Anybody who grew up reading the Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman will know and understand how I felt going into Crossfire. I was nervous, excited and anxious all while anticipating what more she could have pulled out of this world and I have not been disappointed. I’m going to keep this review short and not go into the plot too much; I’ll only say that it can definitely be read as a standalone, but I would recommend that people read the entire series to get into the world Blackman has created.
I seriously enjoyed this narrative; with favourite characters Sephy and Meggie taking a side roles, Callie, Tobey, Troy and Libby really step into the spotlight, with Callie and Tobey all grown-up and in a LOT of trouble, while Troy and Libby are simply high school kids trying to navigate the world they live in. Is it more or less racist than ever before? And have political extremist group, Noughts Forever, managed to outdo the anarchy of the Liberation Militia? And who can really be trusted? With Callie representing Tobey in his murder investigation, real character development is shown in these two. I really admired Callie’s attitude throughout most of the book and was excited to see what she had become.
Troy and Libby were a huge focus, also, presenting a Cross boy and a Nought girl in feud rather than love for a change. This dynamic very much reflected the political climate in England and America in the past few years, with proud mindsets bringing forward the racial divides in society that are still there despite acceptance growing. Libby is a character a lot of people will relate to, whether they grew up ‘rough’, with an addict parent, but who also strives to become better and works extremely hard to get there, which can rub people up the wrong way. Troy represented the other side as a Cross who has grown up with wealth, yet has seen hardship.
On the other hand, there were a few niggles with this book. There’s an excerpt from the next book at the end of this one (the last 7%), which I appreciated, however felt that the cliffhanger left something to be desired, but I won’t say what that was. I’m also interested to see if Troy’s suspicions about Sephy’s boyfriend come out in the next book and aren’t just put to the side. However, I am excited for the next instalment in the series 100%. Thank you Penguin Random House Children’s and NetGalley for my e-arc in exchange for an honest review. 4*!