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
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.