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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

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Published: February 2nd 2016 by HarperTeen
ISBN13: 9780062363787


Synopsis from Goodreads

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

Review - 3.25 Stars

Assassin's Heart has been on my book radar for ages and I was highly anticipating it's release, it got onto my Top Ten 2016 Debuts Novels list and I also did a Waiting on Wednesday post about it. However, then the reviews started to appear (mainly around the three star mark) and my anticipation for the book stared to go down hill, the release date came and went and I still hadn't pick up this book! Finally at the beginning of April I decided that I needed to look into the reviews a bit more (see if the few I had read were the norm or ones that had 'extreme' opinions) and I did a review collection. The results from this collection showed that 3 stars was the norm but there was still some who raved about it's greatness and other who DNFed it, so I bought it to see for myself. On with my thoughts....
So as you can tell from my (3.25 Star) rating I also had some issues with this book so I am going to split this review into two lists:  the things I liked and the things that brought my rating down.

Things I Liked:

I enjoyed the beginning of this book - I liked the whole forbidden love situation especially since you know that Val is going to be a suspect (a the blurb tells you). I also enjoyed exploring this new fantasy world.
Got to love the assassin Families - I will give any books which features female assassins or mob families from a female POV a try and I liked to see how the females in this society had about the same respect, responsibility and status within the families as the males.
I liked the world and the cities in which this book is set - I liked the contrast between, and uniqueness of, the two cities which the book is set. It was also interesting to try and work out the religious system (makes a change from working out the magic system).
No love-triangle -  when I heard that we had a Val and a Les I was worried that we were going to get a love triangle but fear not, Lea is clear about her opinions.

Things I Didn't Like

The religious aspect of this book was strange and seems to be used to help justify the legalisation of murder. I also felt it was used as a bit of 'get out of jail free' card -by the author- at some points when impossible situations were created, that Lea couldn't get out of by herself.  
Lea, oh Lea! - let me start my saying I like her generally as a main character but there were points when she just got on my nerves. My main issue was that she was so focused on revenge that she blocks everything and everyone else out, the quote below gives an example of this.
The middle of the book -  I enjoyed the beginning of this book it was an adventure of heartbreak and a wonderful introduction to this strange new world for the read,  and the end of this book is also full of action. However, in the middle there is maybe 150-200 pages were I felt it just dragged on, and on, she is so focused on revenge but she does nothing about it. I understand that she doesn't feel that she had what she needed to succeed but it just infuriated me, and it took me a while to plod through that section of the book.  For example her Family is killed about page 50  and the quote below is from page 280.
The blurb - I am not sure which list the blurb should go into as it is after all what drew me into reading the book, but no the other-hand I think it also tells the reader a bit too much about the book.

Have you read this book, what are your thoughts? Or have you still got it on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.