I was excited to read this book as I love espionage and assassin type movies like the newer James Bond movies, Spy with Melissa McCarthy, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Professional, Collateral… oh how the list goes on and on. They are thrilling and action packed, so to see that genre in a YA offering had me itching to get through the pages as soon as I could.
Pretty Fierce by Kiernan Scott is quite the ride. It centers around a girl named Kaia, whose parents are professional killers. A year before our story begins, Kaia is playing a game with her mother in a hotel room. Her mother is anxiously watching and listening, but still trying her best to entertain her daughter. It’s clear that something is amiss. A phone call and gunshots shift the story that was clearly on the edge of a blade in the wrong direction, and Kaia ends up living in hiding on her own.
A year later, we find Kaia has been attending school and being cared for by a set of guardians, and even has a boyfriend. But she is now discovered by hitmen who tell her that her mother is alive, and are trying to find out what Kaia knows. In a quick move, Kaia clocks the man over the head with the stock of a shotgun and is threatening his life when her boyfriend, Oliver, walks in on them. Kaia can’t bring herself to kill the man, especially in front of Oliver who has no idea what is going on. She grabs Oliver, packs them into a car, bursts through the garage door and goes on the run with him.
And trust me, that’s just the first few pages, so not much of a spoiler! Kaia has to figure out who is after her and what the truth is about her parents. Is her mom still alive? Is her dad still out there? What happened in the job gone wrong all those months ago? And if they are out there, why didn’t they ever come for her?
I think my favorite part of this story was actually Oliver’s voice and how he was processing things, and his descriptions of Kaia and the actions through his eyes. There were moments that the writing did take me out of the story, or perhaps I am not used to the author’s voice; mostly this is when there were memories explained in the middle of an important moment, rather than waiting to explain it. It was almost like revealing things as you go, instead of saving those moments for the quieter times in between the action.
Overall it was an interesting read, and as I understand it, this is a new genre for the author. I may have to check out some of her other works and see how different her voice is there. It was a fast-paced book with plenty of chase scenes, guns to the forehead type scenes and lots of intrigue to keep readers engaged. The writing style was not exactly for me fit-wise in some places, but I would recommend it to action-seekers.
Pretty Fierce is scheduled to be released on April 4, 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire.
Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!