What: Assassins: Nemesis (Assassins #2) by Erica Cameron
Who: Riptide Publishing/Triton Books
When: January 9th 2017
How: A copy of this novel was provided by Riptide Publishing for review via Net Galley.
Being orphaned and almost kidnapped in the space of a week sent Blake Marks into hiding. For months, Blake tries to help the Calvers—a family of vigilante bodyguards—investigate the people behind the hit on Blake’s father, Isaac, but then the safehouse is compromised. Just as hired thugs storm the house to grab Blake, Daelan Calver dives into the fight, getting them both out alive.
Hiding isn’t an option anymore, but hit squads, under-the-table deals, and international espionage? Blake has no idea how to handle any of it, not even with Daelan’s family there to play teachers. The one thing Blake knows for sure is that there are only two options: keep up with the Calvers or get out of their way.
But even with the Calvers’ help and the glimmer of a possible future with Daelan giving Blake hope, chances of survival keep shrinking. The man who ordered the hit on Isaac may be dead, but his partner is viciously cold-blooded, and her plans could change the course of history. Blake wants to finish what Isaac started, but it’s looking like someone is going to die before this is over. And that someone might be Blake.
I mainly wanted to read Assassins: Nemesis because it was going to be told from Blake’s point of view, and I really liked the chapter/s that were from Blake’s perspective in Assassins: Discord. So to have a whole book about Blake was something I really looked forward to.
Blake is “mixed race, multiethnic, allergic to more things than I want to name, intersex because of partial androgen sensitivity syndrome, expressively genderfluid but mentally agender, and panromantic graysexual”. That quote is actually from Blake when Daelan (Blake’s love interest, I guess) asks how Blake identifies. And, to be honest, I loved this. I loved the fact that Daelan asked because he genuinely wanted to know, and I loved that because Blake gave this answer I knew I didn’t have to try and guess how Blake identifies (which does happen sometimes in LGBTQIA+ books without explicit labels).
I absolutely loved being inside Blake’s head, and I was always rooting for Blake because I wanted Blake to have a happily ever after – the things that happened in Blake’s life in both this book and the previous were shit and this precious character deserved happiness at the end.
Blake’s genderfluidity was written into the book in a really lovely way, and I adored how accepting the Calvers were of Blake’s changing gender expression and pronouns. The fact that they asked about Blake’s pronouns, and then used the correct ones from there on in was just great. This is how everyone (fictional and not) should be. The way Blake’s grey-asexuality was presented in this book felt pretty authentic, and it’s clear that the author didn’t dump queer identities on characters without knowing what they meant. For example, it’s clear quite early on that Blake has romantic feelings for Daelan, but only wants cuddles and closeness with him, and not much else.
I mainly liked this book because of the characters, which is how I felt about the previous book, as well. The plot just didn’t engage with me entirely, and I was more invested in the characters and their relationships than the importance of taking down the person behind all of the evil stuff. But that isn’t to say that the plot isn’t intriguing. I really take my hat off to the author for creating such an intricate and detailed world. I was constantly in awe of how all the little and big things fit together in this massive mastermind plan. The thought and time and effort that must have gone into creating a plot like this must have been something else.
Spoilers in this paragraph. When I came to the end of Assassins: Nemesis, I was happy with how everything panned out. Although, a little thought came into my head that decided it wanted a book about Blake and Daelan after the end of this one. Just the two of them being teenagers and adorable together and not fighting for their lives. I want a contemporary novel about them after Assassins: Nemesis!
All in all, Assassins: Nemesis was a pretty good conclusion to this one-of-a-kind series that is filled to the brim with diverse characters.
© 2017, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.
trigger warning: use of ableist language, multiple murders, terrorist attacks, explosions, reference to transphobia, reference to death/murder of parents, reference to domestic abuse, torture, and physical assault in this novel