Sister Assassin (Known as Mind Games outside of the UK) by Keirsten White
Published by Harper Collins Childrens Books
3.5 out of 5 stars
Released: 19th Feb 2013
Format: eGalley (released in paperback and ebook preorder here)
Look at that cover. Just look at it, its cool, it invites you in – makes you expect brilliant, scribbly things. Does it deliver????
The story is told from two different points of view, first we have blind Annabel (Annie) and then her younger sister, Sofia (fia). The girls were orphaned at a young age, an event which Annie saw just moments before in a vision. They were sent to a special school, where Annie’s powers are honed, however it soon becomes apparent that Fia is special too – she has perfect instincts, as long as she listens to them she can’t go wrong, from picking stocks to pickpocketing. The school keep Annabel as a hostage and make Fia do their bidding, and even though her gut tells her its wrong, she can’t leave her sister behind. But something bad happened, Fia is broken in spirit and when she’s sent on a hit to murder a boy, Adam, she falters and saves the boy, now she’s put both herself and her sister in grave danger, and she must return to the hornets nest to make it right.
The reader is taken back in time to find out snippets of information through out the book, so eventually you get a picture of what actually happened to Fia, why she’s so sad and why she lets Adam go.
I loved the fact that neither of the leads were your stereotypical plain-jane, never-noticed in high school – but utterly brilliant, type roles. Both girls are troubled, Fia especially so, neither makes honourable choices because they’re not in an environment where theres any honour left, they make selfish choices with the only considerations being each other. Fia is a great character, she’s so dark and so troubled, she fits my ‘scribbly’ description brilliantly, she’s not really likeable, but she knows that and draws the reader in anyway. I wasn’t really a paranormalcy fan, I felt the books were written a little ‘young’ for me, but I can see the good parts of the series in this book.
The story is a little predictable, but the sisters relationship is the winning ingredient. There are some bits that are not really explained, like the ‘tap tap tap’ bit Fia’s got going on, I presume its a coping mechanism of some sort, but there’s no explanation offered. Similarly, why Annie’s blind is left unexplained, there are mentions of her going blind young, but no reasons as to why – leaving the reader unsure as to when/why its relevant, is her blindness only relevant because of the impact it has on Fia? The flicking between sisters and time is a little confusing in places, but the chapter headings generally help to guide the reader.
Overall it was an enjoyable read, its not going to make it to my must-read list, and its unlikely I’d buy a hard copy, but it is original and fun, and White has broken the mould for female leads, which is a really good thing. Troubles and depression are not treated as things to hideaway in this book, they are the key instigators in much of the plot, and the girls don’t just live with their troubles, they fight in-spite of them.
ARC/eGalley kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair, honest review.