Title: The Assassin Game
Author: Kirsty McKay
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Number of pages/length: 336 pages
T.A.G. You’re It…
“It is 4 a.m. when they come for me. I am already awake, strung out on the fear that they will come, and fear that they won’t. When I finally hear the click of the latch on the dormitory door, I have only a second to brace myself before-“
At Cate’s isolated boarding school Killer is more than a game-it’s an elite secret society. Members must avoid being “killed” during a series of thrilling pranks-and only the Game Master knows who the “killer” is. When Cate’s finally invited to join The Guild of Assassins, she knows it’s her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.
But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save The Guild. But can she find the real assassin-before she’s the next target?
I would first like to give a huge thank you to both NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for giving me the opportunity to review this book.
I am easily scared when reading books. I love reading horror and mystery, but they always give me the chills. The essence of this game, Killer, had me wildly intrigued. I love the game Clue and there are various references to it scattered throughout the book. I was impressed by McKay’s detail for the game rules and processes. When I first began reading the book, I felt drawn to the excitement of the game. I was not sure if I wanted to play it or the idea of playing “Killer” scared me. I imagine the characters in the guild and initiates feel the same.
I also loved the idea of the setting! The boarding school is located on an isolated island, cutting them off from most of the outside world. There are cliffs and caves, forbidden area along the edges of the island. It adds a whole other creep factor.
I also adored the narrator’s voice. It was definitely everything I would have imagined from a teenage girl. She uses references and metaphor that add to the story. “They band together. Go team! It’s like elves and orcs around here; the geeks and jocks. And me in the middle. Invisible.” With that being said, I do wish there was a bit more story line development for each prominent character. McKay does a good job of telling us about the main character, Cate. But I feel I would have been more engrossed in the story if other characters were further discussed.
This story and guessing game really threw me for a loop! I went back and forth with my thoughts on who the killer was. I was lead in so many directions, it was wildly entertaining. I won’t spoil the ending, but I need to say that I wasn’t surprised by the end of the novel. However, it definitely was not my first guess.
I would recommend this book to any young adult reader looking for a good mystery/thriller novel. And if you love Pretty Little Liars… this is definitely for you!