Book Review: THE PERFECT ASSASSIN by K. A. Doore

I recieved a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my opinion in anyway.

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 3/5 stars
Series: Yes - first book


the perfect assassin.jpgAmastan has trained to be an assassin, but contracts are banned so he sees no danger of having to take a life. When he stumbles across the body of a powerful Drum Chief, he and the other assassins are blamed. If Amastan can’t find the true murderer, the assassins will be disbanded – their leader probably killed. If he succeeds, they’ll be given contracts again.

Worse still, the Drum Chief’s jaan – his soul – has not been soothed. Instead, it’s wild in the city, able to rip people apart as it searches for its body.

Interested? Add to your Goodreads Shelves here.


I have been sitting on this review for four months now! I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy, with the condition that I only posted two weeks before release. As release date is the 19th of March, here are my thoughts on THE PERFECT ASSASSIN.

The setting in this book is amazing – probably the best bit of the whole book. Does that surprise anyone, considering my fascination with world building?

The world KA Doore’s built is a very imaginative take on a desert land setting. It’s a setting we’re seeing more and more of these days so it was great to read one that felt very original and unique. The city sits atop massive platforms that gave the city a rusty, slightly futuristic feel. The setting was both very old and falling apart, yet very innovative – like the moving cities of Phillip Reeve’s MORTAL ENGINES. The city sits above an aquifer, with pumps to gain the water. The water supply is so important (as it rightly should be given the location).

The jaan angle felt very fresh too. I haven’t come across jaan/souls that need quieting else they run riot before. The way this idea was bound into the story added an urgency to the MCs goal.

Amastan had very clear goals throughout. It was a little hard, at first, to care about finding the murderer – as the reward was bringing back assassin contracts, but once the jaan became a real threat, I was very invested in him succeeding.

He worked towards them with efficiency – no unnecessary circuitous plot deviations. Every scene had a purpose that built up the story,  increasing the stakes, tension or pacing. It became so intense that by 60% through I thought I was approaching the climax. It then levelled out, building more slowly. This was both good (I could catch my breath) but also meant it felt a little flat afterwards.

The central romance didn’t feel like a romance, but more like a friendship. I didn’t think there was a spark or any heat between the two characters. This made it hard to fully believe the decisions they made near the end, which probably contributed to the ending feeling flat after the initial build up.

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