Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J. Maas

Title: The Assassin and the Desert
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: March 30, 2012
Pages: ebook exclusive
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Promotional Materials and More: author website | my other Throne of Glass reviews

The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive


After being vaguely impressed with Maas's first Throne of Glass novella, I eagerly started reading my copy of the second, The Assassin and the Desert. It saddens me to say I'm disappointed in this novella. Predictable and poorly paced, I'm hoping the next two novellas and the novel do not resemble this novella in any way.

Celaena is slowly developing into a more realized character with flaws, and the novella itself details how she is having to suffer the consequences of her actions (since she is sent to the desert as punishment for freeing the slaves in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, the previous novella). Still, the convenient way everything works out for her in the end does not escape me. Once is once. Twice is coincidence. Let's hope there won't be a third instance to make it a pattern.

Most of the novella is spent on training. Running six miles across the desert, imitating an asp, doing all this other stuff... It doesn't make for a very readable story and I kept picking it up and putting it down. There was no driving force to The Assassin and the Desert until the seventy or eighty percent mark, when Celaena finally realizes what is happening and hurries away on her new horse to save the day.

And really, I figured out the entire plot in half the time it took Celaena. Everything added up as easily as one plus one plus one plus one. This dude's hint here, this characters stupid action there, this chain of events over here--I almost felt insulted  and I got impatient waiting for Celaena to catch up. If Maas is this bad at writing mysteries and it's not a one-shot deal, then Throne of Glass (which appears to have a mystery as its primary plot) may not be as enjoyable of a read as I am hoping it will be. Either way, such a poorly assembled mystery did not entertain me like the action of the first novella did.

Next is novella number three: The Assassin and the Underworld. It can't be much worse than this, but one thing I've learned as an often-masochistic reader who is usually determined to finish a book no matter how bad it is? A bad book/series can always get worse. I'm hoping it will be better, though. Fingers crossed, rabbit leg nearby, and so on.

2 stars!

What am I reading next?: The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas


  1. Predictability really ruins most of a book for me, too. I might read the novellas, but I think I'll wait until the actual book is out!

    Sophie @ The Dreaming Reader

  2. I can't decide if I should start with the novellas or not. I don't want to ruin the book for me if I'm disappointed in the novellas.

  3. I think it kinda made sense for her to be a little slow on the uptake as before the first novella, she basically just did what she was told. As well, she's only 16 and pretty full of herself but I think this novella added some depth to her character.

  4. Good review. You raise fair points, though I don't necessarily agree with some of them. I actually loved this novella!

  5. Okay. I'm kinda disappointed to. You liked the first one and I was hoping for a good review of this one too. To hear you were disappointed makes me disappointed too. But at least we get your thoughts.

    And six miles! That's crazy.

  6. I actually liked this one just as much as the first, but I get why you don't. I admit, it was predictable. But predictability has never bothered me, so...XD

  7. I think I might read the novellas after the book because I have heard so many great things about it I don't want the novellas away from it.

  8. When novels are revolved around a mystery, I can understand how boring a book can be when you figure out a lot earlier than the narrator. That's kind of disappointing!

    I hope the next one is better :L

  9. I hate predictability, the best point about a story is the surprise!

  10. I commend you on finishing this novella. Usually if the plot is that horrible I would just walk away and not look back, because I would see it as a waste of time and paper. Thanks for the honest review and sharing.

  11. 2 stars? Hmmm...I don't give 5 stars to books that easily. Hope I like it more than you did though.

  12. I can't wait to read these novellas but your 2 stars has me a little nervous


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