Thursday, June 10, 2010

ARC Review: Assassin's Honor by Monica Burns

Description from Goodreads:
A woman with visions of the past...

Archeologist Emma Zale sees the past when she touches ancient relics. It’s how she uncovered evidence of an ancient order of assassins—the Sicari. When a sinfully dark stranger shows up on her Chicago doorstep demanding an ancient artifact she doesn’t have, he drags her into a world where telekinesis and empaths are the norm. Now someone wants her dead, and her only hope of survival is an assassin who’s every bit as dangerous to her body as he is to her heart.

Bonded to an honorable assassin...

Ares De Luca comes from an ancient Roman bloodline of telekinetic assassins. A Sicari, he’s honor bound to kill only in the name of justice. But when the woman he loved was murdered, Ares broke the Sicari code and used his sword for revenge. Love cost him dearly once before, and he’s not willing to pay the price again. At least not until hot, sweet, delectable Emma walked into his life. Not only does she hold the key to a valuable Sicari relic, she might just hold the key to his heart.

Their dangerous passion will redeem an assassin's honor.

This book had a lot of potential. The archeology with ruins and ancient artifacts of ancient orders was a premise that could have been so cool. The writing was fairly well done, which is a major thing for me. Nothing can kill a book for me like poor writing. Even if it has a great concept.

Unfortunately it was ruined a bit by the rather annoying heroine and the overly self castigating hero.

The heroine was frustrating for me because at times she could seem so reasonable, at least in her mental narration, but as soon as she opened her mouth she reminded me of a rabid puppy. She consistently jumped to wrong conclusions for most of the book and basically conducted herself like a bull in a china shop. I also was annoyed because she had good instincts and yet she consistently chose to ignore them. Why must heroines do this? Does it make them cute and feisty to be loud, biting and ignore common sense? Not for me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a heroine that can give as good as she gets and isn't all fluff and even ones with a sharp tongue, but foaming at the mouth with misplaced righteous indignation does nothing for me. Furthermore, her overly guilt ridden attitude and fear of her abilities when she did something justifiable out of self defense got really old for me. You don't have to be a flower child to be an acceptable heroine in my book. And with as sharp a tongue as she had, she was no flower child to begin with.

The hero was better and generally more likable, but his constant need to be the biggest martyr ever was very tiresome for me. I wanted to tell him to climb down off the cross and join the rest of the world. His devotion to his order was admirable, but I found little that I liked about the order so it also seemed irritating at times. Many times it seemed to be just another tool he used to flog himself over his lost honor. Considering the flaws in his order I don't see how he, as one of the most honorable and noble in the order, had ever really lost his honor to begin with. Again, that is just my view, I understand that other people will perceive that differently.

The romance was nice and often times refreshing in the way that although they had many spats and misunderstandings (often because of Emma's love of jumping to wrong conclusions) they really did seem to get over them quickly when they would stop long enough to discuss it rationally. Sadly the romance was bogged down by Ares constantly beating himself up about the relationship and Emma also beating him up about the relationship. I know that sounds harsh, but it honestly felt like that a lot of times. In her head, Emma would try to see it from Ares' perspective and be reasonable, but as soon as she would open her mouth bitterness and assumptions would pour forth.

Overall, the book was entertaining, but for me, fairly forgettable. I was frustrated because I saw flashes of good writing and great potential in this story, but the characters were never able to deliver on that promise.

My final grade is a C+

I know that many fans of paranormal romance are going to enjoy this one, it just didn't stand out from the crowd for me.


Anonymous said...

Just. yeaaaaah. I am glad I'm not the only one. I was reading the Goodreads reviews and thought I was taking crazy pills or something and reading a different book.

The Queen B said...

LOL, well considering I'm not on my pills....
Really though, I'm glad I'm not the only one, too. Being a rabid bitch and an emo martyr does not a smexy time make for me. Smooches!!

Mandi said...

I liked this one...but I totally get the problems with Emma.

I honestly can't think of anything else to say. Lame comment..sigh... Need coffee.

The Queen B said...

@Mandi *waves* Hey there! LOL, it's all good. I think I just wanted it to be better, ya know?

Fiction Vixen said...

I enjoyed this one. Didn't hate Emma but I understand your issues with her and the wrong conclusions etc.

The Queen B said...

@FV I think what was hardest was that it had potential and she made sense sometimes so I knew she could, then she'd turn around and be uber annoying. LOL. But that's just me. I'm glad it worked for you. Muah!

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