The Deathsniffer's Assistant by Kate McIntyre
Will Publish on July 13, 2015
I didn’t realize that this book is the first of a series which actually, now that I think about it, makes sense since the ending didn’t really feel completely conclusive. Anyways, while I thoroughly enjoyed this book there were definitely a few aspects of it that I wish were different and/or better.
First of all, the flow and world building was severely lacking. I had some serious issues with understanding the world I was being thrown into. There wasn’t much of a build-up or explanation on all of the paranormal creatures, how they came to be, why they were forced to provide light for the lamps or water in the pipes, and what happened to electricity or normal, regular water? Also, I wish there were some more clarifications on the categorization process such as what were the categories, what’s the difference between a wizard and a normal person, how did one become categorized, etc. There were just a lot of questions that weren’t answered and I just had to blunder my way through to try to understand it a little better. Even now, there are many questions that I have that weren’t completely answered during this book so maybe the second book will be a little better – hopefully.
Chris, the main character of this book, is a tad annoying and rude in the way that he’s overly polite but he doesn’t mean any of his politeness. He just cares how he is presented to other people. However, despite his many flaws, I had to remember that he is still a young boy – I believe he’s 19 – and he is in charge of caring for his younger sister who is apparently very skilled as a binder and a wizard. In a way, I think he is overly cautious and overprotective of his sister because he doesn’t want anyone to take advantage of her skills and wring her dry. But he doesn’t realize that his sister has some say in it as well and he doesn’t understand that maybe she’s old enough to take care of herself. Towards the end of the book, it becomes obvious how much he has changed from both the deathsniffer’s influence and his new governess. I’m hoping that the second book will build off of that.
The Deathsniffer Faraday, is also someone that changed a lot during this book. In the beginning, she came across as crass, rude and blunt to everyone. She certainly didn’t care much for different societal roles which is fine but she comes across as arrogant. While I liked her honesty and her need to find out the truth of these murders, I did find her at times a little too much for me. The one good thing is that after hiring Chris, she too also changed for the better and became more understanding and more human in her way of thinking.
The one character I had no interest in was Chris’ sister. I personally thought she was a brat and incredibly spoiled. While I admire and respect her abilities, I thought that either her inability or unwillingness to understand her brother and instead, goes out of her way to show her abilities to the public was obnoxious. Yes, she had the right to decide things for herself but couldn’t she at least explain things to her brother rather than doing things in her own way and stressing her poor brother out? Plus, she’s so spoiled. She was aware that their finances were dwindling yet she would beg her brother for treats or rides that they obviously couldn’t really afford. I did not like her at all.
The plot was quite interesting – I really enjoyed reading about the mystery and figuring out who was the culprit. Though, to be honest, I kind of guessed it during the middle of the book and it became obvious after I figured it out. Despite that, I still enjoyed this book and will most likely follow the series.