Death of an Assassin by Ian Hiatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Is it okay to root for someone who kills people for a living? I received an early release copy of Death of an Assassin through NetGalley. I was totally at odds with how I should feel about Layla given her nature. She was raised to kill and not have any feelings about her actions. The story takes place in Saint Roch, a town where non-humans are very well known by humans, with the exception of all of the types of non-humans running around the city. Layla is a siren who was raised by her mother, well part of her life. I am not positive about Layla's age, but, I get the impression she is about 19 or 20 years old based upon comparisons she made of herself against another siren she runs into. Layla has killed a lot of people and she is very good at her job. She has been hired to kill two brothers for a great deal of money. It is a job that she initially declines because she knows it could be trouble. She is right. This job goes very wrong and brings a great deal of trouble literally to Layla's doorstep.
One of the great things about this book is how the non-humans are so well described. The dragons are awesome and a bit gross. The reader is treated to some really good politics, both within the non-human world and the human world. It is interesting how the non-humans and humans interact and what seems like an obvious pecking order. The great thing is that the reader can anticipate being introduced to more non-humans and the political machinations between the non-humans. One of the best things about this book is that just because a non-human is weaker doesn't mean they will always lose. Layla shows that she can use her gifts to keep herself above the fray, even when she might be the weakest non-human in the room. I really look forward to more from this series.