Unassimilated by Michael Ben Zehabe (English review)


Unassimilated, written by Michael Benzehabe, is an approach to connect Christian, Muslim and Jewish people all over the world. 
It is Benzehabe's first thriller and is about Zoe Mousa, a small, but brave woman, a Jewish orphan, adopted by a Muslim family.

The story begins on May 7th, 2012. Zoe and four other women are taken hostage, one girl is dead, the blood streams soundlessly under her body, and the captor threatens another girl to hand over the codes. Zoe and the four women are strapped to chairs with a view to the Pacific Ocean, however Zoe's only concern is the senseless murder of the girl in front of her. 

Zoe lived in a small Iranian town, near the Caspian Sea, named Noshahr with her two sisters, Sarah and Jamileh Delkash, before one jihadist shot her foster father and others raped her sisters. After that and other secrets of her dark past, Zoe went to America - stranded between two worlds, she lives in dysphoria and only for her dream: to buy an American house where her two sisters and her can live in peace. However, it seems like Zoe can't escape her past and the brutality and death, she left behind in the Middle East. Besides that, Zoe will only get her visa if she can fulfill the task the government gave her. 

Currently Zoe lives in Claremont Village, a sleepy college town, yet nobody knows that she belongs to the internet crime specialists, FBI Coordinator Tom Hollister and Dora Flores, the Cyber Division Office Field Support, and that she can crack codes where nobody even guess that there is something hidden. 

The story is also about the all day struggles Zoe faces in America, for example, when she wants to buy a car even though she has no licence or the time she roasted a goat in her garden. These scenes show a lot of the author's subtle humour and how small cultural diversities can raise questions or issues if not handled well in beforehand. 

It is also remarkable and admirable how easy and well Benzehabe describes the relationship between the three sisters and how distance can change the view of the world and the concepts we have about our future. I think that Benzehabe get the point very well over that as humans we all change over time and the environment also adapts our feelings and thoughts about others and ourselves.

Especially after the Dean of Claremont College, Dr Fritz Rolfe, begins to employ Frank Darlington, a former Homeland Security Officer who worked mostly the electronic monitoring and intranet platform, the novel starts to massively build pace and the plot is getting faster and more surprisingly than ever. 

Who is Mr Darknet?
Why is the campus monitored?
And what happens with Zoe?


Kind regards,

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