Sister Assassin by Kiersten White
Kiersten White strays away from the lighthearted feel of her Paranormalcy trilogy with Sister Assassin, a young adult novel about two sisters with psychic abilities. Annie is blind, but has the gift of seeing visions of the future. Her younger sister Fia, has perfect instincts – the ability to know when something is right or wrong. Annie has the most intriguing premise here, as she while she has a disability, but her gift allows her to see more than anyone else. Surprisingly though, it is Fia that steals the stage in this novel.
White is well known for creating strong female protagonists, like Evie in her Paranormalcy trilogy who is not only strong, and action driven, but is also well aware of her femininity. Sister Assassin (or Mind Games as it is called in the US) is might be a much darker novel, with a protagonist who is less sassy, and more obnoxious, but White has once again created a strong female protagonist in Sister Assassin‘s Fia. She is action driven, determining her own fate, despite the visions of the future predicted by her sister.
Fia makes for an interesting character because she has several layers of complexity. While Fia has “perfect” instincts, she can choose to ignore them, and when she does her instincts tend to get muddled, until right and wrong begin to blur. Fia cares deeply for her sister – enough to become an assassin in order to keep Annie safe, but their relationship is far from strong. Like all sisters, they fight, and don’t always understand each other. Annie is the older sister and feels like she should be looking out for Fia, but Fia is so used to being Annie’s eyes, that she is the one who is looking after Annie. It’s a cycle, and this book doesn’t really evolve the sister’s relationship (but fortunately, that’s what the sequel is for).
Sister Assassin shifts back and forth in time, but somehow manages to keep up a fast pace. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and the “bad guy” is mostly a background presence rather than an immediate threat, which works to fuel the novel’s underlying tension. While a lot happens – assassin training, murders, espionage – the story behind Fia and Annie’s abilities, and why they are in danger and effectively trapped by a school is revealed slowly, and much is left unanswered at the end of the novel. In fact, Sister Assassin feels like half a book, rather than a novel that has a sequel. It is my hope that all of Sister Assassin‘s minor issues, and the hugely complex plot will be resolved in its sequel, Perfect Lies.
TITLE: Sister Assassin
AUTHOR: Kiersten White