Today’s review is part of Random House Australia's official tour as DANGEROUSLY PLACED by Nansi Kunze debuts in the United States. A complete schedule of the tour can be found here. Today, A Backwards Story is simultaneously posting a review and guest post for the tour. There is also a fun GIVEAWAY on Nov. 13th!!

To find out more about Nansi Kunze, please visit her website and blog. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Check out the rest of the tour to learn more:

Nov 7 (Monday) – Jex at Everything and Nothing: interview about Nansi’s thoughts on virtual reality

Nov 8 (Tuesday) – Lyndsey at Strangemore: guest post on why Nansi loves sci fi

Nov 9 (Wednesday) – Kellie at Reawrite: interview with Nansi about her writing process

Nov 10 (Thursday) – Bonnie at A Backwards Story: guest post on what inspired Nansi to write DANGEROUSLY PLACED

Nov 11 (Friday) – Pica at Pica Reads: interview about the cover art and other aspects of publishing

Nov 12 (Saturday) – Lacey at Owl Love You Books: interview with fictional character in the book

Nov 13 (Sunday) —Sarah Guthall at Inklings Read: Guest post about why Nansi became an author and advice for teens who want to do the same

**ALSO!!! Sarah at Inklings Read is ALSO be doing a special GIVEAWAY!!!! Enter now through Nov. 13th!!**

Author: Nansi Kunze
Release Date: Out now (Oct. 1, 2011)
Publisher: Random House Australia
Received: Physical copy from publisher for review.


Alex Thaler can't wait to start her dream work experience placement at Virk, where staff from all over the world mingle in an astonishing virtual office. But when an employee is found murdered, the dream becomes a nightmare—because Alex is the prime suspect. Fortunately, Alex's friends are willing to brave shark tanks, disgusting pathology specimens, and even a nude beach in order to clear her name. Can a hippie chick, a goth girl in a lab coat, and two guys with a taste for blowing things up really help solve the mystery before Alex becomes the next victim?

The most intriguing thing about DANGEROUSLY PLACED by Nansi Kunze is the fact that it's a mystery novel. There are far too few of these for teens. There are plenty of whodunnit adventures for middle-grade and adults, but more often than not, teens get left out in the cold. This book was a refreshing change. On top of that, the mystery isn't one that's easily solved. Kunze deftly weaves together red herrings and actual clues to provide a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled page-turner. She definitely left me guessing and going back and forth between possibilities!

Alex Thaler thinks she has the best work experience placement. She beat out hundreds of other applicants for one of two available spots. Alex has always loved virtual reality games, and her new placement at Simulcorp takes VR to the extreme with its Virk program. Before work each day, she puts on a special suit and enters her virtual work environment. From stunning images of pink snow-capped and golden doors to the impossibilities of water-filled seats, her new office building goes beyond her wildest expectations. Her new mentor, Inge, is full of ambition and dominates the office, while the man she most closely works with, Budi, is a youth marketing specialist. On top of that, the other new work experience student is a hot guy named Dale who knows as much about Virk as Alex does. They both covet the internship opportunity that could come at the end of the work placement, but only one can get that spot. While the majority of Simulcorp employees live in the company's founding nation of Australia, many live around the world and connect in through the Virk network. Inge, for example, lives in Germany, while Budi lives in Indonesia. Alex is thrilled at the project she's working on with Dale, but when division head Pierce Grody is murdered and Alex discovers his body, the assignment goes from thrilling to scary. Because Grody lived in Australia and Alex was the one who found him, she's a suspect in his death. On top of that, she's now being stalked outside of work. She works with her school friends to figure out what's going on and try to find out who really killed Grody...before it's too late.

Kunze is great at characterization. She built her characters up, which makes readers suspect both everyone and no one at the same time. The storyline doesn't even go in the direction I initially thought it would as I began reading, adding to a more interesting reading experience. I really liked the way Kunze fleshed out Alex's circle of friends, especially Nix, whose work experience is taking place at a special effects studio that creates cool-looking commercials. There is genuine warmth and affection between the friends, which isn't always easy to pull off in writing. Kunze also manages to flesh out Alex's co-workers, of which Elena was the stand-out for me, evolving in more ways than I could have imagined. I loved all the twists and turns Kunze threw at us and never saw anything coming until she wanted me to. DANGEROUSLY PLACED is a great book to pick up if you want something unexpected and involving to read.


I think this cover is fun. I love the lines of binary code scrolling in the background, hinting at the fact that this book is computer/game related. I also like the transparent treatment of the font and the way it is also placed at an unusual angle. The blurb, "This work experience is going to be killer," tells a reader so much about what this book is about, so potential readers have an idea before even picking it up off the shelf. I also like the darkness of the model and whatever she's clutching/hiding behind. This is a great cover for a murder mystery novel!