Friday, 22 March 2013

Sister Assassin by Kiersten White

Series: Sister Assassin, Book One
American Name: Mind Games
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Format: ARC
Published: 19th February 2013
Number of Pages: 302
Book: For Review*
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Action-Adventure, Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Death, Alcohol References
No Drug References
Author's Site: Kiersten Writes

7 years ago our parents died.
5 years ago we came to this prison.
4 years ago I found out the truth.
3 years ago she killed for the first time.
An hour ago we fought back.
THEY are the ones who need to watch out.
Two sisters stand together in a world determined to blow their lives apart.
Hanna meets The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the slickest, grittiest, most compelling thriller you’ll read all year.

I read this book last year.  I can still remember it so clearly.  Or, more precisely, the things it made me feel.  I fell totally in love with two sisters.  I had my heart broken by the pain they felt, by the way one was so very broken I myself shattered.  By the guilt and pain and hopelessness the other felt on her behalf.  I found myself laughing as my heart literally ached, smiling through tears and once I had finished... I just sat trying, and failing, to pull myself together.  I couldn't.  This story, these girls, this... everything... destroyed me.  Like, literally.  I only have to freaking think about it to feel myself tearing up.  Definitely not something I'd expect from a book about assassins, that's for sure.  
Ok, I'm gonna go on with this review before I start crying again.  And yes, it's still that freaking bad.  Quite amazing really, when you think about it...
“The moment he bends over to help the sorrow-eyed spaniel puppy, I know I won't be able to kill him. 
“This, of course, ruins my entire day.”
Fia never wanted to do this.  She doesn't want to kill people.  She doesn't want this gift, the thing that made her valuable in the first place.  She doesn't want to be stuck here, killing on command. 
But she doesn't have a choice.  She has to do this.  If she doesn't, they will hurt her sister Annie, the only family she has left.  And it is her job to look after Annie.
Only when Fia's target rescues a puppy, Fia knows she can't do it.  She can't kill him – her instincts are screaming for her not to.  And her instincts are always, always right. 
It's then everything begins to unravel...
Annie is used to control Fia, kept prisoner at Kessler's School for Exceptional Girls, a school that uses girls with unique abilities.  She may be blind, but Annie is a Seer.  She knows everything her sister has done.  She is told to watch Fia constantly and report what she sees. 
But she doesn't.  She lies to those controlling them.  To protect her sister. 
But Annie is haunted by a terrible secret, one that threatens to destroy girls just like her and Fia.  She's haunted by a future too – a future she can feel but can't reach.  Not here in this prison.  Not with her sister being abused like she is. 
Separated and running out of time, the two sisters have to find a way out – permanently. 
But they won't be able to just walk away.  No, they will need to fight back to be free.  Fight back and risk everything...
I love White's Paranormalcy, so when I saw her name on this book, obviously I wanted it.  But then I saw the title: Sister Assassin.  And, OMG, I so wanted it!  I have a wee bit of an obsession with assassins at the minute – blame Nikita, Throne of Glass and Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick.  I don't know why, because, duh, they should be the bad guys, but I love watching shows and books humanise the person behind the smoking gun.  How they are so damaged and hurt and didn't have a real choice...
Anyway, I thought I knew what to expect in Sister Assassin.  But while it had White's key wittiness and amazing characters, it was so much more too.  It was beautiful and devastating and totally addictive.  It says in my blurb that it is the "most compelling thriller you'll read all year".  And it is.  TOTALLY.  And I've read a hell of a lot of thrillers this year.  And I think it is the first thriller ever that's made me cry.  Oh yeah.  You'll cry.  These girls will just break your heart and make you love them so much it hurts.  I can't wait for more!
The characters were amazing – seriously.  They always are.  They’re so real and 3D.  All of them.  But especially the girls, who I love so freaking much it's actually nuts.  Fia…  God, she was so very broken.  It literally broke my heart, seeing what they’d done to her – what they’d made her do.  I loved her snark and wit, how kickbutt she was.  She was just so, so broken.  They called her a monster.  She killed.   But she only ever wanted to protect Annie.  She only ever cared about Annie.  She broke my heart, I loved her so much.  And Annie, well, she was so strong and smart and caring.  I loved her dry sense of humour, and how when a guard offered to help her, she comes back with telling him yes, he could open a window.  Why? he asks.  "So you can throw yourself out of it", of course.  LOL!  She was broken too, not as much as Fia, but broken.  And I loved her too – so much.
The bond between the sisters was so, so strong. They loved one another so much and always looked out for one another, gave up so much...   It was sweet and so, so heart-breaking.  Heart-breaking…  I loved these two broken girls so, so much – so much it's silly, really, given the book is only a little over 300 pages.  Yeah, I mentioned how wonderful White's characters are, right? Well, here are ramblings about a few more...
Eden: loved her, how kind she was to Annie.  Adam was a real sweetie.  James… I could never make my mind up about this bloody boy.  I hated his guts and wanted to tear him to pieces one moment.  The next, I swear I was falling in love with him.  I mean, how can he do that to me?!?!
The writing had all of White's wittiness and.... MULTIPLE POVS!   Yessss!  I love it when we get sibling perspectives, rather than love interests.  And I loved that the girls sounded so different.  But seriously, what is it with Miss White and writing books that make me smile or laugh one moment and then break my heart the next?  Needless to say, White's writing is completely out of this world.   And the plot was just non-stop action.  I loved the suspense and action.  What I loved more was that we had chapters about past events in the sisters’ lives, giving us a full background, while giving us the action-packed present at the same time.  And just like the Seers can’t see Fia because she never plans, I was completely blank about the whole plot.  Literally.  I had no clue what would happen next.  It was so bleeping addictive and I need so much more of it all – I’ve been left satisfied but with a million questions and an all-consuming need for more more more!
The school.  We were kind of thrown into the deep end with the world and the abilities – thrown in the deep end full of suspense and action and adrenaline.  I loved that sense of knowing but not understanding, of not really knowing where you stand, if that makes any sense?  It added to the excitement of it all.  Also, I feel like this could all be happening like right now, for some reason... creepily...  Some complaints though: we are never actually told what the school is called.  Ergo: I can't WAIT for the next book so I can find out more about the school and world.  I have so, so, so many questions about EVERYTHING!!
This book was just so much more than I thought it would be.  White has an amazing ability to totally knock my socks off every time I pick up one of her books.  She takes a pretty common genre/subject and makes it into something new and amazing and exciting and perfect.  Like with the assassins.  She made two so very damaged and amazing girls as our leads.  And don't even get me started on the action...
Needless to say, I adored Sister Assassin.  And when I say 'Sister Assassin', I mean every single thing about this book.  I really can't think of a single freaking bad thing to say.  Honest to God I can't.  Sister Assassin is as freaking close to perfection as it is humanely possible to get.  Sure, that makes me sound like a totally crappy reviewer, but so what?  It's what I believe.  
Oh wait.  Just thought of a negative:
Sister Assassin was far too freaking short.  I need a million more pages ASAP!
But seriously.  Please oh pleasee oh pleaasee give me a sequel soon.  Miss White, please?
But, God, Kiersten White!  Why must you break my heart EVERY SINGLE TIME I read one if your books?!  WHY?! :'( 
Oh, and Fia wasn't a monster you gits, she was just broken as hell.  So there. 

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading
* This book was received from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review

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