“I do not understand the extent of the hatred and the violence of the damage done to me. Why and how do I deserve this? What is the point?”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I’ve read and enjoyed S.K. Tremayne‘s books in the past, so when I was invited to read his newest title The Assistant a while back I basically accepted without even reading the blurb first. I did so afterwards, and definitely liked what I found. A psychological thriller with the promise of a dark secret and a technology angle? Yes please! I admit I had since forgotten what this story was about, so I was definitely pleasantly surprised and simply delighted by the plot I found once I started reading The Assistant. Such an original and bloodchilling premise!
There is a lot to love in The Assistant, but I think the thing that stands out most is the originality of the plot and the big role technology plays in this story. We live in a time where technology slowly takes over almost every aspect of our lives, and The Assistant shows us what the terrifying consequences might be if this technology starts working less than perfect. I personally couldn’t imagine having so many gadgets in my own home, especially having my very own Electra controlling so many aspects of my daily life… And I’m not sure if I even want to try getting used to one after reading this story. I think anyone who read this story themselves would understand why! That said, this aspect of The Assistant is developed brilliantly and incorporated into what is already a very interesting plot.
Then we have the writing, which is just as good as I’ve become used to after reading The Ice Twins and The Fire Child. It managed to draw me right in from the very first chapter and it was very easy to keep flying through those pages. Combine that with a solid pace and a healthy dose of suspense and plot twists to keep you intrigued and you will find yourself reaching that final page at record speed. Part of the success of this story is in the fact that you are never completely sure what is happening. Is Jo the typical unreliable main character? Do mental health issues play a role in the events described? What is going on with the technology? And what about those secrets about the past? It was interesting to see everything slowly evolve and I just loved how many times The Assistant was able to mislead me and simply put me on the wrong track.
Last but not least the characters. I’m not sure if they are exactly likeable, but they sure make for an interesting cast of characters and they are perfect for that unreliable narrator feel that this story has. I also loved that Electra was developed to be almost like yet another character of this story, and this definitely gives The Assistant an unique touch. The premise of this story is so original though! I’ve been keeping my rambles pretty general to avoid spoilers, but if you like twisty and unique psychogical thrillers you will be in for an absolute treat with The Assistant.