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So you've been put into a death camp prison mine at age 17. No one survives this death camp prison. You were there for 2 years. And you're the world's most powerful assassin; the queen of the underworld. And you've seen your people bled to death and you're full of rage and the milk of revenge.
So of course, when you're freed, the first thing you're going to do is become a total airhead and totally like fall in love with two guys because OMG one is like a total Prince, but the other one is like soooo loyal and stalwart. And of course, you will totally eat lots of amazing chocolates that will be listed out individually, because chocolate is like sooo delicious, right?
Don't get me wrong. I've been known to enjoy some full on romance fantasy adventures. I've read and enjoyed Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series, and one of those books, the one with Justin and the Lirren girl with the starry hair? That shit was as cheesy and romantic as it gets.
I've even read the first of 4521 trilogies in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel Cycle. So don't think that I'm all EWWW, because of the elements of romance that this novel trots out. I'm not all EWWW, I'm all PLEEEEEEZE, because it just doesn't make any sense How are you going to be the world's most powerful assassin and the queen of the underworld and be a total napkin as well?
Anyway. That's what you get.
380 of 433 people found this review helpful
This was an ok yarn, and Sarah J Mass writes proficiently. That said, she readily re-hashes the tropes of the female YA market - if I read another YA where a young woman is torn between two young men I think I’ll scream!
My biggest gripe is with the central character. The set up is obviously aiming at her being a gritty survivor in the mould of Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games series. However, she quickly turns into a bit of a girlie girl, far too caring and emotional for someone supposed to be a professional assassin. Also for someone trained as an assassin from a young age, she seems to lack some basic coordination skills - unable to handle a pool cue without instruction? - really? (Btw - Sarah should look up billiards on Wikipedia, they are clearly playing American pool in that scene. It’s not an important point, but shows a laziness with research).
Both character and writer only really begin to show their potential in the final fight scene. This was well written and tense, and you could see signs of the assassin breaking through.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad story and I don’t regret spending the credit. It’s just that with a little more polish it could have been good, possibly even great. I have just purchased the second in the series to see if the potential is better realised in that one.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Sarah J. Maas or narrated by Elizabeth Evans?
Not in this series. The underlying premise is interesting - female assassin, training camp for bad guys, unknown mission - but the world building is very limited and the main character is highly unconvincing. This is my main problem with the audiobook and in the end the reason I could not finish the book. A hardened female assassin who has killed 20+ guards trying to escape from the prison mine, undergone a brutal training regime with a master criminal with many assassinations under her belt essentially acts like a naive teenager in almost all the situations she is faced with. There are so many inconsistencies between the "super assassin" premise and how she actually behaves it becomes impossible for the story to hold any credibility. Comparisons to GoT or the Name of the Wind are utterly misplaced. The narration is good, but cannot redeem the story.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
performance was good. but the characters lacked reality and substance that would have made them relatable.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
It gets more interesting two-thirds the way through but mostly just a mix of things from other, better novels of the genre. Dialogue and characters frustratingly underdeveloped, nothing really clever or innovative about the storyline or the world in which it is set. Writing style and narration tolerable after a while.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful