Review 259. Sarah Ahiers - Assassin's heart.

21421609Title: Assassin's heart.
Author:  Sarah Ahiers.
Pages:  420.
Published: February 2nd 2016 by HarperTeen
Sort: Part one of Assassin's heart.
Source: I received an ARC from HarperCollins INT, thanks!
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down. Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

A pretty cover and the premise of assassins: I was ready to get swept away and to fall in love, but unfortunately I ended up being disappointed. I expected a lot from Lea, who is sketched as skilled assassin in the first pages, and eventually made terrible beginner mistakes throughout the book. Perhaps the fact that the romance was my favorite part of the book shows how terrible the rest of the story is, because that is 9 out of 10 times my least favorite aspect of a story.

The world-building started out all right, with a bit of a Romeo & Juliet vibe. There are nine rivaling Families of assassins who are lawfully allowed to kill people. Lea comes from the Saldana Family, the most powerful one that is sort-of in charge of the others and she is in love with Val from their enemy clan, the Da Vias. Soon I started to notice that the world does not make any sense, because why didn't all the Families just kill each other to get rid of the competition? They don't know the locations of each other's houses, but everyone is walking around with bone masks with special markings to show their identity; so if you are such a good assassin, you could easily follow one and then kill of their entire Family?

So, those masks did not make ANY sense, because everyone knows who you are. Why would you hide your face then? Also, saying that you killed someone with a good reason because you get paid for it, is a ridiculous way to justify a murder. I did not like this message at all, because sometimes they had to kill someone simply because he said something mean. How is that okay? But here comes the most messed up part; they all do it because of their Goddess of Death and everyone they kill is resurrected in a new life. Yeay, now it is all right! *cough*

Right, in the end The Da Vias do kill Lea's entire Family and now she is out for vengeance. She has to find her uncle, who was thrown out of the Family after a shameful event, so he can help her locate The Da Vias. Here is where Lea shows that she is not a gifted assassin after all. She makes dumb mistakes that eventually lead to her capture by a creepy police guy. She was just so amateurish and clueless. The entire book she runs around without a real plan, she keeps whining that it is all her fault and hoping that Val has nothing to do with it.. Girl, get your head out of your ass.

Let's be honest, it was an unexpected betrayal from her lover, but I think it was understandable that The Da Vias made their move… But perhaps that is just because the dynamics between Lea and her Family showed that she was not really close with her parents, so I could not care less.

The shining part of the story, the one that kept me entertained enough to not give up, was the fact that Lea and Les are cute together. Les was by far the highlight. He was dorky and adorable. Raised up by Lea's uncle after living on the street, he is now trying his hand at being a clipper (and about that, what a stupid word! Why would you call yourself a clipper if you are a freaking ASSASSIN) He wants to help Lea out if she trains him and all she does is turning him away, because she believes she is able to handle it all by herself. Les definitely deserved more, but their developing relationship was nicely done.

The twist at the ending with the trope that should have never existed makes sure I will not pick up the sequel. I am perfectly fine with the conclusion.


  1. Meh, I don't like that message either and it seems like some of the world building doesn't make sense. Not sure if I'll be picking this up anymore...Great review! :)

  2. I felt like I could have gotten a lot more from this book than I actually did. I rather liked the unique world building around the Families and whatnot, because I thought it was morbid and interesting, and I've never read anything like that before - which I think is getting harder to come across in YA because it is such a saturated genre.

    But the rest of it left me wanting more. I couldn't handle Lea's rookie mistakes, when she was supposed to be the best of the best. There was no real plot other than lea constantly talking about revenge but not actually getting it done. I quite liked Les, but I didn't really form an emotional connection to any of them.

    It's a shame that this one fell flat for the both of us, Mel! D:

  3. LOL! Ok I had to laugh because of your comments on the world-building issues and character inconsistencies, that would have annoyed me big time! Like you, I usually have issues with romance so the fact that the romance was the best aspect is really surprising! All in all, I don't think this is for me. Sorry it fell mostly flat for you too! xx

  4. I've seen quite a few less than stellar reviews of this one and it slowly keeps getting pushed to the back of my TBR. I wanted it to be great though :(

  5. I actually never finished this, so I'm glad I didn't end up wasting my time! But yeah, definitely agree that Lea really needed a plan here!

  6. Aw I'm sorry this book just wasn't for you, Mel! I read this as well, and actually didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. Some parts were really messy, like the ones that you indicated. But the struggling part for me was the pacing of the novel. It was incredibly slow and draggy, and it just made me want to DNF it already. Though I really didn't because I knew I had to finish the book. Thank you for the review, Mel!

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

  7. Lovely review Mel :D Gaaah, I'm so sorry this book was so awful :\ That's not good at all. Sigh. I like that cover a lot, but never really wanted to read it, lol. Now I'm glad I did not :) But eee, yay for the romance being cute :D That's the best. Thank you for sharing your awesome thoughts sweetie. <3

  8. I can totally relate to your thoughts on this one, it was full of plot holes and it just made no sense! I mean if the plot is how it was then everyone would be dead and there will be no "top assassins"!

  9. Omg, I'm sorry you didn't like this one, but all I've heard are similar things! The world-building was just full of inconsistencies, and the main character was not the cutthroat assassin she thought herself to be. I'm also disappointed by the whole idiocy with Val situation.

    - Aila @ Happy Indulgence


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