Oct 12, 2011


Upon finishing Nightshade City, Hilary Wagner's debut novel, I was so inspired that I moved one of my animal-civilization books to the front burner. That project lived off Hilary's inspiration for two months. Part of the reason I was able to ride the wave for so long is because Hilary's writing is gorgeous and flowing, but lucid. It really blew my mind. As Nightshade City came to a close, every muscle in the plot was tense and then the book ended with a fifteen thousand foot cliffhanger. I was wowed and found myself yearning for the sequel in the same way I awaited Catching Fire.

As you can imagine, the instant the ARC of The White Assassin arrived, I ignored my homework, ripped open the packaging, and glanced at the first page. I had intended to read page one and then get ready for work. Oops, I was a little late for work that night, and extremely tired from lack of sleep the next day.

The White Assassin moves at a different pace than its predecessor in the series, and readers will find themselves excited by the frequent changes in direction and emotion. Through fantastic writing, Hilary does not allow the reader to be jarred or pulled out of the story. She makes things too important to miss or ignore. Each character is vital and multidimensional, which is another spot where Hilary inspires my writing. You will fall in love with several characters in these books - consider yourself warned.

My attention was held until the very end of the The White Assassin. I highly recommend these two books by Hilary Wagner, especially for families who like to read together.


  1. Great review. The White Assassin was a very fast read for me. Only 2 days, which is fast for me because I work. I love how Hilary developed Billycan.

    And FYI, I'm giving away an ARC of it at Literary Rambles.

  2. I have to read these!

    Love the picture!

  3. I'll be getting to it soon. Loved the first one!

  4. ...And this is why I love you! ;) Thanks, Jon, for such an awesome review! You have been so supportive! Billycan thanks you too, he may even visit Michigan. You have been warned! :)

  5. I can't believe I haven't read Hilary's books yet! Must get to them soon!

  6. Wow, Jon, you hooked me. I don't read that many middle grade books, but I know Hilary through the blogland, so I'll check them out! Thanks for the rec.

  7. I adored Nightshade City! I still haven't gotten to White Assassin, but I look forward to it. Great review, J!

  8. All who have read TWA - Thanks for the support!

    All who have not read TWA - Thanks for finding my review interesting!

    Hilary - As always, thank you for writing a book worth writing about.