--fiercely devoted to the organization that took her in as a young woman in the wake of her mother's sudden disappearance. On the day that the Regional Office is attacked, Rose's and Sarah's stories will overlap, their lives will collide, and the world as they know it just might end.
Weaving in a brilliantly conceived mythology, fantastical magical powers, teenage crushes, and kinetic fight scenes, The Regional Office Is Under Attack is a seismically entertaining debut novel about revenge and allegiance and love.
- ISBN-13: 9781594632419
- ISBN-10: 1594632413
- Publisher: Riverhead Books
- Publish Date: April 2016
- Page Count: 416
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.16 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-01
- Reviewer: Staff
Gonzales, already the author of an excellent story collection (The Miniature Wife), offers an intricate, if frustrating, debut novel about a subterranean superhero organization under attack by its own rogue operatives. Split between characters on both sides of the ambush—Rose, hoping to overthrow the Regional Office, and Sarah, bound to protect—the narrative not only bounces between perspectives in short, propelling chapters, but also pinballs in time, revealing, amid the chaos, the history of the clandestine Manhattan-based society, which recruits young women with extraordinary powers to protect the world from terrors unseen by average citizens. Tucked a mile underground (beneath an office dealing in luxury getaways for the rich and famous), these women train and receive assignments from people like the charming Henry, and founding leaders Mr. Niles and the mysterious Oyemi, but when an internal rift finds Henry at odds with his superiors, he organizes a revolt. Gonzales writes with an abundance of imagination, riffing on comic book and pop culture plot lines and characters while adding his own unique perspective. The novel is not as satisfying as his short stories, and it occasionally feels overextended, but there are moments of brilliance. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Apr.)
An intrigue-filled, action-packed debut
You may not be familiar with the name Manuel Gonzales, but once you’ve had the pleasure of delving into one of his out-of-the-ordinary literary creations, you won’t forget it. A graduate of Columbia University’s creative writing program, Gonzales has previously shared his unique brand of storytelling via publications such as Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and The Believer. His first collection of short stories, The Miniature Wife (2013), received much acclaim, including the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction.
In his debut novel, The Regional Office Is Under Attack!, Gonzales conjures a futuristic world of super-powered female assassins—part of an organization called the Regional Office. Two women are at the heart of the conflict: ardently loyal Sarah and defector Rose. While Sarah (and her curious mechanical arm) looked to the Regional Office as her savior after the disappearance of her mother, Rose sees corruption and betrayal within the organization’s leadership. Filling out the cast are their fellow agents; their recruiter and mentor Henry; and, of course, the secretive individuals behind the scenes pulling all the strings. Backstory on each character and the Regional Office itself is delicately spliced between action-packed scenes, making this a wonderfully choreographed narrative. The moment you think you have a grasp on the truth about the Regional Office, Gonzales tosses in a twist that will have you questioning your understanding all over again.
The amount of detail Gonzales infuses into this world makes it come alive in an engaging, quirky and delightful way, creating a perfect backdrop to a page-turning plot. Gonzales’ tale has something for every reader: Double agents! Secret romantic trysts! Conspiracy! Fight scenes! Friendships gone awry! At its core, however, The Regional Office Is Under Attack! is ultimately a tale of vengeance—one during which you’ll find yourself struggling to choose a side.