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To Fool an Assassin: Women of Purgatory 1 Kindle Edition
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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Yet, let me shift a bit in my review. “To Fool an Assassin: Women of Purgatory 1” is almost too much of a good thing. At first the action is so riveting and non-stop, I couldn’t put the book down.
But then, it just keeps on with more and more bold action-packed close calls, daring feats, and expanding conflicts. The exploits became increasingly improbable—albeit remaining suspenseful—and the story line began to wear me out.
It could well be that this book-reading fatigue was my fault for trying to read a long, complex book so quickly—yet, in my defense, the book compels readers to hurry through because of the “what happens next?" suspense. Talk about cliff-hangers at the end of each chapter!
In other words, this is a fast-paced, page-turner of a novel. Compelling alpha-female Gabrielle and compelling alpha-male Sully are thrown together in a dangerous rescue attempt. In a nice change of pace from many adventure books, SHE rescues HIM. But the rescue is just the start of their many (many!) adventures. Sully is a Navy SEAL on a mission, and Gabrielle a founding member of Purgatory, a private, secret rescue organization. They quickly realize there is a trader/spy in their support loop and they must view everyone with suspicion. Despite some discord between Sully and Gabrielle, they must rely on each other as seemingly the whole rest of the world conspires against them. Naturally, sexual tension and attraction blooms from the first, but there are huge trust issues, even as they unite in their fight to survive mounting dangers.
The author is no amateur. This is a professionally written book, with crisp, clean prose and a well-organized plot with a natural progression and great character development. India Kells’ work is free of the typos and erratic point of view shifts that plague so many indie books these days, and for that she is to be praised.
Something else Kells should be praised for—her sensual, well-written sex scenes. It’s hard to write great sex scenes (what goes where? What do you call the key parts? How do you avoid the cliches? Etc etc) and Kells handles all the many sex scenes with skill and relish. She excels at using and controlling the language, and the zestfulness of the sex scenes adds to the overall enjoyment of reading this book.
The implausibility of certain action scenes troubled me—yet this shouldn’t be. In a fantasy/adventure book, it’s hard to fault the improbable scenes. I mean, really, think about 007, Indiana Jones, Katniss Everdeen, Divergent, some of Angelina Joline’s kiss-ass roles—the list is long of movies and stories where the heroes can do spectacular things that real people could not do. Part of the fun of reading such action tales is our willing suspension of disbelief. And now more than ever, we want females who can pull off such feats of wonder, wit, skill, and strength.
But Kells leaves out any pretense at the “how they did it” a few times too many. For example, and without meaning to give the plot away, how did Gabrielle manage to fight off seven (7!) would-be gang rapists while her hands were tied? This action takes place off-scene and is never explained except with a vague reference. If this sort of glossing over the details had happened only once, even twice, in the story, I wouldn’t mention it. But several times such feats of daring, skill and strength happen with no apparent explanation as to how Sully and Gabrielle actually manage to do what they just did.
Having thrown out that criticism, I’m back to the praise. Gabrielle, as the alpha-female, is intriguing—not just because of her skills, beauty, and strength. Rather, she’s intriguing because she is trying to redeem herself from a sordid, violent past. She carries guilt and shame as a part of her personality, and so there’s an added dimension to her character. Will she redeem herself? And will she find peace? There’s a nicely done theology discussion about mid-way that’s a surprising and pleasant break in the action and which ties in well with Gabrielle’s redemption story line.
Sully, the alpha male. has an equally intriguing backstory, which is unusual and so I won’t give hints because I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. Let’s just say he turns out to be a lot more interesting, complex, and multi-dimensional as the story develops. He may be a Navy SEAL, but he’s far more than just a macho poster boy.
All in all, this is a good book, an exciting read, great escapist adventure, and the author has obvious talents and a vivid imagination. Maybe I just need to work on my willing suspension of disbelief a bit more. I’ll be sure to work on this by reading some more of her books.
This book is part romance, part suspense, park kick-ass but all heart. This is the first book that I have read that I would consider suspenseful romance, but that's what it is. I would honestly say its more suspense with the romance thrown it, but it's just the right amount to equal perfection. It's high energy, high strength and I loved every single bit of it.
This is a new to me author, but I will be reading more of her books and definitely the rest of this series!
How can I even put into words how great this book is??? This book is part romance, part suspense, park kick-ass but all heart.
There is just something about a strong (mentally & physically) badass woman that I love. Throw in an even stronger sexy male and chemistry so hot you think your e-reader is going to combust and you've got the perfect trifecta!
India Kells has a wonderful way of bringing a story to life and keeping the characters consistent throughout, while allowing them to grow naturally.
I loved reading this novel and I look forward to the next!