I read Doore’s first in The Ghadid series and I liked it, especially the setting. Ghadid is harsh city in the middle of the desert filled with warring politicians and a clan of assassins. The POV shifts to Thana in this book; she is the daughter of Serpent, the famed leader of the killers. After a successful mission at the beginning of the book, Thana procures her first job as the lead assassin. And she finds out quickly that this is a mark and a situation that could have world-changing ramifications. Heru Sametket is an ambassador from the Emperess who is sent to Ghadid to further relations since the empire folded the desert city up into itself several years ago.
Three conflicts stand in the way of Thana’s success. 1) A powerful entity has created an army of the undead who are pursuing Thana and any others who stand in its way. 2) Heru has dark powers himself that he will use to fend off Thana. 3) Something I loved. The action will leave the heights of Ghadid and the Thana will be forces to hunt her mark across the sands to the capital.
A Couple Minor Spoilers Below…
The Impossible Contract hums along nicely for the first half of the story. There’s so many good actions scenes and Thana’s inner monologue is used well to help the reader get at her true motivation. I love the way Doore has set up the clan of assassins, the hierarchy and the planning that goes into each job is described perfectly. And as good a job as Doore did in describing the Ghadid in The Perfect Assassin, she really makes the desert a place I want to/ don’t want to visit.
Ok, the other shoe: my criticism. After the crew gets across the desert to the capital there are a couple coincidences that I just couldn’t let go of. And I think there could have been some very easy ways to have written them out of the book. I just had three or four of those, “Ugh, really?” moments that I really dislike, which sucked because I was liking this one so much.
An awesome setting and a near perfect set of characters, yet The Impossible Contract is marred by some too easy coincidences in its plot.
3 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley, Tor Books, and the author for an advanced copy for review.
I remember having a similar reaction to the first book. I was really intrigued by the world-building, but there were at least two moments where I was going “Please ask this person this very obvious question that anyone else would ask” and the investigator wouldn’t for another 50 pages and wouldn’t you know, there was some crucial information behind that question.
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Exactly! I love the setting and really want the action to work, but…
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