On the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed...or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all 50 kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can't anticipate. It'll certainly cost him what's left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.
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This type of story isn't usually the type of Sci-Fi that I like to read/listen to. The books I normally buy are the space battle and future military-type novels. Somehow, this one stuck out to me. All in all, having finished the first 3 books, I'm, glad it did. The story focuses around a now orphaned teenager (Rath) in the slums of a backwater world. Despite his upbringing and lack of emphasis on education, he has a keen intelligence and photographic memory. After nearly getting caught pick-pocketing a cop, he is recruited by an underground assassin's guild know as the Janus Group. After a grueling initiation and testing phase, the Group offers him the same deal that it offers everyone who passes the tests: Become an assassin for the group and agree to make 50 kills. After 50 kills, you will be given 50% of the money made from your kills (making you insanely wealthy). Refuse to become an assassin, you die. Refuse to take a job, you die. Fail to make the kill, and you die. However, assassins live a life of luxury with all expenses paid, have access to the best medical and military technology, and receive performance-enhancing implants. The deal, especially for Rath who grew up in bitter poverty, is too good to pass up. The story follows Rath over years as he makes kills on gang lords, industrial spies, revolutionary leaders, and cheating spouses. Throughout the story, the main character struggles with the moral and ethical implications of his actions, and comes to wonder how much he can actually trust the Group. Several simultaneous story lines include a reporter tracking the rumors of an underground assassin's guild, and a police detective tracking mysterious deaths and murders. I really liked all of the different future tech that the book explored. It also had so really good characters and an excellent narration. I would definitely recommend this one. Lots of suspense, great story, very good narration, and well worth the credit.
- Striker "Sci-fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure, and YA Novels.
If it weren't for physics, law enforcement, and my medication, I'd be unstoppable!"
not much of a protagonist
Hard to get too excited for the protagonist in this story, given he is almost totally amoral. It's interesting in this far future they still have mobile phones and URLs. Mixed with flying cars and FTL, of course.