Angel Assassins, Book 1
Synopsis: While channeling Robin Hood’s “steal from the rich and give to the poor” attitude at a local politician’s house, ex-con Katie Logan witnesses a forced suicide. Dirty or not, supernatural or not, he didn’t deserve to die, especially not by his own hand. But with her record, stepping forward as a witness isn’t an option. On the run from the police and the murderer, she turns to The Bound Ones for help.
When a beautiful woman comes to The Bound Ones, half-angel assassin Cain is immediately drawn to her. But when she fingers him as the killer, he can only come to one conclusion. The twin he thought was dead is very much alive… and trying to send him a message. Unfortunately that message is: “you’re next.”
It’s a race against time as Cain fights to save the woman he’s falling in love with before his brother Abel destroys them both.
“Twins were said to be two halves of the same soul. As children, he [Cain] and Abel had managed to surprise their family and neighbors with their identical gestures and mannerisms. It was as if they could reach each other’s thoughts before taking action.
Now, part of his soul had returned from oblivion.”
In order to help her friends with their terrible money problems, Katie Logan decides to steal from a dirty politician and to find them the money they need. It’s not the first time she commits this kind of petty theft, so it should go smoothly. However, while she’s committing her crime, the politician comes back home earlier than usual, in company of a man who forces him to stab himself. Since she shouldn’t have witnessed this scene, Katie cannot go to the police, but she can’t stay here doing nothing either. Following her brother’s advice, she goes to The Bound Ones instead, a brotherhood of nephilims who fights supernatural crime. There she meets Cain, the person she immediately recognizes as the murderer. Yet it’s not Cain who killed the politician, but his twin Abel. The twin he thought was dead long ago…
It took me some time to really get into the story and to get familiar with all the characters, especially those from The Bound Ones. That’s right, I haven’t read the prequel, Angel Bait, before and I think it played a role. The author tells about her characters without introducing them, just like we already knew them, so I guess the proper introduction happened in the prequel. But past the first chapters I quickly let myself slip into the book’s world and the rest went just smoothly.
This book is a retelling of the biblical legend Cain and Abel (as you most probably guessed thanks to the names of the characters). You may (not) know it, but I really enjoy modern retellings of ancient texts, so even if religion isn’t exactly my cup of tea, the fact that it was a retelling of this legend definitely got me interested. I liked how Tricia Skinner kind of reversed the roles of each brother in her version of the Cain and Abel legend: in Angel Kin it is Abel who is so resentful toward his brother that he wishes to kill him.
Also, I really enjoyed the mythology the author created. In her world, being an angel doesn’t automatically mean you’re a cute and kind guy. She played with the concepts of angels, fallen angels and nephilims in a very interesting way.
On to the characters. I did like Katie, the heroine, but now that I have to talk more about her, I realize I don’t know much. Her personality isn’t that developed throughout the book and that’s a bit of a shame. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading her adventures and I liked her courage and the fact that she was ready to take risks to save the ones she cared for.
Most developed characters undoubtedly are the twins, Cain and Abel. I really liked Cain. A professional assassin who seems unbreakable, but the sudden return of the brother he thought dead causes that façade to break and we discover a confused personality, torn between his loyalty to The Bound and his desire to spare and even get his beloved brother back.
As for Abel, he’s the evil one, yet he also has a complex personality and I’m certain that deep inside, he’s not that bad of a person.
I would have liked more information about the brother’s past, how they got into such a rivalry and what happened to their parents (we get some info about that in the book but I wished for more details). I also wished that the bond between members of The Bound Ones were more developed. You can feel they share a very deep bond and are like a real family, but the author only talks about it in a superficial way. Then again, I guess the prequel provides us with more info about that, so I really have to get my hands on it quickly.
All in all, this was a very good start for the Angel Assassins series. Angel Kin offers us a great story made of rivalries, action, suspense and a touch of romance, and the ingredients are very well mixed together. It still was a bit too superficial on some points which hold me back from giving it the highest rating but I did enjoy it a lot!
I recommend this book to you if: you like retellings of tales/legends and you are interested in the world of angels/half-angels.