Summary from Amazon:
Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. But when Maggie’s parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her “new team” flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.
Also Known As (my review) was the first Robin Benway book I ever read, and it was such a fun book. So obviously I was super excited about the sequel to AKA, Going Rogue. I couldn’t wait to read more about Maggie, Jesse, Roux and Angelo. As is often the case, I didn’t love Going Rogue as much as the first book. Even though I wasn’t as madly in love, Going Rogue was still a thoroughly enjoyable story.
I think the best thing about Robin Benway’s books are the interesting and likable (but not perfect) characters she creates. I absolutely loved Maggie, the main character of the Also Known As series. She’s a spy, as are both her parents. But after the events of the first book in the series, Maggie is taking some time to be a normal teenager. She has a best friend, Roux, and a boyfriend, Jesse. She goes to high school now, and is studying up for the SATs. When her parents are accused of doing bad things for the spy agency they work for (The Collective) Maggie desides to dip her fingers back in the spy business to save them.
Maggie is just as likable in Going Rogue as she was in Also Known As. But as much as I liked her, I also found Maggie a bit frustrating. I didn’t really learn anything new about Maggie in this book, and I really wanted to. As for Maggie’s boyfriend, Jesse, I felt very apathetic about him. I wanted Jesse and Maggie to stay together because I loved seeing them GET together in AKA. Jesse is still sweet and adorable, but otherwise, I was very meh about Jesse.
Roux, Maggie’s BFF, was my favorite character in AKA, and she was my favorite character in Going Rogue. There’s something so realistic about Roux. She’s made some bad choices, and she’s more than paid for it. But she’s also learned her lesson, and is such a nice person now. Roux is incredibly funny, and as Maggie often says, even though Roux puts on a tough exterior, she’s all gooey inside. Benway shows more of Roux’s thoughts and feelings in Going Rogue, and I loved that.
So, some of the logistics didn’t really work for me in Going Rogue. I couldn’t quite understand why Maggie did what she did to help her parents. And I couldn’t understand the bad guy’s motives, either. And the big finale left me wanting a lot more. There was a lot of running around the museum, but what was really frustrating about all the running, was that that was their BIG plan. Not exactly what I think of as a plan formulated by spies. However, because I like the characters so much, I’m very willing to overlook plot issues. And, after all, this is supposed to be a lighter book.
If you like YA fast-paced, light spy stories then the Also Known As series if for you. And even though I didn’t like Going Rogue as much as I loved Also Known As, it was still a fun read, and Robin Benway is still a favorite author of mine.