Review: Assassin’s Gift Book 1

Ian C.P. Irvine

Available on: Amazon

Read as part of the Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

Overview:

Blurb: There’s an assassin named Salvador that is one of the top killers for hire in the world. After seeding what they think might have been the Loch Ness Monster, Salvador finds out that there are stranger things out there than Nessie and, after meeting a monk with an odd ability, not all gifts can be given back.

Trigger Warnings:

Alcohol, Blood, Food, Gore, Gun Violence, Poor Coping Mechanisms, Unsafe Lifestyle, Violence, Violent Imagery

Body Count: High

The Specs:

  • Series
    • Series Name: Crime Thrillers
    • Book Number: 1 of 2
  • Genre
    • Technical Genre: Crime Action Fiction, Action Thriller Fiction, Assassination Thrillers
    • Theo Genre: Murder Fiction, General Fiction
  • Page count: 224
  • POV: limited 3rd
  • Publication information:
    • Publisher: Crime Thriller Ebook Press
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07KDW7ZWY

Other Fun Stuff:

To Read or Not To Read (Again):

Bookshelf

Rating out of five: 3.0 out of 5

Representation, Morality, and Sexism Tests:

  • Bechdel–Wallace Test:
    • Purpose: to establish actual female characters that act independently of male characters in a story.
      • Do two female characters talk about something other than a male character? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • DuVernay Test:
    • Purpose: to establish characters of color in a story.
      • Are there fully actualized characters of color? No
    • Pass or Fail: Fail
  • Ellen Willis Test:
    • Purpose: to show balance in characters regardless of gender.
      • Would two related characters still work to carry the story if their genders were reversed? Yup!
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Hays Code Test:
    • Purpose: to ignore outdated and queer-degrading/punishing standards that once were the standard for produced mass media.
    • Part One: outdated moral guidelines
      • Are there any outdated “moral content” rules gloriously kicked in the teeth by this story? Yes
      • Are there people of color allowed a happy ending? N/a
      • Is there an interracial couple? No
      • Is there profanity used at all? Yes
      • Is there one or more homicidal acts and/or murder? Yes
    • Part Two: queer representation
      • Are there queer characters that get a happy ending? Yes
      • Is there an illegal or otherwise distasteful age gap between characters, queer or otherwise? No
      • Do the queer characters die tragically, violently, or at all? No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Mako Mori Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that in the story there is at least one female character independent of a male character’s story.
      • Is there a female character? Yes
      • Does she get her own arc? Yes
      • Does it do anything other than serve to support a man’s story? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Sexy Lamp Test:
    • Purpose: to assure that a female character in the story serves as an active protagonist, not just a device to be used by the male main character.
      • Would the plot fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy looking lamp? Yes
    • Post-It Note Caveat:
      • Would the character be able to be replaced by a Sexy Lamp with a sticky note on it for information conveyance? No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Tauriel Test:
    • Purpose: to help support the existence of competent, independent female characters regardless of a romantic sub-plot.
      • Is there at least one woman in the story? Yes
      • Is this woman competent in her chosen occupation and not immediately shown up by a newcomer male character? Yes
      • If she has or develops a love interest during the story, either implied or explicitly stated, does she suddenly abandon her job and/or chosen path to support or pursue said love interest? No
    • Pass or Fail: Pass
  • Vito Russo Test:
    • Purpose: to establish more characters that are on the SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Acceptance), QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) or LGBTQIAP+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual/Biromantic/Bigender, Transgender, Queer/Genderqueer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender, Pansexual/Panromantic, and others not listed here) spectrum.
      • Is there a character on the queer spectrum? Yes
      • Are they a character beyond their orientation? Yes
      • Do they actually affect the plot? Yes
      • Is the character something beyond a punchline? Yes
    • Pass or Fail: Pass!

Overall review:

Thoughts:

I liked the book, hated that literally everything was left unresolved in the first book to lead into the second. I plan to read the second book, but it’s more like the book was chopped into two

Was it engaging?

At times

Favorite Character:

“Alice”

Review format updated 10 June 2019

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