The Regional Office Is Under Attack!, out today.
What it's about: A mysterious organization called the Regional Office, housed in a secret location several stories below a Manhattan travel agency, uses a cadre of highly skilled young women warriors and assassins to protect the world from all that is dark and evil, including time traveling aliens and terrorist cartels. Founded by the mysterious possibly insane Oyemi, whose origin story includes becoming radioactive at a young age, and Mr. Niles, who has always loved her, the Regional Office may not, however, be all it seems. One of our two protagonists, the young and beautiful, but mercurial Sarah, is a Regional Office lifer, vowing to defend it to the death. Also, she has a mechanical arm, which allows her to kick more than the usual amount of ass.
Rose, a mere 17 years old, is our second protagonist and represents the opposition — the attackers of the Regional Office. She's already a graduate of Assassin School and is like a more foul-mouthed, smoking-and-boozing version of Katniss from The Hunger Games. But why is Rose attacking the Regional Office, and what is her organization of highly trained graduates of Assassin School all about?
As we learn more about the backgrounds of these characters, we begin to see a more full picture of everyone's motivations, and why they're making the decisions they are. We also learn about a mysterious man named Henry, who recruits Rose at the beginning of the novel and may or may not be playing both sides. But what is his motivation? Revenge? Love? If there's a "serious" theme at all to this novel, it's about how tough it is to make decisions without complete information, and the dire consequences of doing so.
But, really, this novel's more about fun. There's almost a comic book feel to it. And there are a million pop culture references, including several nods to Die Hard, which all the characters think they might be in at one point. It's not sci-fi, exactly, nor is it a thriller. This novel is really its own thing — I've never read anything quite like this. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just so much fun.