Friday, May 28, 2010

Review: Assassin's Honor by Monica Burns

Title: Assassin's Honor
Series: Order of the Sicari
Author: Monica Burns
Read copy: Paperback
Published: June 1, 2010
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 0425234169
ISBN-13: 9780425234167

Archeologist Emma Zale sees the past when she touches 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 artifact she doesn't have, he drags her into a world where telekinesis and empaths-someone who can sense the emotions of others- 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.

My rating:

This is probably the hardest review I've written to date, because this could've been an amazing story. I loved the universe Ms. Burns has created, the story was hot'n'steamy, action-packed (ooh, the sword-fighting), bitter-sweet, tender in all the right moments, angsty...

Unfortunately it also had a huge problem. A problem that ruined everything that was good in it, obliterating all the enjoyment I could have gotten by reading it. A problem named Emma Zale. The heroine.
I know there aren't many heroines out there that I like, but Emma was in that small group of heroines I positively hate. That small club of heroines that should be killed in the first or second chapter to make space for someone more reasonable...And I freely admit I wished Ares left her to die in that alley and simply moved on. Alas, it didn't happen.

Emma was selfish, stubborn to the point of TSTL, judgmental, prejudiced, and she had no idea what she really wanted. Ares just didn't do anything right. If he kept quiet she got mad, if he told her everything she got mad, if he lied she got mad, if he told the truth she got mad and didn't believe him, if he tried to protect her she got mad, if he loved her she got mad, if he got mad she got even madder...Make up your mind, already!

Usually such heroines change their annoying ways somewhere in the middle of the story, once they get used to the new world their hero inhabits, and to all the changes around them. Well, one again Emma was the exception. She was on a roll, baby, and she wasn't stopping.
I usually deter from using denigrating words when it comes to women, but Emma was a bitch of the highest order. And also the first heroine (and I hope the last) that made me develop a headache while reading her book.

In the end all I had left from the promising book was the deep pity I felt for Ares for having ended up with Emma. Poor guy.
I have high hopes for Lysander and Phaedra's story, though. I don't think it could get any worse in the heroine department.

P.S. I won't even delve into the whole linguistics issue, though in a few instances the use of (erroneous) Italian truly bothered me. But, as I mentioned in my update status, maybe it was meant to be as a manner of speaking for the Sicari. It still bugged me, though.