Pretty Fierce – Kieran Scott – SourcebooksFire – Published 4 April 2017
Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows true danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal or more special than her boyfriend, Oliver.
But when she’s jumped by a hit man, and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. With professional killers stalking their every move, can Oliver and Kaia protect each other long enough to uncover the mysteries of her past?
Pretty Fierce is a thrilling story, with plenty of action and drama.
It took me a few chapters to situate myself within the story, but the action soon grabbed my attention. But while this book has plenty of dangerous situations, high speed chases and guns to the forehead, it retains a sweetness and playfulness. The title is therefore apt, it is both Fierce and Pretty.
Eighteen months ago, while on a mission with her parents, Kaia and her mother were attacked. Her family was destroyed, her parents were both missing presumed dead, and Kaia put into action the plan that was only to be used if everything went terribly wrong. For the past 18 months, Kaia has been living with her ‘grandparents’, colleagues of her assassin parents. She has the most wonderful boyfriend, Oliver, and she is no longer endlessly plagued by nightmares. But all those fears resurface when she is brutally attacked and Oliver sees her take out her assailant. Now her secrets have been revealed and she isn’t sure Oliver will want to stick by the crazy girl who was raised by assassins.
Kieran Scott says this story was inspired by a dream starring Chris Hemsworth – I knew there was a reason I enjoyed this story. It’s fun, playful and still has all those elements of a high-speed, action blockbuster.
When the story starts it has been 18 months since Kaia’s parents were killed and Kaia started a new life. She already has a strong relationship with Oliver, so Pretty Fierce is not about the start of a romance but instead the journey of a romance as Kaia and Oliver face death and an unknown future.
Kaia, as the daughter of two assassins, is of course strong, resilient, and proficient with weapons and self defence. But she is also not unbelievably talented. She is still recognisable as a teenage girl. She misses her parents, fears for her life, and makes mistakes, but she can also shoot a gun and handle a knife. Oliver, too, knows how to protect himself. At first he doubts his ability to keep up with Kaia. He is so surprised, and hurt, to discover the secrets she has been keeping from him, but as they face increasing danger, Oliver knows that he can protect Kaia just as she can protect him. I liked that Oliver was a strong character. I like that Kaia is strong enough on her own without needing a weak character to make her look strong. Oliver also has his own story, just as Kaia has hers. I liked that his backstory gives him depth, motives, and desires for the future. He is more than just Kaia’s sidekick and their relationship is solid, despite the challenges they face and the changes they need to make.
As Kaia discovers more about her family and their secrets, she also learns about the secrets Oliver has been hiding from her. Together they face assassins, sometimes in the strangest of forms. At times the story was a little unrealistic, but its balance between playfulness and threat makes this an interesting and fun book to read.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Genre: Thrillers and Suspense
Themes: Family, assassins, murder, missing persons, relationships, parents, romance.
Reading age guide: Ages 13/14 and up.
Advisory: Frequent coarse language, m*****f*****, f***, s***. Violence, murder and descriptions of death and injuries.
Published: 4 April 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 320 pages.