Reviews and comments
The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review which follows...
Captain Radomir Lascek and his band of unruly pirates, sailing upon his ship, the Solar Wind, continue to hide from the Unicate and their evil associates. However, there is more at stake now. Two data capsules in the Captain's possession explain that the Rebellion is on a similar path as the Unicate, and both forces could spell the end of the world if the Captain doesn't act soon.
When the Captain's secret station in Antarctica is attacked, he is forced to take matters into his own hands. He employs Federi, the part-time gypsy chef/master assassin and Paean, a ship's musician and budding genetic scientist to embark on a mission to assassinate as many of the top Unicate Officials as they can. Reluctantly, Federi teaches Paean the art of killing, something the fifteen-year-old finds to be a necessary evil in this futuristic world they are forced to survive in.
Struggling to deal with the burgeoning feelings he has for Paean, Federi confronts the "killing animal" that dwells within his heart. He knows he has the soul of an assassin. His greatest fear is that he will lose the love and admiration from the young girl, a certain loss he knows he could not endure.
As the story unfolds the reader discovers Federi and Paean share a type of gypsy intuition, a mystical connection that belongs only to them. This psychic ability blossoms into a deep love between the two, even though Federi is much older than Paean. This is gypsy love at its finest, and I was bewitched by the touching love story that drew me deeper into the adventure.
The book is long but filled with so much intrigue and suspense you gladly read on to unravel the various mysteries that are part of the whole adventure aboard the Solar Wind. For me, this book delves deeper into the characters and gives you a glimpse into the mechanics of their personalities. I like these pirates. Their humanity speaks to me. I can't wait to dive into the third book in the series, Freedom Fighter. Stay tuned…
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.5 out of 5 stars
What they say:
'"Remember who you are!" His sister died with those words on her lips. Something sinister lurks in his psyche. Something that loves killing. Can he complete his mission without selling out to this entity? The voyage of the Solar Wind continues…'
What we say – review by Nikki Mason:
Darker and even more intriguing than the first Solar Wind novel, this second book in the series is a real treat for lovers of adventure and sci-fi.
The fascinating gypsy, Federi, takes centre stage in this book when the Captain of pirate ship The Solar Wind is prematurely forced to go ahead with a mission to protect the world from the lethal plans of the deadly Unicate.
Despite being a warm entertainer, Federi is also a deadly assassin and fights hard to keep his demonic alter ego, The Animal, under control. The only thing that can help him is his friendship with the beautiful young, Irish pirate, Paean Donegal.
Aside from dealing with the emotional horror of being an assassin, Russo has also crammed the book full of hormonal teens in confined spaces, sci-fi and biochemistry, geography and a love so strong that it transcends all barriers: age, deadly premonitions, disapproval and even the law.
Like the first book, I still think this novel is a little too long but the emotions within it are so epic that it almost justifies the length. Despite the horrific deeds of the main characters, readers will root for their happiness in this messed up futuristic world and will fall in love with the unusual crew of rebels and pirates.
Readers already familiar with the remarkable Solar Wind schooner, her "pirate" crew, and her twisted world of the future, will expect the constant surprises and puzzles which leap from the pages. Those not, will soon find their sea-legs and adapt to the writing style which, without using first person narration, changes to the point of view of main characters in each scene.
Amidst intrigues and treachery aboard, it comes to light that the evil Unicate regime has extremist factions whose fanatical leaders are threatening the very safety of the planet. Assassination seems the only solution - and there is a trained assassin aboard. This Assassin needs help from someone as protection from a dangerous other-self, and from other people for part of the task. Who fills these roles is part of the delight.
As the story develops, emotional entanglements and youthful indiscretions provide further complications. Teenagers and young adults alike show typically impulsive behaviour, threatening not only individual safety but the very success of the vital missions.
As happened in the first novel, mysteries frequently arise and solutions to some emerge; others remain to provide future threads. Action is not limited to elimination of individual baddies, either. There are some pitched battles. This makes it sound like a violent book, but the author handles such scenes with a sensitivity suited to younger readers; yet with enough realism to satisfy adult ones.
Overall, this is the sort of book - and series - which one wants to re-read in order to enjoy the parts one breathlessly skimmed over the first time. Dialogue is good. In between action scenes one breathes a sigh of relief and enjoys humorous situations or a 'ceilidh' break as much as do the crew. Imagination never flags.
Bad points? I'll come back to you if I think of any.
From other readers and reviewers:
"An exhilerating fast-paced tale"
An exhilarating fast paced tale that keeps you glued to each page from beginning to end.
Again we meet all our old friends from the Solar Wind in an adventure of a different sort, testing friendship and trust. I recommend "The Assassin" to anyone who wishes to escape to an exciting life at sea with some of the most diverse and interesting characters.
(Ruthven Frylinck, Reader)
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