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Out of the Blue

Italian book blogger. Loves Jane Austen, ice cream, and the colour blue.
The Silver Bear - Derek Haas I'm reviewing something different today. I saw a promotional tweet for the ebook version of The Assassin Trilogy by Derek Haas as a good book for Father's Day. I read the description and was intrigued, so I thought I'd try the first book and see if I liked it. It's not a very long book - slightly more than 200 pages - so it was a good choice for a read-a-thon, plus I've been meaning to get some thrillers to balance out the YA romance (it gets predictable after a while).

Columbus is a professional killer. Some call him the Silver Bear, because (it's explained way into the book, but it's not really a spoiler) he never misses a hit and always eliminates his targets. He works alone, aided only by his middleman Pooley, who was formerly his foster brother.

"Columbus" is the name he was given by his mentor Vespucci, who recruited him fresh out of juvie. Columbus is the orphan son of a prostitute who became dangerously involved with a successful young congressman named Abe Mann. Now Mann is travelling around the country in his presidential campaign, and has just become Columbus's new target. But while Columbus is following his target around and piecing his own past together, the criminal life around him starts to unravel dangerously.

This book is quite different from what I usually read, but it was a nice surprise all the same. In spite of Columbus being a ruthless, trained assassin, I found him almost a likeable character. I enjoyed learning about his past, especially his lost love story. I wonder if Jake is going to be present in the next books.

At slightly more than 200 pages, this is a short book which manages to pack quite a punch. It's the first novel in a trilogy, but it can stand quite well on its own. Of course, there's nothing unnecessary in it, and the story begins straightaway. This makes me wonder about all the series I usually read, in which after the first book finishes you're left terribly hanging and/or you feel like the story has only just begun. Of course, in many fantasy or science fiction book, word building takes up a lot of space. Still, I can't help but feel that the skilled writer can pack their story effectively in a reasonable amount of pages without having to resort to multiple books just in order to finish a single storyline. I suspect many series in today's YA fiction are built to be series for marketing reasons, not because the story really needs it to be told to the end.

I enjoyed this book very much - although many people are killed, there are not so many very gory details. I will definitely keep reading this series. I'd recommend it if you are new to the thriller genre and would liek to try it, and of course if you like thrillers and mysteries.

Cover attraction: the one above is the hardcover. I find it effective because it makes it very clear what genre it is, while maintaining an element of mystery and tension. Nice job.