I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Aveline by Lizzy Ford
Series: Lost Vegas #1
Published by Captured Press on September 19th 2016
Number of Pages: 254
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy
Purchase: At Amazon
Seventeen year old assassin-in-training, Aveline, is ready to die rather than submit to her fate working in a brothel to repay her late father's debts. On the night she tries to end her life, a stranger stops her and offers a proposition: a clean slate, in exchange for her agreement to become the guardian of a young woman she has never met. Leery of the assignment and the man behind it, Aveline has no other option but to accept the deal.
Aveline's suspicion that something is off about the arrangement magnifies when she meets her new ward, Tiana Hanover, the daughter of the most powerful man in Lost Vegas. Expecting a pampered princess with an attitude, Aveline is surprised to discover Tiana is little more than a slave - and harboring a secret the wealthy Hanover's cannot risk being revealed in two months, on Tiana's eighteenth birthday.
Determined to keep the Hanover girl alive, Aveline must learn how to protect Tiana from the other Hanover's or wind up dead alongside her ward.
So much of this book dragged. There were a lot of interesting bits that I breezed through quickly. But in between those bits, there were slow spots and things going on that I just didn’t care about. I wanted to like this book, it sounded really good, and I was super curious about why Tiana was locked away and mistreated.
There is a brothel scene early on, and you find out that the poor people are cannibals because there isn’t enough other meat to go around. There are signs all through the book that something horrible happened in the past, and the people had to flee from it. The wealthy have electricity and elevators, but the poor use torches and most have no idea what technology is.
I liked Tiana and her brother Arthur a lot more than Aveline. The book alternates view points between the three, with Aveline having the most chapters in her view point. I also liked how one of the main characters is LGBT, even if it’s as forbidden as the secret the siblings share.
Some of the possible trigger warnings are cannibalism, self-harm (cutting), blood and violence. None of them were bad enough to bother me, but there are a few bloody scenes towards the end of the book. The book also ends on a huge cliffhanger, almost like there were a few pages or more missing. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, but almost nothing felt wrapped up enough for the book to be over.
Aveline didn’t fit what I was hoping for as an assassin. Even one who is technically still in training. Her father was the head of the guild and said to be one of the best there was. She had supposedly been training with him since she was 3 or less. And yet, there were so many times in the book where the way she acted didn’t fit. In the beginning, she’s running through streets trying to escape pursuers. But when a stranger throws her a rope so she can escape to the roof, she’s so busy checking out who had followed her on the street below that she nearly forgets that he is up there with her!
She also ignores advice on how to fit in with the slaves on her assignment, pretty much tunes out the man who is telling her how things work. And there are a number of times she forgets that she is supposed to be a mute slave, and speaks to people. This would be mostly forgivable as she’s still a teenager, and maybe she hasn’t learned as much as she should. Except we’re constantly being told things like how she started learning how to use a weapon at age 3, or how role-playing was a skill children learned at a young age. And each time we were told something like that, you could be sure that shortly afterwords Aveline would fail to live up to what was said or thought.
I did like how the court intrigue and politics was done. As well as the twists about the danger that was stalking Tiana. But overall, I’m not sure I liked the book enough to read the next in the series.