19 February 2013

Sister Assassin by Kiersten White

Sister Assassin by Kiersten White
Mind Games #1
Release Date: February 19, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Goodreads Stars: 2
Rating: Bland

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? - Goodreads

As someone who enjoyed Paranormalcy, I was expecting great things from this novel. Especially given the hype around it. As it turns out, I seem to enjoy Kiersten White's books less and less as time goes on. I don't know what's happening, but it seems as though less and less effort is being put into them as time goes by. 

Sister Assassin - known as Mind Games in the US, but I guess the UK wanted to be different or something - is pitched as an action packed novel about two sisters with extraordinary powers, set in a school for people like them. Well, pretty much everything about this book disappointed me. I found the entire thing very bland and boring, and even underdeveloped in most places.

I think my biggest issue with this book was the writing style. Along with everything else, it was boring. I wasn't captivated beyond the first chapter, which is probably one that the author spent the most time on since the first chapter is usually deemed the most important of the whole novel. White did a good job with that one, but seriously, after it was over the whole book went downhill. 

The novel is told from the points of view of the two sisters, Annie and Fia. Honestly, I couldn't tell the two girls apart if I tried. I know that Annie is blind and has visions of the future, and Fia is someone with great instincts, but that's all I know about them. They didn't have a unique voice at all, so I couldn't even find something interesting to focus on when I switched chapters. They were pretty much exactly the same!

In addition to the alternating POVs, this book also alternates between the past and the present. It was very off putting, and the flashbacks didn't seem to have much to do with the present day. Maybe it was meant to be a way of revealing things slowly, but there was nothing that I wanted to see revealed so... What was the point in having so many flashbacks? The voices in the flashbacks also sounded the same, which is a little ridiculous because some flashbacks were from many years before. 

There is also a stupid love triangle between Fia and two guys. I can only see it getting worse as the series continues. I wasn't invested in either of the relationships, because they just weren't developed enough! I think White tried to develop Fia's relationship with James in the flashbacks, but the end result was me cringing over them and hating on James because there was way too much focus on him. 

Due to all the focus on the romance, there wasn't enough action. If I'm reading a book about a girl who's meant to be a badass assassin, I want to see her take down a lot of bad guys! The scene in the first chapter was great, so it's clear to me that the author CAN write good action scenes. I don't know why there weren't more. I don't even know where the climax of this story was, or what happened in it, because I was bored to death.

I also wanted to make a brief comment about the writing (again). When a character shouted, the dialogue was written in all caps. This is something that I hate (although I often do it myself with random words) because that is what punctuation is for. I'm not writing a novel here, so I feel as though I can put some words in upper-case for emphasis. But to do it regularly in a novel - and with whole sentences, might I add - is silly, and it becomes grating. 

Overall, Sister Assassin/Mind Games definitely wasn't Troll-worthy, because it didn't give me enough emotions to hate on it. It was just dull all over, and while I was reading I just wanted it to end. 


  1. Oh, thank goodness. I had to set this aside because I just wasn't interested. I got it off Netgalley so I'll have to read it, but I like Kiersten White and expected to enjoy this :(. Great review, Amber.

  2. Great review. I was really excited for this when I saw it a while back. The reviews seem to be a little back and forth. I might just wait to see if my library is going to carry. :(

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  3. I haven't read anything by this author (I've been meaning to read Paranormalcy for ages ><) but I had come across this book and was wanting to read it. I've seen a few reviews that mention the writing style and the fact it's a bit offputting so definitely something I'll consider. I'll probably try a sample of it first before I decide whether I read it and see whether it'll bother me. Enjoyed your review - really helpful!

    Sarah @ TotalTeenFiction

  4. Yea, I think it's kind of annoying that they titled them differently & have different covers (US & UK) - I guess they have focus groups or something that help decide that, ::shrug:: I dunno. Sorry it didn't turn out to be so good! This one didn't call out to me to read ASAP, but was still interested in it. Great review! <3

  5. At first, I was so confused by the title but then I finally understood. :P I don't know if this is my type of book, and your review just confirmed that. I might try her Paranormalcy eventually tho. Great review!

    1. Plus, the caps would just get on my nerves as well. That's overkill.

  6. I was really expecting to love this book, but after your review, I'm worried. I think most of the things you've mentioned will annoy me to. Flashbacks without purpose, no distinct voice, a love-triangle, oh boy.



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