Rating: 2.25 stars
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Kita is the ISBF’s best assassin, but that status doesn’t save him when he stumbles across information that was better left hidden. Instead of surrendering the information as directed, Kita finds himself refusing and is tortured as a result. In an attempt to finally break him, his captors send Kita to Babylon prison, assuming those imprisoned will break Kita one way or another.
Jacen McKenna is in Babylon for a reason, but as head of the Blood Crown gang, he has near complete control of its guards, trade, and even the warden himself. When Kita is assigned as his cell mate, Jacen is initially disgruntled. The human/fae hybrid clearly doesn’t want help, but it becomes clear Kita won’t survive on his own. As Jacen struggles to keep Kita alive, he must deal with his growing attraction to the man, an attraction that could change their lives forever.
I’m not really sure where to start with The Warrior’s Assassin except to say I really disliked it. The story was garbled and choppy and because of its excessively quick pacing, there was no time for character development. We aren’t really even given a chance to know these characters; instead, I felt dragged along as Jacen and Kita are used to prop up poorly constructed scenes that added very little to the overall plot. Additionally, consider yourself warned: rape is an overly significant theme and occurs on page multiple times.
I want talk a bit more about the issue of rape in this book. I found it to be excessive, gratuitous, and without real purpose. I realize Kita and Jacen are in a prison, but rape seemed to be the only topic of real conversation — who it was happening to, why, and when it would happen again. It was frankly offensive and I’m not easy to offend. I tend to enjoy darker themes within fiction, but I feel like things like rape must be used for some specific reason and should not become gratuitous. Unfortunately, The Warrior’s Assassin failed on every level when it came to this.
I also didn’t feel as though either Jacen or Kita were well developed characters; they could have been cardboard caricatures for all the depth they had. I wasn’t invested in their story and felt everything about their relationship was forced and awkward. There was nothing solid or realistic in their behaviors, most of which seemed a product of uncontrollable biology, rather than genuine desire. I also felt as though I was dumped into the middle of an overall story that was already in progress and never had a full grasp of the political or social situation. Had the author taken just a few pages to build out the world more completely, I think this problem would have been avoided. Part of the issue here was the pacing. It moved far too quickly and, as a result, there was no time to process anything.
I can’t recommend The Warrior’s Assassin. There were simply too many issues for my taste, from an unwieldy and often underdeveloped plot, characters who lacked much dimension, and an over-dependence on rape as a story device. I’d have to suggest giving this one a pass