Jessica Slate is a kindred covenant. In other words, she's a high-ranking vampire and assassin who is as sassy as she is revered for her strength. Part of what makes her one of the best assassins is her willingness to kill any target without ever asking why. She's perfectly content thinking that the male voice she often hears in her mind is just a figment of her imagination. She doesn't question why she has no other choice but to be an assassin and take Icarus, an injection from the Powers That Be that keeps her alive.
This all changes when she's sent on an odd mission. Usually she's required to assassinate vampires who've committed treason against the High Coven, but this time the higher ups want her only to retrieve the target. When she finds him and roughs him up a little, he's adamant on letting her know that everything she knows is a lie.
As much as she doesn't want to believe it, a series of events quickly forces Jessica to understand that everything she thought she knew IS a lie, leaving her with lots of overwhelming questions and answers. What role does her mentor and on/off again lover Tristan play in the grand scheme of things? Who is Jacelynd and why does she feel like he's familiar?
While it's important that Jessica regains her memory for her own sake, she also must do so for the sake of humanity. Only if she remembers can she stop the apocalypse...for now.
The moment I started Icarus, I knew it was a book J.S. Chancellor had fun writing. The book starts with a cool introduction that lets readers peak into Chancellor's mind and learn more about the story's creation. Then there's a small paragraph that summarizes what Icarus is in Greek Mythology. Last, but not least, each chapter title is also the title of a song, so J.S. Chancellor notes in the beginning which song the chapter gets its title from. That way, when reading the chapter, you can listen to the corresponding song on the playlist. I thought that was a nice idea.
I really liked how genre savvy Jessica was. In the beginning, she jokes around about cliches that run rampant in vampire fiction and tries to say that vampirism, in reality, is actually not like that stuff at all. For the most part, this is essentially a love triangle story. At some points, the relationship stuff made my heart soar, but other times I felt it could be a bit sappy. I loved how the characters at the end of the story definitely felt different from the characters at the beginning. The conflict nicely built up and came to a good close.
It's not a good idea to read this for the apocalypse part of the storyline, since that is something that is mostly only happening in the background. While at the same time it seems like Jessica cares about what happens to humanity, it also seems like the love triangle and Jessica regaining her memories is more important.
I really did like this book, namely because it's fun. Though there are very serious moments, I still feel like this book's purpose was never meant to be some literary masterpiece or a book that would be seen as entirely unique to other supernatural books. I smiled at the witty conversations and felt all warm and tingly at the moments of pure love. And hey, maybe that was Chancellor's purpose all along.
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