To kick off my personal reading challenge for this year, I looked long and hard for an exciting book. One that I hoped would leave me breathless and greedy for more. So after a friend told me about this Chameleon Assassin series, I thought I’d give it a try. Truthfully, the way the story was explained made it sound like a regular mystery with a few sci-fi parts thrown in. I decided that I’d at least read the sample for the first book and not go any further. At the very least, I could say that I tried. But from the first sentence, I saw just how wrong I was; this book was completely different than what I had imagined. I read the first paragraph, and before I knew it, I was on chapter four, time for bed and I was promising the sleep fairy my first born in exchange for a few more reading minutes.
Toronto, 2200: Mutant abilities are the norm and powerful corporations rule. Libby Nelson, a chameleon and one of the world’s top security experts, thief and assassin, is hired to track the movements of 17-year-old twins. No stranger to danger, Libby knows that to get answers, her chameleon capabilities can only aid her so far and she must delve into the treacherous drug dealing underworld where this time, she dares not tread alone.
It would be easy to portray Libby as a superhero because of her many mutations, which allow her to blend easily into her surroundings, mimic people or animals, and disrupt electrical currents. Yet author BR Kingsolver has managed to keep the main character relatable and a girls’ girl. Along with vivid scenes, intense action and a dialogue that flows well, the unique backdrop of futuristic Toronto where civilization is surprisingly less civilized, makes for a fun and fascinating read.
I’ve always enjoyed reading about strong, take-no-prisoners, female lead characters, but I found myself moaning loudly when she chose to go out with Ron, a character not her equal. Nope, I wouldn’t do it; not even for a minute because, well, death is his job, and quite frankly, nope, no thanks. But again, I liked that she did; it gave her character perspective and besides, if Ron wasn’t caught up in the luvdaze financials-death game, I’d say she had someone to help clean up her “wet-work” mess. But I digress.
Wilbur Wilberforce, on the other hand, was a good choice for the lead character, though his name had me laughing throughout the novel. His parents should’ve consulted the name fairy. His trifecta – over six feet tall, well-educated, and well-spoken – didn’t overshadow his own set of lethal skills. And the fact that his 6-pack had a 6-pack of its own, well hot damn, front seat please!
I was intrigued with how the author showcases this strange world without it being in-your-face strange and unbelievable. It was more like, here is the world and it is completely normal. Pieces of the world were peppered in throughout the novel and that made it real and comfortable for me. The understated world fit this story well and reminds me of similar worlds in other sci-fi novels I’ve read. I have several visuals for this book as a movie and I think it would do really well.
At times Libby seemed cold and uncaring, but her soft heart was evident in how she cared for the orphans and the lengths to which she went to achieve this goal. With so much intense action packed into this story, I wasn’t ready for the open, abrupt ending. Of course, if the reader has a burning desire to find out what happened, how the story ended, then book two is just steps away. Books two and three are patiently waiting for me on my e-reader at the moment.
For readers who enjoy a well-told story filled with drama, action, sass and so much more, this is a solid start to a promising series that won’t remain long on anyone’s must-read list.