Author: Kiersten White
Series: Mind Games, #1
Release: February 19th 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
The first thing you need to know about Sister Assassin (or Mind Games, title of the US edition) is that it’s absolutely thrilling. Ferguson, my Kindle, was temporarily unavailable so I was forced to read it on my iPhone and my eyes nearly fell out, but I couldn't stop. Not for a second. I wouldn't have stopped to save my life.
Sister Assassin is a story about two sisters, Fia and Annie, and the narrative is divided between their two points of view. It also jumps back and forth in time, and these flashbacks (both Annie’s and Sofia’s) allow us to fill in the crucial backstory. The sisters live in a boarding school for talented girls. Annie is blind, but she is also a Seer, able to predict the future to a certain extent. However, the real asset is Fia, for whose talent there isn’t even a proper name. Her instinct, the tiny voice that tells right from wrong, never fails her. She always knows the best course of action, even when she doesn’t understand the reason.
Her ability doesn’t really help her defend herself from the school and its owner, Mr. Keane, when he starts holding Annie hostage in order to force Fia to do his bidding. She’s a girl who can do anything – predict stocks, steal anything they need, kill and get away with it. She always knows which road to take if she needs to get away.
In the process of training her, they completely broke her. Fia is a disorganized mess of violent thoughts and White’s writing reflected this perfectly. I honestly didn’t think that she, as a writer, was capable of such a thing. It reminded me just a bit of Tahereh Mafi, and you all know how I feel about her. In Annie’s chapters, the writing was more balanced, but Fia’s was full of jumbled, disjointed sentences and repetitiveness. It was the perfect way to keep the damage that was done to her constantly present in the reader’s mind.
In this room I have picked which gun was unloaded out of ten options. And then they pulled the trigger on me. I have picked stocks that went on to skyrocket. I have picked which pencil I would shove into Ms. Robertson’s ear until she kicked me out for thinking about it.
Ms. Robertson, you see, is Mr. Keane’s secretary and a (mind) Reader. The school also has Seers, and Feelers (empaths). Under their watchful eye, it’s almost impossible to plan a successful escape, but Fia is better trained than any of them and she has her own ability to help her.
The romance was completely unconventional, and all the more exciting because of it. Sofia had no idea whom she could trust, and neither did I. I liked James a lot, but his every action was morally dubious, and it was precisely that that made him perfect for Fia in a sad, twisted way. Theirs is a romance I resisted for as long as I could because I felt that a part of it is rotten at its core, but in the end I had no choice but to accept it and want it for both of them.
Make sure to have a free afternoon when you decide to read this book. You will not be able to put it down, that much I can promise you, it will consume your every thought. Sister Assassin doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, but things are far from resolved. The ending IS an ending, but it is also a promise of a great second installment. I’m in. How about you?