27 February 2010

20. Sins of the Assassin

Sins of the Assassin - Robert Ferrigno

Last year I grabbed a book called "Prayers for the Assassin" after reading the blurbs and the narrative on the back cover. I ended up really enjoying that book. This one is the second book in Robert Ferrigno's Assassin trilogy.

The world for these stories is in the future. 2043 for this book. America has fallen apart. Following a civil war there are two major sections and some minor territories. The main parts of the former USA are now called "The Islamic Republic of America" and "Bible Belt". The two sections spent years at war with each other, but these stories are well after that war has ended.

This is the map of the fictional world of the Assassin trilogy. This is the map from the first book. There are some minor differences in the second book, but I could not find a .jpg except for this one. Close enough.

Neither of the new countries is doing very well. There are many factions within each of them vying for power. Fundamentalist Islamics (Black Robes) and Moderate Islamics dominate to the north, with a dash of tolerance towards Catholics to prevent an uprising. In the south there are the normal differences in Christian denominations, which have become political factions in many ways.

The protagonist in this book is Rakkim (Rikki) Epps, an ex-fedayeen shadow warrior in the Islamic Republic. Since this is a trilogy, the beginning of the book wraps up a few things from the end of the last book and transitions those events into the continuing plot of the second novel.

The first novel did not have much to do with the Bible Belt at all. It was more about the different factions within the Islamic Republic. This time we go into the Bible Belt and see a very different way of life.

Rikki is assigned a very special mission into the Bible Belt by the President of the Islamic Republic, with deniability of course. Infiltrate an army in Tennessee and stop them from some dastardly deeds. The previous USA regime (before the civil war) was far more capable than the current America. They had created and hidden away certain black-ops projects. They were hidden away when the civil war looked bleak. They were attempting to keep the technologies out of enemy hands. One of these projects was discovered and being recovered by a bible belt “Colonel”. More like a war-lord than anything else.

So, Rikki is sent to the Bible Belt to seek out the weapon, steal it if possible, destroy it at the very least. This weapon is supposedly something that will shift the balance of power worldwide in a very big way.

Rikki goes on the mission and there are many events along the way. There are tremendous successes and catastrophic failures. The story is exciting. It is full of adventure and double-crossing from every direction. He is continually haunted by Darwin, the assassin from the first novel.
I liked it very much and can’t wait to get my hands on the last in the trilogy, “Heart of the Assassin”.

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