Thursday, January 19, 2017

Book Review: Chameleon Assassin by BR Kingsolver

Title:  Chameleon Assassin (Chameleon Assassin series, Book 1)
Author:  BR Kingsolver
Genre:  Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date:  December 13, 2016

From the Back Cover:

Libby is a mutant, one of the top burglars and assassins in the world. For a price, she caters to executives’ secret desires. Eliminate your corporate rival? Deliver a priceless art masterpiece or necklace? Hack into another corporation’s network? Libby’s your girl.

Climate change met nuclear war, and humanity lost. The corporations stepped in, stripping governments of power. Civilization didn’t end, but it became less civilized. There are few rules as corporations jockey for position and control of assets and markets.

In the year 2200, the world has barely recovered the level of technology that existed before the ice melted and the subsequent wars. Corporate elites live in their walled estates and skyscraper apartments while the majority of humanity supplies their luxuries. On the bottom level, the mutants, the poor, and the criminals scramble every day just to survive.

Urban Fantasy set 200 years in the future.

Buy Links: Amazon
My Review:

The premise of this book was interesting and immediately caught my attention. Libby is a mutant with the ability to change her image or blend into her surroundings. She uses her abilities to perform assassinations or steal. If that wasn't badass enough, she's also an expert hacker. In my opinion, she had a little too much power and not enough flaws.

The world-building was interesting and I thought the structure of the corporate hierarchy vs mutants was pretty cool. The book got a little redundant at times with the how frequently Libby spouted off about the evils of the corporate world. However, my main problem with this book was the emotional disconnect of the main character and the writing itself.

Libby doesn't react normally. While I would expect an assassin to have an emotional disconnect in order to kill people (and that's a pretty cool character trait), that's not what happened in this book. I didn't feel any sort of emotional response from her at all. She started crying at one point, but I couldn't feel the emotion behind it... The writing delivery was very robotic and almost clinical -- "Libby went to the market. She killed a man. She came home and cooked dinner." At one time, I put the book down and nearly classified it as "DNF" (Did Not Finish) because I felt like I was reading a recipe card, rather than a story.

I think if the author had focused on showing, rather than telling... the book would have improved dramatically. If the author considered reworking the story to better develop the emotional relationships of the characters (including the supporting cast), it would be MUCH better. The overall plot is pretty good, albeit predictable... but the issues with the characters and the writing made this book very difficult to finish and enjoy.

My Rating:

About the Author:

BR Kingsolver, author of science fiction, paranormal thrillers and the Telepathic Clans series, grew up surrounded by writers, artists, myths, and folklore in Santa Fe, The City Different, in the Land of Enchantment.

After living all over the US and exploring the world--from Amsterdam to the Romanian Alps, and Russia to the Rocky Mountains--Kingsolver trades time between Baltimore and Albuquerque while working with everything from jewelry to computers. With an education in nursing and biology and a Master's degree in business, Kingsolver has done everything from construction to newspaper editor.

Kingsolver, a passionate lifetime skier, currently spends time writing and working with computers while living nine blocks from the harbor in Baltimore as servant in residence to a very demanding cat.
Author Links:
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