Series: In The Company of Shadows
Author: Sonny & Ais
Publication Date: March, 2013 (Series Finished)
Years after the bombs of WWIII have changed the physical and political landscape, the Agency ruthlessly works behind the scenes to take down rebel groups that threaten the current government. Their goals justify all means. Hsin Liu Vega (Sin) is their most efficient and deadly assassin ever. However, he tends to go off on unauthorized killing sprees and somehow his assigned partners all end up dead under suspicious circumstances. That is why the Agency has had him locked up in a box on the fourth floor for years. But now they think it is time to put the psychopath back in the field. With a new partner.
Boyd's mother, a high ranking Agency official, volunteers her teenage son for the position. Boyd is not afraid of death. In fact, his life has been such an endless cycle of apathy and despair for the last few years that he'd welcome it.
Can these two broken men form an efficient partnership? Can they learn to trust anyone, let alone each other? Sin doesn't give a fuck about the Agency, or the androgynous boy who holds the remote to the shock collar that is supposed to control him.
On the other hand, Boyd is strangely unafraid of the man everyone calls 'monster' and Sin seems reluctant to let his keeper get himself killed on any missions. Yet.
*These books are free and you can download them on either their website or on Goodreads*
I'm just going to write this review for the whole series. It's not spoilery, so it's safe to read.
Even though these books were far from perfect they sucked me in and didn't let go. (And when I say didn't let me go I mean I read this whole series in like a week and each book was over 1k pages...so yeah...) Even now I am having a huge book hangover. I love all these characters. I was there with them through it all and it was one hell of a ride.
I think most of you will agree with me that these books were damn long, and I mean LOOOONG. So long, that it was what made me so hesitant at first to even pick them up, aside from the m/m factor. Thing is, they could be shorter. If they do some heavy duty editing it could cut out quite a bit, because I did notice that once Boyd got started with his analyzing (which I actually did like and looked forward too) it still became quite repetitive at times. There was also some very heavy descriptions every now and then, usually at the start of chapters I noticed, that could be done without or more specifically made shorter. Even though the length could be seen as a negative point, I still love these books so much that I never wanted them to end anyway.
The other slightly negative point was the pacing, but not really. Actually, I only minded this during the first one, which coincidentally was the longest book of the 4. It seemed that at times nothing was really getting done when you thought about it in regards to Janus anyway. It was just a very long setting up for the rest of the books, which do get more things done when it came to Janus and the Agency both. It was also somewhat predictable at times, but not anything that would put you off.
I had been looking for a good book dealing with assassins for awhile so when a friend pointed this one out I ended up caving even though I was uncomfortable with the m/m aspect of the story since I had never read one before, and I'm so glad I did! This was exactly what I was looking for. Finally a book about assassins that get the job done have their problems but don't become mopey-emo and woe-be-gone attitude. They killed, accepted their actions and went on with their lives, while still retaining, and in Sin's case, discovering his humanity again.
While these books did deal with the Agency, assassinations, terrorism, and the like, the main focus were the relationships, both friendship and romantic, between the characters. How hard it was for these people to create real friendships and even find love and once found keeping it under such difficult circumstances. It was beautiful to witness the growth of both, Boyd and Sin, individually and then together, not to mention all the side characters.
So lets talk about the characters, because this is really where these books shine. Sonny and Ais were geniuses in making these characters come to life. Making them real, their interactions, their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses. I fell in love with ALL of them. Every single one of them were exceptionally well written. They became my friends. I suffered when they suffered, laughed when they did, was happy when they were happy. I don't know how else to express the awesomeness that was Sin, Boyd, Ryan, Owen, Carhart, Emilio, Jeffrey, Vivienne, Cedrick, Kassian and all their friends.
The other excellent selling point was the way the book was set up. It's written in third person, but different points of views. It's mainly Boyd and Sin of course but we get insight into the rest of them at times and that's really what made them so great. You get to see everything in all their different perspectives and draw your own conclusions.
That epilogue couldn't have been done any better. Do not click on that spoiler if you haven't read all 4 books! (view spoiler)
So if you are looking for a book about secret government agencies, kick ass assassins, missions, with some romance, death and gore thrown in. You should really read these. Don't let the length of the books intimidate you, they are worth it. I promise.
Would I Recommend it?
*This was the reason why I have been AWOL this week. I picked up the first book and read through till the end. I didn't even turn on my comp and check my emails at one point. That's just how good they were. So I apologize for having randomly disappeared like that, but at least now you know why xD*