Money Run (Ashley Arthur #1) by Jack Heath0
Take two child geniuses (thieves in their spare time), one obsessed assassin, and the richest man in the world to create a compelling, completely unpredictable young adult thriller. Fifteen-year-olds Ashley and Benjamin have concocted a daring master plan: to steal billionaire Hammond Buckland's most precious belonging, hidden in the depths of his conspicuous corporate building. But Hammond Buckland has a most elaborate plan of his own - and none of them have counted on Peachey, the hit man with a determination to finish the job - at any cost! The beginning of a dazzling new series from Jack Heath, author of The Lab and Remote Control.
When I first received this book, I was pretty excited at the prospects of getting to read it. I had never had the opportunity to read a book about thieves, let alone two children doing the thieving. I was pretty pumped at the whole idea that this book was based on. It steps outside of the paranormal or even the normal and creates a book that doesn't contain magical creatures just incredible actions. The book keeps the readers on the edge of their seats, blood pounding through their body as the characters take you on twists and turns that you couldn't have suspected. It definitely met my expectations.
Money Run by Jack Heath is really the story of Ashley and Benjamin as they take on one of the most difficult jobs they will ever have to face. What was supposed to be a quick in-and-out turned into an intense game for her life as Benjamin tries to protect her from the sidelines. All they wanted was to steal the money that the billionaire Hammond Buckland appears to be hiding in his office building but it never turns out that easy. At least not this time. It only seems to get more complicated when an assassin is thrown in to the mix, determined to end both Buckland and Ash. Money may have been the prize but surviving is the ultimate goal. Once the story gets into swing, it appears that everyone is in a tangled web of deceit and someone is pulling the strings. Will Ash get out alive? What can Benjamin do to help save her from the fate that seems inevitable? How does Buckland play into the story and why does it seem that he is the one holding all the cards? Who is the assassin and who is the people paying him to do this job?
Ashley is the main character of this story, who always seems to be one step ahead of everyone else. She is one of those baby geniuses that gets placed in all the elite schools and people know that she is going to go places. Instead of expanding her talent though, it seems to be holding her back, not letting her challenge her limits but creating them for her. Her chance to become something other than bored comes when her mother ups and disappears on her father and her, leaving them nothing to survive on. She appears to be the strong one for her father. She tries to make it seem like he doesn't need to worry about her because he already has so much to worry about. I like that about her. Her resourcefulness in the face of danger is admirable as well and she uses that talent almost constantly during the story. I definitely wouldn't have been able to come up with all of the schemes that she did when she is in sticky situations. There was very little weakness exploited in her character over the course of the novel and I honestly would've liked to experience some of her pitfalls. She may be a genius but she can't be perfect, right?
The ultimate partner and best friend resides in Benjamin for Ash. Unlike her, he is less comfortable in social situations but he makes up for his lack of social skills with genius that even surpasses his best friend. If she is the muscle, then he is the brains. I find it very endearing that he seems to have a crush on his best friend and that he isn't shy about it. Most books portray guys as shy and uncertain, never daring to cross the line between friendship and relationship, but I think he busts open that ideal quite easily. He isn't wounded when she continually tells him 'no' and it doesn't seem to persuade him to stop. For having a lack of social skills, he seems to understand women a lot better than most guys. Never saying anything and giving up too quickly is never an appealing quality for a man. I wish that I would've actually gotten to see him break out of his comfort zone. He was a wonderful character nonetheless.
Peachy is the assassin previously mentioned in the summary and I just have to say that his name is just not the type that would strike fear into anyone. I must say that his determination is quite interesting to say the least and perhaps even admirable. Except when it begins to border on obsession. I think we can compare him to a cockroach, he just won't die. No matter what sort of challenge is thrown his way, he finds some baffling way to survive. He even manages to get his target after everything he had been through. But which target is it? It's hard to truly grasp his character until you read the story to be honest.
Hammond Buckland is definitely the man with all the cards and I guess with how rich he actually is, I can't blame him for having everything planned out quite well. Even from the beginning of the story, I was quite certain that he knew more about the people he worked with and invited into his office than he let on. But his devious mind is something that I would've like to actually get to see more than I did. The whole plot of the story must've taken time to develop and he is a key figure in it. Instead of sitting on the sidelines as everything happens, he implements himself into as many scenes as possible and it definitely puts him in the line of fire. He manages to outsmart the assassin as well as the two thieves at least once in the story and somehow, he makes it look quite easy. I really want to actually understand his character a lot better than I already do.
I really liked this story and I honestly think you would too. Check it out! You never know, you might get just as hooked as I expect I am.