Official Review: Mastermind by Alyson Corgatelli

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NetMassimo
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Official Review: Mastermind by Alyson Corgatelli

Post by NetMassimo »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Mastermind" by Alyson Corgatelli.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Alvin Mastermind was just a teenager when his parents died. General Atkin, who was like an uncle to him, became his guardian. When Mastermind was asked to deliver messages for the General, he was happy to do that. However, he started getting suspicious, so he decided to read a message and discovered that he was delivering secret information to Russian spies. Unable to hide his discovery from the General, he got framed for espionage activities. He managed to run away, but how long can he escape capture when he's the most wanted man in the USA?

Mastermind by Alyson Corgatelli is an action-packed spy story about a teenager who gets mixed up with the wrong people he had the misfortune to trust. Some flashbacks tell the beginning of the story with Alvin Mastermind's parents' death and how he got framed for espionage. Most of the novel is about him trying to clear his name and prove that General Atkin is the traitor. His story is told in part in the first person, as a sort of diary of the protagonist, and in part in the third person, with the possibility for the author to focus on other important characters and to recount events Mastermind didn't witness.

The novel is engaging thanks to its fast pace, with the constant danger threatening Alvin Mastermind keeping the tension high. Some twists make the plot more intriguing keeping the readers' interest even when there's little or no action, adding to the enjoyment.

Not everything is perfect in the novel's development. In one of the chapters told in the first person, Alvin Mastermind comments that for years of his life he was in fear of being caught. However, in the final part of the novel, he's seventeen. At the beginning of the novel, he comments he started doing errands for General Atkin before he was seventeen, but from the recount of his escape, which includes a physical confrontation with the police, it seems unlikely that he was much younger. Actually, for a seventeen-year-old boy, he seems very skilled when he faces the police as sometimes it seems too easy for him to escape capture.

There are some other bits of the story that seem forced and require a suspension of disbelief. The novel also contains some errors, though they're less than 10, so I'm not forced to take a star away from my rating because of them. My impression is that Mastermind is a good novel that needs some polishing concerning grammar and plot consistency. For these reasons, my rating is 3 out of 4 stars. It contains neither profanities nor sexual references. For this reason and the protagonist's young age, I find it particularly suitable for teenagers. In general, I recommend it to readers who like action-packed thrillers that are not too sophisticated.

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Mastermind
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Ciao :)
Massimo

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Post by gabrielletiemi »

I'm not into spies plots and the inconsistencies in the story don't attract me too. But it seems pretty thrilling with a lot of suspense. I don't know if I'm going to read it though. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by NetMassimo »

gabrielletiemi wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 10:21
I'm not into spies plots and the inconsistencies in the story don't attract me too. But it seems pretty thrilling with a lot of suspense. I don't know if I'm going to read it though. Thanks for the great review!
I didn't go into details to avoid spoilers, but the inconsistencies are bits that don't affect big parts of the plot and could be eliminated with some polishing. Thank you for your appreciation!
Ciao :)
Massimo

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Post by Grace Macharia »

Captivating review. This is not my usual type of story but I could definitely give it a try given the informative review.

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Post by Cecilia_L »

Despite the need for additional editing, this sounds like a suspenseful read. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by Dee_Robert »

While the flaws are outstanding
The plot sounds really amazing, the name alone is quite the thriller.

Great Review
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Post by Elvis Best »

Sounds like a wonderful novel that needs a little bit of work. Thanks for the great review.
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Post by AmyMarie2171 »

I really like this concept, but espionage novels have to be handled very carefully or they flop. This one sounds dangerously close to the line of flopping for me. Thanks for such an intelligent review!

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Post by sirbobthewise »

I don’t feel like there are enough YA spy stories, so this sounds like a good addition to the genre. It seems like many spy/thriller books require that “suspension of disbelief,” which is a little unfortunate, considering there’s a lot of crazy things that are possible in this world, but perhaps it would be okay for the audience that the author seems to be aiming for. Great review!

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Post by NetMassimo »

Grace Macharia wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 12:17
Captivating review. This is not my usual type of story but I could definitely give it a try given the informative review.
Thank you for your appreciation!
Ciao :)
Massimo

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NetMassimo
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Post by NetMassimo »

Cecilia_L wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 12:28
Despite the need for additional editing, this sounds like a suspenseful read. Thanks for the recommendation.
Suspense is indeed one of the novel's greatest merits. Thank you for commenting!
Ciao :)
Massimo

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NetMassimo
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Post by NetMassimo »

AmyMarie2171 wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 21:26
I really like this concept, but espionage novels have to be handled very carefully or they flop. This one sounds dangerously close to the line of flopping for me. Thanks for such an intelligent review!
With some improved bits here and there, this novel would be great. Thank you for your appreciation!
Ciao :)
Massimo

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NetMassimo
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Post by NetMassimo »

sirbobthewise wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 23:38
I don’t feel like there are enough YA spy stories, so this sounds like a good addition to the genre. It seems like many spy/thriller books require that “suspension of disbelief,” which is a little unfortunate, considering there’s a lot of crazy things that are possible in this world, but perhaps it would be okay for the audience that the author seems to be aiming for. Great review!
Writing a realistic spy story that's also thrilling is tricky, but it's possible. This one is overall good, just a bit rough in the edges. It's still good to introduce teenagers to the genre. Thank you for your appreciation!
Ciao :)
Massimo

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Post by Adanna Inya »

Wow! I love this story already. So Mastermind was more or less an information transporting mule. I hope he's able to clear his name.

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NetMassimo
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Post by NetMassimo »

Adanna Inya wrote:
25 Jun 2020, 03:53
Wow! I love this story already. So Mastermind was more or less an information transporting mule. I hope he's able to clear his name.
Yes, he was that kind of mule. The end of his story is, of course, spoiler. :D Thank you for commenting!
Ciao :)
Massimo

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