Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: love it
Kill… or be damned.
A demon’s assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to safe a life for everyone she’s destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and excruciating torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her – especially her lover, Jake. And her closest friends are beginning to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion and sorrow, her life is spiralling out of control.
Worse still, a beautiful Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Maliha is turning into a lethal puppet with an evil Immortal pulling the strings, forced to kill innocents or see her missing friends die horribly. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man’s land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. .. and time is rapidly running out.
The book starts with action, which is a great way to start a book. Maliha is chasing Xietay, Yanmeng’s son, who is a real bad guy. He turned his own parents in to the secret police, and now he is running a human trafficking business. Xietay has evaded her for a while now, so when she unexpectedly ran into him, Maliha could not ignore it. But how will Yanmeng feel about her killing his son? Is blood thicker than water, will she loose his friendship?
When she gets home, her favourite doorman Andy is gone. Did he really retire as Chick tells her, or did something bad happen to him? She tipped him very well over the 30 years she has been living in this building, and with the investment advice she gave him, he is a multi millionaire by now. But when she receives his bloodied cap in an anonymous package, she is not sure what happened, and has Hound and Amaro investigate. Andy did buy a ticked to Antigua, but there is no trace of him to find.
Then Yanmeng is kidnapped, and Maliha is blackmailed into becoming someone’s pet assassin again. To keep him safe Maliha is doing as she is told as much as possible, until the whole complot is revealed. Now she really has to find Yanmeng soon, as she cannot continue killing for these people. How much can she trust her friends, or Jake? Are they in danger because of her? But Hound and Amaro don’t want to leave her, Yanmeng is their friend as well, and they will help her investigate.
I loved this book, and I was kept glued to the pages to find out what happened next.
Maliha is one kick ass assassin, trying to make amends for all the killing she did in her 300 years of being a demon’s assassin. She tries to save lives now, and kills only bad guys if they are in need of killing. And with each kill, she is rewarded or punished by Anu, the main god of the ancient Sumerians. Maliha is also on a quest to find the seven shards of a lens, in order to read the Tablet and banish the seven Sumerian demons from interfering on earth. The human race is quite capable of monstrous behaviour all on its own, they don’t need to be deceived by demons.
Maliha does not have many friends, but she cares about those she does have. And she wants to protect them, but she does not trust them with all of her secrets, so she is not happy when Jake spills some of those to the others. Nor is she certain she can trust him, especially after the visit by Master Liu. He does seem to be in love with her, but he is so very secretive and dismissive about things she finds important.
When Yanmeng, her oldest friend, gets kidnapped and his body parts start reaching her, she falls to pieces for a while. And it takes some new training by Master Liu to get her head back on track.
I did miss some things in this book, the casual sex Maliha usually has after a mission. She only has some with Jake, and that was behind closed doors, no real love scenes in this book. And I was happy that there are not so many memories of her own little Constanza in this book. I just skip those scenes and memories.
I like Dakota Banks’ writing style a lot, it is perfect for my tastes. The action, the brutal killings, how Maliha slowly learns to trust and love again, and how she never gives up, no matter how bad she hurts. She is aging, and loosing her “superpowers” slowly, but she is still determined to rid the world of the demons, and to make amends.
If you have not started this series yet, I do recommend it, and I think a lot of men would enjoy it as well, as it does not really have romance in it.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian