Sister Assassin by Kiersten White
Author: Kiersten White Website|Twitter
Published: 19 February 2013 (HarperCollins Children's Books)
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Source: Borrowed from library
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
She never chose her deadly gift but now she’s forced to use it. How far would you go to protect the only family you have left?
Annie is beset by fleeting strange visions and a guilty conscience. Blind and orphaned, she struggles to care for her feisty younger sister Fia, but things look up when both sisters are offered a place at Kessler School for Exceptional Girls.
Born with flawless intuition, Fia immediately knows that something’s wrong, but bites her tongue… until it’s too late. For Fia is the perfect weapon to carry out criminal plans and there are those at Kessler who will do anything to ensure her co-operation.
With Annie trapped in Kessler’s sinister clutches, instincts keep Fia from killing an innocent guy and everything unravels. Is manipulative James the key to the sisters’ freedom or an even darker prison? And how can Fia atone for the blood on her hands?
I'd been wanting to read this author for a while, so when I was at the library and both this and Paranormalcy were staring at me from the shelves, I snapped them up. I started this one first because it was shorter! Sister Assassin (published as Mind Games in the US) follows Fia and Annie, two sisters who are being trained to use their special abilities.
Instantly I fell in love with the writing style. The book alternates between Annie and Fia's perspective, and it was Fia's POV that I particularly enjoyed. She has a very unique inner monologue with her thoughts running at a hundred miles per hour. I think it helped me feel for her as well because she's carrying a lot of worry and guilt. It just gave her a really distinctive voice throughout the book and it was fascinating getting inside her head when there are so many thoughts rushing around.
Before starting Sister Assassin, I'd been keen to read more books that had a focus on the relationship between sisters. That was another thing I loved about this book. I thought the relationship between Fia and Annie really pulled at the heartstrings. They both want to look out for each other and protect each other and that bond between them was really strong. I thought it made for a really interesting dynamic that Annie is the elder sister, yet is the one who has to be protected because she's so vulnerable.
There were some great action scenes where Fia has to fight, and I liked the idea that the girls were being trained to use their schools. I think it will appeal to fans of books like the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. Whilst it made for some exciting scenes, I was hoping to find out a bit more about the bigger picture. I left the book not really understanding why Annie and Fia were in the situation they were in. I think the mystery was intentional in places, but some parts just left me confused and wanting to know more.
The book alternates between chapters set in the present and past, with some chapters taking place years beforehand. The flitting back and forth in time was great as an introduction to the girls and their history, but as it carried on I started to lose my place in the world and the story and if I put the book down for a while, I'd lose track of what period of time we were in when I returned to it.
It's a hard book to review, because I did like it. I loved the characters and it held my attention. It's quite a short book and by the end I started to realise I wasn't going to get some of the answers and clarification I was hoping for, because it just ran out of pages. So I enjoyed being caught up in the story but I was left a bit confused. I haven't ruled out reading the next book in the series, but I think I'd need a reread before progressing.
What to read next: Perfect Lies by Kiersten White, book 2 in the Mind Games series
Books like this: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter