Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski

Rating: 2 stars

Series: In the Company of Killers #1

I thought this was going to be a dark, twisted story. Well it wasn’t at least not by my standards anyway. Sure a lot of people died in it, but they were all minor characters that barely had page time or were just horrible people. Sarai had been held captive for 9 years. She escaped with the help of an assassin Victor. The man who had her desperately wanted her back, so Sarai and Victor were on the run.

The romance was practically nonexistent. Victor and Sarai had no chemistry. Victor was a hit man who had no personal life because it interfered with his ability to do his job. He went out of his way to help Sarai, but it was never explained why. And Victor had no personality at all, and he stayed that way for the entire book. A few chapters were from his POV, and he still seemed cold and emotionless.

Sarai was nonsensical. Her thoughts about others were sometimes contradictory. She had issues since she was held against her will as a drug lord’s mistress. She really didn’t seem that fucked up considering, but all of the other characters kept mentioning how abnormal she was. It was stated often that she wouldn’t be capable of living a normal life, but nothing about her really indicated that. Once the story went in the direction of her turning into a cold, calculating killer because of her past, it felt forced because most of the time she was the one begging others not to kill people. I definitely won’t read the next one.

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Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Rating: 3 stars

Series: His Fair Assassin #3

His Fair Assassin trilogy was wrapped up with this book. It was by far my least favorite in the trilogy. Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph were absolutely amazing with strong independent female main characters. Annith was all of those things, but she lacked the bold ferocity the main characters of the other two books had. Her personality gave the book a different tone. It had a slower pace and lacked all of the action. There was action just not as much in the others. For some reason Annith did not draw me in. She went on an adventure because she was forced into remaining on the sidelines at the convent, but even as she reached her friends and the duchess, she still remained on the sidelines for the most part. She was present when many of the political decisions were made, but she had little to do with the decision making process. Some of those scenes felt stilted because she was simply observing everyone else.

More was revealed about Mortain, the god of death. He intrigued me in the first two novels although his appearances were extremely brief. The god of death was fair and just without being dark and cruel. It was an interesting perspective on him. Another side of him was shown in this. Sadly it did not make him appear strong or godly for that matter. He was sad and lonely. I like the idea of human emotions being attributed to gods, but he came off as somewhat pathetic especially with his choices at the end.

It was expressed that the pagan gods were changing because people’s current beliefs in them were. I didn’t particularly enjoy this concept. It’s the same as saying that if people stopped believing they would fade from existence or at least all of their powers would be stripped, which in that case they aren’t really gods but figures of the imagination. Shouldn’t a god be a god regardless of people’s faith in them? This is a matter of personal taste more than anything, and this wasn’t a major factor in the story anyway.

The writing was excellent, but it wasn’t enough to save the story. There some minor issues. Annith and Balthazaar’s romance felt way too rushed. It had somewhat of an insta-love feel. There were reasons for that, but they didn’t justify the attraction for me. There was also the mystery of Annith’s birth. All of that was revealed but wasn’t all that hard to figure out. Still this was a good read, and it wrapped up all of the overarching political plotlines nicely.