Innocent Assassins | Review

First comes love, then comes murder. 
You're an assassin captured during a mission. Instead of receiving the death penalty for the crimes you've committed, you're given a second chance at freedom. But with a catch of course.
 Go against everything you were raised to believe in, and turn your back on the one person you love the most. 
What would you do?
That is the decision Jane Lu has to make in this tale of love, friendships, and an inner battle of throwing everything away for a life you've always wanted to live.
 Stay tuned for my thoughts on The Innocent Assassins.

Innocent Assassins | Pema Donyo
Pages: 344
Genre(s): YA, Suspense, Romance
Published: June.24, 2014 | Astraea Press
Format: Ebook (Epub)
Source: Author 

There are three rules to staying an assassin at the corporation of Covert Operatives: (1) your parents must be deceased, (2) your contracts must remain confidential, and (3) you must be under the age of eighteen.

After a murder mission goes awry a month before her eighteenth birthday, Covert Operatives assassin Jane Lu finds herself caught by the federal government and forced to spy for the CIA while remaining in Covert Operatives. Once her spying mission is over she will be allowed to live a civilian life without facing criminal consequences, a life she's only dreamed of having.

As Jane leaks information to the CIA, she uncovers secrets with enough power to both destroy Covert Operatives and her own boyfriend, Adrian King, who's next in line to be CEO of the company. When her identity as a double agent for the CIA is discovered within Covert Operatives, she must decide where her allegiance, and her heart, truly lies.

Innocent Assassins is one of those books that will keep you up until 3 am because you can't put it down. One of those fast paced, fun reads, that sucks you in from the beginning, and spits you out at the very end. I found myself laughing at the characters, even yelling at them because I was so invested. It was just that good. IA follows Jane Lu, a trained assassin for the organization Covert Operatives. What I loved the most about Jane is that she wasn't your typical assassin. No shade Celaena. No, no shade. She wanted more out of her life than just murder and espionage. She longed for a simple life, one that could promise her a marriage and possibly children. Something normal, obviously opposite of the life she lived. There was only one problem. Adrian King. Jane's first bestfriend, then later boyfriend wanted anything but. He was next in line to be the CEO of Covert Operatives, and loved the power and control he gained from the organization. There was no way he was accepting the fact that she wanted to leave. 

" You want to be average!" His tone was laced with frustration. Creases in his forehead appeared as he challenged me. "What, you're going to be some struggling writer married to some poverty-level plumber and pop out a few kids. Is that what you want? ..." 

The real drama starts when a mission goes wrong and Jane is captured by the CIA. Instead of killing her, they give her a choice, work for them as a spy to take down Covert Operatives, or be punished for crimes she's committed as an assassin. To help aid her decision, she is shown evidence of the wrong-doings of the organization, including a mysterious situation surrounding her parents she never knew. After feeling betrayed she makes the decision to take on the task alongside Tristan, a former CIA agent who seeks his own revenge on CO. 

I really enjoyed Jane and Adrian's relationship. In most YA novels, some relationships, atleast to me, come across as unrealistic. They either happen way too fast, or are really over the top to the point where it isn't "believable". Jane and Adrian argued about things that would actually matter in real life. Jane wanting to pursue writing, go to college, have a family. Adrian wanting to work his way to the top of the organization, to take over and have control of everything. Having these differences made them real, even for fictional characters. 

Another aspect of the story I enjoyed was the plot. Here's this super fast paced read, where every chapter seems to have a twist. But for every good, there's always a bad right?
I feel that when you're giving an honest review, you need to have some type of balance. So even if I loved it, I always try to elaborate on a few things that I disliked about it too. What's so great about Innocent Assassins, is that you aren't going to find too many "dislikes" in the story. However, I did stumble across two aspects of IA that were a bit lackluster.

For the story to be about hardcore assassins, there wasn't much action involved. There were a few scenes where we'll witness a shoot out, and I can only remember reading about two assassinations that were told in detail. I think having that action would have elevated the reading experience, giving us that kick ass factor we were hoping for. Next were the characters. As stated above, I loved Jane and Adrian. Yes Jane was slightly annoying, with the constant breaking up with Adrian, and yes Adrian was a bit controlling, well alot really, but their characters were the most developed of the group. Then there's Tristan. The Ex-CIA agent, who was such a creep. One minute he seemed like he was going to make a bad ass partner to Jane, assisting her with taking down CO. Then out of the blue things go completely left. All of a sudden he was in love with her, and trying to kiss her, and . . . he just became so weird. BUT, I did like his character. He was so irritating but yet funny, and deep down inside I know Jane was feeling him too lol. We need a second book so we can get a love triangle, because who doesn't enjoy reading about one of those! Also in the crew was Jane's bestfriends Lucy and Emma. I didn't really connect with Lucy, or Emma for that matter. Lucy was a great friend, she end's up being hospitalized and doesn't make much of an appearance in the story after that. Then we have Emma. First of all, this girl was down right horrible! Like does she not know the rules to Girl Code. Apparently not. 
I want to give you guys my full thoughts on all of them, but I don't want to spoil anyone. I just wish they were better developed as supporting characters. 

Even with those minor flaws, I was still able to enjoy reading Innocent Assassins. It was fun, with an original concept, and had characters that you'll love to hate. If you're looking for something quick, that's going to deliver everything that you love in YA, I suggest you pick this up!


  1. Thanks, girl! I'm so glad you liked it :)

    1. You're welcome Pema! I look forward to reading more of your work :)

  2. I am glad to see you enjoyed this book so much! The cover looks really interesting, even though I have never heard of this book before. I am looking forward to trying it out, if it's so good it keeps you up!

  3. Thank you! It definitely was a good book, and the author is such a sweetheart!