When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. For the witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. But what happens when the doppelganger...more Synopsis: When a witch is born, a doppelganger is created. For the witch to master her powers, the twin must be killed. But what happens when the doppelganger survives? Mirage, a bounty hunter, lives by her wits and lethal fighting skills. She always gets her mark. But her new mission will take her into the shadowy world of witches, where her strength may not be a match against powerful magic. Miryo is a witch who has just failed her initiation test. She now knows that there is someone in the world who looks like her, who is her: Mirage. To control her powers and become a full witch, Miryo has only one choice: to hunt the hunter and destroy her.
My Review: When I first picked this book up off the shelf I knew I just had to have it. I mean, look at that cover! It just screams, "Buy me!" And so of course I obliged the voices in my head and bought it and it's sequel. I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I should have listened to the voices in my head. There was many aspects of this novel that I absolutely loved, and just a few that fell flat.
I love the premise for the story. Doppelganger's? How cool is that?! It's like having an evil twin, except well it's not evil. Lol. Some of my favorite character's to read about are witches and assassins. Having them both together just made me squeal with joy. Brennan did an incredible job of creating this world. It was well thought out and felt real to me. Cultures, speech patterns, and different religions were well developed and it was enjoyable reading through them. Though I have to say I was horribly confused with all the titles of respect for the witches. It was like suddenly being transported to Japan where they tack on sama, kun, and chan to everyone's name. Except the witches system of titles is infinitely more complex! A little bit further into the book I realized that you could identify what Ray a witch was by her title and her position within that Ray. Honestly I just kind of ignored them. Way too much information for my brain to make sense of. O.O I was really glad that the world was so interesting to read about. The book would have been a major snore if the world was lackluster. I still found myself wanting to know more about the Goddess and her five Aspects though. I'm not a religious person, but I always find myself intrigued by new takes on religion. I thought all the different ways to worship the Goddess were fascinating as well. You have your traditional Priests and Priestesses, then the Witches, and then Avannan Dancers. The Dancers express their worship through dance, which I thought was insanely cool.
I really liked Mirage's character. Lame name I know, but it's a Hunter thing. Her best friend is named Eclipse. Just roll with it. She was tough, smart, sarcastic, and kickass. I love my strong feminine heroines and Mirage definitely fits the bill. With red hair and the fact that she started training as a Hunter later than normal, everyone has been out to prove her a failure. Mirage fights her way to become a respected Hunter and beats down the whispers of her being a Witch or Cousin. And I mean that literally. Calling her a Witch is ill advised. What I really found unique about Mirage's character was that she was a Dancer before she went to become a Hunter. You often think of hired assassins not really having any affiliations with religions. Mirage is a religious person, although not very zealous about it. She worships in the only way that truly makes sense to her, dancing. Her character was complex and she shattered the killer stereotype that Hunter's are.
Miryo by contrast was far less interesting to me. I don't know why I didn't really take to her, but every time I was reading about the witch I was wishing I was reading about Mirage. Miryo has a kind heart, is determined, and is a really nice person. I guess the fact that she never really questioned her up-bringing at all kind of bugged me. I'm the type of person who asks "Why?" about everything. Miryo just wasn't that kind of person. She just accepted her life and what the Primes told her to do without question. Oh I need to go kill my other half to regain control of my magic? Okay. *headdesk* She didn't even question why! Or how her doppelganger survived anyway! Plus she referred to her doppelganger as an 'it' which ticked me off. Mirage is a person, hello?!
The two's role in the story were very different. Mirage and Eclipse were hired by the witches to investigate an assassination of another witch. Meanwhile, Miryo is on the hunt for her double. Once again, Mirage's story captivated me wholeheartedly. I have to give Brennan major props on how well crafted her plot was. It intrigued me and had me guessing throughout the whole book and I never even came close to guessing what was really going on. Usually I'm really good at that. I was completely lost to what any of it could mean until Mirage or Eclipse figured something out. That's how well written the plot was. The one major problem I had with the book, and probably the reason that I cannot say that I absolutely love this book is the lack of tension. There was so many opportunities for something exciting or unexpected to happen. Miryo is walking down a creepy alley, she's advised not to do so, she does it anyway, and..........nothing. It felt like Brennan kept setting up scenes for something exciting or unexpected to happen and she just didn't deliver! Every time a point came in the story that could have been intense and full of action, it just kind of traipsed along and was boring as hell. The lack of unexpected twists and turns in the story really disappointed me. I was expecting a fantastic story of mystery, deception, and action. It was severely lacking in the action. Don't get me wrong. The book was brilliant, but it just lacked that extra spark to make it amazing.
I'm hoping that the action and tension will pick up in the sequel. Which is sitting by my bed just waiting to be read. :P Oh and there better be some romance too! Dear lord! The potential tension between Mirage and Eclipse was just killing me inside! So their year-mates, they trained together and have been best friends for how many years. Who cares?! Eclipse is freakin awesome and clearly cares about Mirage! They better end up together or I will be supremely Pissed. Off. Well... onto the sequel!