After the events of the previous book of the series the witch assassin Grimalkin (yes, she is exactly as badass as it sounds like) is on the run with a lot of dark forces hell-bent on killing her, ironically exactly the moment she ended up on the side of good guys for the first time in her life. This is basically all there is to say.
I can talk about bad sides of the book non-stop, so it is much easier to say what is good about it. This is the first time in the series the tale is not told in Tom Ward POV. This feels refreshing as Tom's naïveté seriously gets on my nerves at times. The hardened witch assassin is not naive at all.
When you think about it despite all the recent glamour depiction of assassins in the media (books, movies, video games, etc.) there is nothing glamorous about the job; it is full of gruesome moments, it is nasty and often messy - not to mention the whole idea of killing people. This time we got to witness the business in all of its gory details. I like that the author is not trying to put lipstick on the pig.
Now for the bad parts: the biggest of them all is that the book is a filler. It stops the main tale practically dead in tracks (did you notice a very lame pun?) There is not much happening in the story at all. Grimalkin tries to stay alive; all the people who can be called good - even if sometimes one really has to stretch the definition - drop dead like flies and bad people/beings continue pursuing Grimalkin without much losses. There is exactly one exception to this rule: I mean the one about good people; I am not saying who it relates to in order to avoid spoilers.
I already mentioned that nothing much happens here; this could be told as a short story instead of a separate book. Grimalkin's flashbacks take a large part of the tale and for some reason they failed to make me exciting.
Last nitpick: the main character keeps saying, "I am Grimalkin" to keep convincing anybody - herself first and foremost - that she is a badass. She says this several times per chapter and I had an idea of using the same trick in my review, something like the following:The witch assassin kept running. Nothing could stop her. She is Grimalkin.
She kept ahead of her enemies, from the past and present. She is Grimalkin.
She did not equally care about the people that tried to help her, or kill her. She is Grimalkin.
You got the idea. I decided against it as I took pity of my readers. After a while this part began feeling like Grimalkin has self-esteem problems. All in all she failed to displace Alice as the best female character.
This book has not killed my wish to finish the series, but it seriously shook the one to read the folow-up series in the same universe, especially considering that the general consensus was that one is not as good.
I rate this one with 2.5 stars rounded up for the respect of the series. The next fuller book would get the same rating rounded down - and book 11 looks like the one.