ARC’s Review: The Perfect Assassin, where I run out of eyes to close.

Hello world! How are you? Are you ready for the weekend? I just want to get some rest and get some reading done so I am really looking forward to it! Today I am back with my ARC reviews. Before my blogging crisys, I was posting a lot of ARCs reviews (and I was way behind anyway!) and one of my goals to come back to blogging was to post less of them and more reviews of books that I loved and that I have read on my own volition. And so far so good, if I can say so myself! I loved the reviews I have posted so far (ok, there are just 2 of them, but two is better than nothing!) but I want to keep talking about the ARCs, too, and so, today I would use Wyrd and Wonder to talk to you about one of them!
To be honest, I waited to write a review of this book, and I thought it was because I hadn’t a lot to say about it. It turned out I was wrong, I had things to say, but nothing so good, or so it seems.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and to the editor. 

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Title: The Perfect Assassin
Author: K.A. Doore
Series: The Chronicles of Gahdid #1
Page count: 350
A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore’s The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series.
Divine justice is written in blood.
Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.
Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.
Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.

I may be a sucker for words like “Assassin” or “Thief”, so if you put one of those in your title I would want to read your book. It is as easy as that. And I had great expectations from this book, because not only we have a book about assassins, duh, but we have an interesting and  Middle Eastern setting, that was sooo calling to me!

But… well, things didn’t get as planned. Let me tell you from now that this is not a really bad book, it has some good points and if we keep in mind that this is a debut we may close one eye on something but for me, this book was a no, even if I finished it and enjoyed some part of it. What is for sure is that I won’t continue this series. I wish the best to the author, but our adventure together ends here.

On one hand, we have the world building, that was interesting and original but not enough. The idea behind it is good, I am not complaining, and I liked a lot Gahdid, the city in which the water is the most precious and needed possession and the angry spirits of the deads come back to haunt and hunt the living, but I was craving for more. It’s true that our MC doesn’t know a lot about the rest of the world so we won’t have help coming from him, and that’s ok, but for me, the ensemble was a little bit… lacking.
And, on the other hand, we have a story that is good, quite intriguing and with some action in it but… with not so much as a plot twist. I mean, nothing so unexpected about it. Nothing really surprising. So, again, good but not enough. Even with a lot going on, and even with an intriguing setting, sometimes I found myself bored while reading. And boredom was not what I was expecting from this book.

And then we have the biggest problem, from my point of view. The characters. Because even if I can close an eye on the world-building, that is a little bit green, if I can say so, and even if I can close an eye on the story, that is not the most compelling or intriguing or original ever, well… I have finished the eyes I can close! The point is that not all the characters are bad, that’s not true. But they are not so good. All of them. I can’t empathize much with the MC, and that’s not a big problem when you find at least another character to latch on, but… guess what? I couldn’t find any. And then we reach the sorest point of all the book, and nope, is not Amastan, even if he could have been so much more. He really has a ton of potentialities, because he’s original, intriguing and he could have been a good main lead but he’s lacking something, sadly. Anyway, nope, I am not referring to him. I am speaking about… drumroll, please… Tamella. For me, she’s the only remarkable character, but she’s remarkable for the wrong reasons.
When we meet her, she’s the trope of the mentor for the young hero. She was a great assassin, the one who is the most feared, and she’s the one who trains our little new assassins. She’s stern and inflexible, but she’s fair. But then things happen and she, and I want to underline that she’ s the adult in the story, changes. She completely changes. And there is not a real reason behind it. I mean, yes, something happens. And it is something really unpleasant, that’s true. But she changes personality. And that’s not normal. And from this point on… well, for me all went to hell.

And the thing is that she gives a chore, sort of, to Amastan. She chooses him to investigate on one mysterious death because she cannot take part in the investigation. And that’s ok, but she, an adult and really expert woman, tasks a young boy that has just passed his trial to become an assassin, so he’s just the rookiest of the rookies, with an almost impossible job.
And that’s that. She doesn’t help him in any way. and I don’t mean in the open, because she can’t, okay, but she doesn’t even try! She washes her hands of all of it, even if this is a thing that has great relevance for her, too, and call it a day. She doesn’t help him, and she hides some precious information from him, but when he doesn’t solve the mystery fast enough and the things went south, because we pass from one death to two or three, she blames him for all, because for her the new deaths are to blame on the poor boy. And that annoyed me, a lot! I was so pissed off with her (and with the author, because the things become less credible for me from this point on, and I stopped to enjoy the story altogether from here on).
I mean, this mentor-figure task a boy with an almost impossible task, he is the most inexperienced because he just passed his tests, and she doesn’t help him, and to be honest, she gave him an impossible task because she has trained him to become an assassin, not a detective! And this was the big WTF of the book. She is the best assassin ever, who train some new puppies as new assassins, and then she pretends that they became great detectives when they are wet behind their hears? Why? Where is the logic in that? It doesn’t make sense! At all!

So for me, Tamella was the big NOPE of all the book. I think that the author tried but didn’t manage to handle this character in the right way, and for me, all the story came crashing down from this. It was a shame.

So, yes, I gave this book a rating of 3, but it was just because I was feeling good and this is a debut because if I am really honest this is more a 2.75 than a real 3.

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I know that most of the reader enjoyed it, but for me… nope! And what about you? Did you read it?

Happy reading!
S.

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6 thoughts on “ARC’s Review: The Perfect Assassin, where I run out of eyes to close.

  1. Realms of My Mind says:

    I share your feelings! There was some interesting world-building here, but it just didn’t deliver when it came to characters or plot. It bugged me too that Tamella put the rookies in charge of an investigation so significant. Mostly, I felt annoyed that there were some very obvious things/people to investigate early in the story, and the MC completely ignored them (surprise, they were important).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

    OOF I can feel your frustrations through the screen. I’ve been interested in this one because it’s not everyday that we see a desert-based epic fantasy, but I feel like the characters would annoy me too much. Now I really want to know what events led to Tamella’s personality change!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: MAY WRAP UP!

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