Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)Book: The Assassin's Curse
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Assassin's Curse
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.
"How could he not see all the beauty that was out there--the starlight leaving stains of brightness in the water, the salt-kissed wind?"

I kept waiting for The Assassin's Curse to get better, but it remained a clusterfuck until the very end. I mean, I can't say there weren't good things about it, because there were. After all, just look the blurb. I like pirates and loot and rum and all that good stuff. I also like assassins, because who doesn't love killing? So I go into this book expecting lots of arrrr matey type things, and adventures swinging on a ship, but I got none of that. Instead I get poor character development and the barest mention of ships and some obscure assassin club (I think that's what it is...). 

Clarke promised us a lot of things with this book. With the cover, with the premise, with everything. Unfortunately, she didn't deliver. My biggest problem with this book is that there's way too much stuff integrated for it to make sense. First you've got your pirates, then you've got your wizards and witches, and then you've got assassins who can do magic too, except it's blood magic. It's way too much information to stuff into one book without making things sound ridiculous and random. When Naji and Ananna get stuck on the island, I thought that they were there because the island was supposed to help them. But then Naji mentions this wizard dude, and I'm like "what the hell is going on?" This happened multiple times. Sure, it's easy to get lost in the adventure of Naji and Ananna zipping around from place to place, but if you stop and think about it, why are they going to all these places? It's like a goose chase that they already know is futile, yet they keep doing it anyway. The ending to the book is even more ridiculous, even cheesy. I really expected more than that. It was such a bullshit blowoff so Clarke could write another book. 

That's the plot. The characters are just... ugh. Naji sulks, Ananna moons after him, and generally their attitudes put me in a bad mood. Which sucks, since Ananna actually gave me hope. In the beginning, when she knees her fiance in the balls, I was cheering for her. But then she meets Naji and she turns all gloomy and moans over her plainness, and I just knew this wasn't heading for anything good. There wasn't even a damned kiss in this book. Granted, it would've been weird and even more out of place if there had been one, so maybe Clarke used some good judgment there. I found no reason to believe that she'd fallen in love with him, especially since he treats her like crap sometimes and completely shuts her out otherwise. Nothing about him caused me to like him, especially the way he totally fell under Leila's spell in the beginning. Not cool, bro. 

In short, I got through this book relatively painlessly, but when I separated myself from the situation, I realized that this book misses so many things. That's why I feel so apathetic towards it. It's a good example of a situation where too many good things mashed up together can make the entire project go sour. 
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  1. I have this book sitting on my TBR pile. It sounds kind of bleh now. But I might still read it, simply because. (Whenever I get around to it.) I'm sorry you didn't like it! Hope the next book you read is worth it.

    1. You might like it! I know a lot of my friends (whose reviews I trust) did. Some books just don't work out for certain people :)