Review: Cameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough-White

Posted on 04/12/2011 in Book Review / 2 Comments

Review: Cameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough-WhiteCameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough-White
Series: Trilogy of Shadows #1
on 7/1/2009
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal Fiction, Steampunk
Pages: 200
Format: eBook
Source: Author
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The Kingdom of Sieunes is rife with taverns, dirty streets, and clay pipe smoking citizens all toiling to feed their families and keep themselves in something little better than rags. With a foiled revolution just ten years prior still burning in the hearts of many, the royals enlist the aid of assassins to keep things in order.\r\nThe townsfolk entertain themselves by dreaming of better times to come and regaling in stories of the undead said to walk the graveyards at night... and of Cameo the killer with corpse-like eyes... Scarred and jaded Cameo is one of the most effective assassins in the employ of the Association, moving from one mission to the next as long as the alcohol keeps flowing.\r\nHer acceptance of the murder-for-hire lifestyle is thrown into doubt when she meets a local highwayman with a penchant for fine clothes and women, and then she begins to think about breaking with the company, but no one ever breaks with the Association under good terms.

Cameo the Assassin took me by surprise in an extremely good way.  I was expecting a run-of-the-mill vamp novel and it didn’t deliver that!  What I got was a steampunk-esque (though I’m not sure I’d qualify it completely as Steampunk) story about a ghoul, I mean girl, who’s a hired killer-with-a-soul for the Association (dun-dun-duuuuun!).  I’ve never read a Zombie book before, and while this novel is careful to not bandy about that term (certainly, Cameo, our daring lead character doesn’t like it), it does fit.

Dawn McCullough-White writes Cameo incredibly well.  When you are introduced to her, she is aloof and emotionless, taking swigs from her flask while she watches the rather questionable activities that surround her each day.  She is paid to do her job and not question, something she does well.  She is the very embodiment of someone without a soul.  Or so you think.  She’s not without morals, however I felt like she largely kept them hidden, because frankly, Cameo is a survivor.  What you find beneath Cameo’s surface…well, I won’t spoil it for you. But it’s spectacular.  And not the least bit ordinary. As you read, you’re drawn into the story, bit by bit, like a lazy fishing line slowly being reeled in.  She paints a dark, yet lovely picture of a Victorian-era period with fine clothing, large egos and intrigue that invites you want to keep reading.  Her supporting characters, Opal, Kyrian and Bellamy, are often delightful and amusing with their verbal repartee; I found myself giggling at Opal’s and Bellamy’s witty and comical conversations.  And while they are both deep, complicated characters, they certainly are the light to her dark. It was a little difficult to keep up with the character jumps, but I attribute that more to the way it was formatted on my Nook than anything else, so it’s easily overlooked.  I definitely recommend this for anyone who enjoys Steampunk, Dark Fantasy or Paranormal Fiction.  It was a great read!

About The Author:  Dawn McCullough-White writes mainly dark fantasy and horror. Her novels tend to favor the use of anti-authority anti-heroes as the main characters, most commonly with a strong, female protagonist.

Dawn was born in 1969, in Rochester, NY, and began writing prose at age 14. Ms. McCullough-White is married and has a young son. She is fascinated by history and social psychology. She is a vegetarian and animal lover. Her favorite drink is Gewürztraminer. She’s fan of Alice in Chains, U2, and Stabbing Westward, her favorite books include The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson.

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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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2 responses to “Review: Cameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough-White

  1. Sarah

    I just finished this book a day or so ago. I found it too be quite a surprising read. I did not know it was a zombie book, and haven't read any before, but it was enjoyable. I should have my review up soon.

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