Review: Assassins: Discord by Erica Cameron

29618746Kindra’s moral compass has never pointed north, but that’s what happens when you’re raised as an assassin and a thief. At sixteen, she’s fantastic with a blade, an expert at slipping through the world unnoticed, and trapped in a life she didn’t chose. But nothing in her training prepares her for what happens when her father misses a target.

In the week-long aftermath, Kindra breaks rank for the first time in her life. She steals documents, starts questioning who their client is and why the target needs to die, botches a second hit on her father’s target, and is nearly killed. And that’s before she’s kidnapped by a green-eyed stranger connected to a part of her childhood she’d almost forgotten.

Kindra has to decide who to trust and which side of the battle to fight for. She has to do it fast and she has to be right, because the wrong choice will kill her just when she’s finally found something worth living for.

Rating: ★★★½

I received an ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.

Being completely honest: I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book. I’m not the biggest fan of assassins in modern days so I went into Assassins: Discord with very low expectations. And well, I was surprised (at first, at least).

First, because of the writing. I loved it. It’s sharp and efficient and totally fits the tone of the book and the story. Second, because the first half of this book is absolutely breathtaking. I-need-to-find-out-what-happens-now kind of breathtaking. Assassins: Discord has everything a good action movie would have: assassination attempts (duh), car chases, bombs exploding, lots of guns and knives, etc. It is good. Really good.

But then the story kind of loses its steam after the midpoint. That is, more or less when Kindra and Dru get stuck together (kind of), which is sad because the world needs more f/f couples, but they didn’t work for me. I didn’t dislike them or anything, but I didn’t really feel their romance. It happens way too fast and since Assassins: Discord is a very plot-driven book, the characters don’t have much space to be, let alone to build relationships. I found the romance kind of awkward.

To my surprise, the more well-developed characters for me were Odira, Amett and Sera, Kindra’s parents and sister. I didn’t like them (is it even possible to like Odira?), but they seemed very real, which many of the other characters didn’t do. Odira’s characterization in particular was very well done, but overall, I don’t think the characters are this book’s strong point. Honestly, though, I would have loved it anyway if the story didn’t sag after 50%. And, well, I can’t point out exactly why that happened – maybe the pacing? The not so interesting chase? The complete change of scenery/characters?

Anyway, I will read the next volume if I have the opportunity, but it isn’t my priority.

I do appreciate how diverse Assassins: Discord is, though. Kindra herself is bi, Dru is either bi or lesbian, there is an intersex character (very minor but it’s there) and an asexual character.

Unfortunately, the character who maybe would have made me want to read the next book isn’t going to show up again, so there is that. 3.5 stars.

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