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Taster Flight: Assassins

I run an infrequent series of posts providing “taster flights” of short ebooks that all explore a similar topic from different angles. Much like taster flights of wine or beer help you better notice the subtle undertones of the individual members, a taster flight of short ebooks can help you notice aspects of the individual stories that you might have missed. Also, they're fun!

Today’s taster flight is comprised of three stories about assassins. I doubt any of us would want to meet an assassin in real life, but there is clearly something fascinating about the idea, because they are incredibly common in literature and movies. Or perhaps that is just because a story about an assassin is almost certain to be action-packed? Whatever the reason, we seem to love these stories. Here are three stories about assassins, each with a different take on the topic:

Dead Pig Collector, by Warren Ellis, is the most traditional assassin story in the set. It follows an assassin in modern LA, and what happens when his latest assignment takes an unexpected turn. This book makes no excuses for its protagonist, and forces us to confront his character head on, with no comforting excuses about how he ended up killing people for a living.

The Assassin and the Desert, by Sarah J. Maas, is my favorite in a series of fantasy novellas about a beautiful assassin who is trying to find her own place in the world after a less than optimal start in life. Since the setting is a fantasy world, we aren’t really forced to confront this aspect of our heroine’s character, but Maas does slip in some thought-provoking aspects. And the story is just plain fun. (If you want to start with the first book in the series, it is called The Assassin and the Pirate Lord.

Pretty Bird, by Eli Nixon, is the most mind-bending of the three choices in this taster flight. It is a science fiction story, set in a dystopic near future in which all animals have died out. So it is quite surprising when a bird shows up on the protagonist’s porch… and the surprises keep coming. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, because the twists and turns are part of its appeal.


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