ARC Book Reviews · YA Book Reviews

Mid-Week Mini Review: The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay (ARC)

I received an advanced copy of this book from Sourcebooks and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not change how I feel about this book.

Title: The Assassin Game by Kirsty McKay

Release date: August 2nd, 2016

Genre: Young Adult – Mystery, Thriller

Verdict: Two stars.

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 Assassins’ Guild, she know 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?

For something that looks creepy, unsettling, and perfect for Halloween Month, I was surprisingly underwhelmed with the result. Part of it is just Cate: not an unreliable narrator, per se, but definitely a forgettable one. I had a lot of trouble connecting to her or being truly engaged in her mission to discover the identity of the Killer. The setting itself is also not one I’m interested in: where I was expecting something strange and disturbing like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Cate’s “isolated boarding school” came off as better suited for the girls in Pretty Little Liars. The only thing truly notable in the first 2/3rds of the book was the inventive “kills” that the Killer makes, and it almost makes up for the reality of no one actually dying. Admittedly, things definitely pick up in the last 3rd of the novel, but it personally felt like like too little, too late, after I’d already moved my attention to other novels and only came back to this one so it wouldn’t be a DNF.

Recommended Books With Actual AssassinsThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (even though her killing doesn’t really begin until book 2), The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke, and Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.


What did you think of this book, if you’ve read it? What are your favorite books with assassin MCs? Leave me some recommendations in the comments below! 

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