5 starsI was stunned when I realized I had read this two years ago.I thought there was a mistake but I blame my desire to read longer books for the last few years and get my average book size higher I ve decided who cares as i m not going to miss out on gems like this doing that any.The worldbuilding is on point for AC AC as far as i m concerned has the best worldbuilding and always has The modern scenes and the historical ones are blended together perfectly It is so vivid especially the historical scenes that you most certainly are right there in the middle of the action.The characters are great and wise beyond their years but it works too I like Owen and Javier and Grace and David and Sean but Natalya steals the show for me She is tough and smart and knows how to survive in a world gone crazy There s also some cameos for those that know the games but no spoilers here There s also a truly villainous villain who I think really steals the show most of the time too There s a lot of grey going on but this guy isn t any part of that.The plot is great and the pace really zips along It s AC so there s plenty of twists along the way and easter eggs than you can poke a stick at A really great way to get introduced to the series and a must read for those of us already hooked by it.Highly recommended In Last Descendants, Owen And A Group Of Other Teens Located The First Piece Of An Ancient And Powerful Relic Long Considered A Legend The Trident Of Eden This Piece Was Sought By The Brotherhood Of Assassins And The Templar Order, But Before Either Organization Could Take The Piece, It Was Stolen By An Unknown, Third Party The Tenuous Relationship Between Owen And The Teens Fractured, With Some Taking Sides With The Templars, And Others With The Assassins Last Descendants Book Picks Up Weeks After The Events Of Book There Are Still Two Pieces Of The Trident Of Eden To Find, And Both Groups Are Determined To Not Repeat Their Mistakes The Next Piece Is Said To Have Been Buried With Mongol Warlord Genghis Khan, Whose Tomb Has Never Been Found Now The Teens On Either Side Of The Conflict Will Have To Go Deep Into Simulations In War Torn Mongolian China In A Race Against Time To Discover The Next Piece, And Ensure Their Safety, Before The Others Rubs eyes This book s major problem is that it suffers from the same thing it did in the first one The characterizations are painfully paper thin.I can legit sum the main characters MAJOR defining traits up like this Owen s dad robbed a bank, he died in prison, and that makes Owen sad He wants to be an Assassin like his ancestors His relationship with his grandparents ain t great.Javier is Owen s Gay best friend He s got jealousy issues His brother went to prison for beating up a guy who said bad things about him He is also now an Assassin, but he s not as enthusiastic about it as Owen is.Sean is in a wheelchair He does not want to be in a wheelchair, and likes being in the Animus because he can walk again but god fucking forbid he be upset about being in a wheelchair and wanting to walk again, or someone will give him a patronizing You re a whole person , you re not broken speech Grace and David are siblings who worry about each other They are African American They don t like racism le fucking gasp, I am shock Grace is serious and doesn t want to get kicked out of the Abstergo program David likes fun and is curious Natalya is a quiet girl of Russian ancestry and does not like watching her ancestors kill people in the Animus Doesn t quite trust the Templars.Done No, really, that s pretty much the length and width of these kids personalities and behavior Any other details about them are so minor and brief they aren t memorable at all I don t know how they achieve in school, I don t know what their hobbies are, I don t know if they have any friends back home, I don t know what food they like to eat I don t know any of the little details that flesh a character out into someone unique and memorable And don t think I didn t notice the fact that somebody was trying to fill a diversity quota here A disabled character with Disability problems, a gay kid with Gay problems, and two black kids with Racism problems at least when they go into the Animus, anyway , and to boot, they re setting up Natalya to have PTSD And maybe if everyone had been fleshed out this would have been less aggravating, but since they re all pretty much solely defined by these characteristics, it looks a lot like Diversity Pandering I mean, Jesus Desmond Miles had WAY less screen time in the five games he was in than his respective ancestors, and I STILL know a fuckton about who he is as a developed character than I do about these kids and I m sorry, but video games cost way to produce than a book, and I m not really seeing any viable excuses for how the author could not have managed to stretch a little characterization out for his characters.The same problem can be said of the ancestors they visit in the Animus Very little to no characterization, and again, like the last book the ancestors stories are interrupted by the fact that we can SEE the kids offering up their commentary on what s happening Do you know how annoying it would have been in the game if Desmond had constantly been offering up his observations on Altair, Connor, or Ezio Either the author should have reduced the amount of characters they were working with and dedicated the book to characterizing a few, or they should have made the book longer and included characterizing moments for everyone.And finally, just as a parting remark, I m a little fucking bothered by the tack this book is taking regarding the whole Gosh, maybe we shouldn t choose sides between the Assassins and the Templars thing.The Assassins literally forbid killing innocent people Yeah, they can be manipulative, and yeah sometimes they do sketchy things.Meanwhile, the Templars have pretty much committed a form of Genocide against the Assassins and anyone related to them They have killed not just the Assassins, but their spouses and children and other family members too, because they are literally trying to wipe them off the face of the fucking Earth Rebecca flat out says they ve destroyed as many records of Assassins in order to deprive the Assassins of information about their history and culture which, fun fact, is also a form of Genocide They have kidnapped people and effectively tortured them by subjecting them to rigorous stints in the Animus, which can easily drive a person nuts Clay Kaczmarek, anyone in order to find memories of their ancestors And that s just what they ve done to the Assassins There are loads of games and other media dedicated to the other reprehensible shit they ve done throughout history I could, no shitting you, go down the entire fucking list of terrible shit the Templars have been responsible for in history, including slavery, oppression, mass violence, and murder, but I d take up the rest of the word limit I have here and then some.Yeah, I m sorry, while we can debate the values of total control vs chaotic free will all day long, the really blunt fact here is that the Templars are fucking bastards and the Assassins are pretty much the only people stopping them from imposing their will on the entire fucking world, and from stomping on thousands on innocent people to get there And yeah, I get that the kids may not realize that, they re just getting into things, but for the reader The one who s played the games, or at least knows the stories behind them, and has seen some of the truly monstrous shit the Templars have done to pretty much anyone who stands against them Maybe someone who s never played the games won t quite get it, but for those of us who have, you look at the page and you go, what the unholy christ is wrong with you, the Templars are genocidal world dominating lunatics, no shit I m on the Assassins side The Assassins may not be perfect, but the fucking Templars have proven themselves to be power mad assholes who pretty much always seem to find a way to make themselves the oppressors throughout history For this book to place the Assassins and Templars on the same level of morally questionable status makes me want to throw the book out the fucking window, because if you know literally ANYTHING about what this series claims the Templars are responsible for, it just doesn t work.Part of me is curious to see how this clusterfuck ends, but frankly, I m not sure I want to waste money on the third book So much wasted potential, it hurts. 4.5 5 StarsSo, a few weeks ago or so I got a pleasant surprise in the mail from Scholastic I was sent an early copy of Tomb of the Khan to review I won t lie I jumped up and down and cheered so THANK YOU Scholastic once again for getting a chance to read this series early I am glad I managed to read it in time too If you haven t picked up the Assassin s Creed Last Descendants series yet, GO NO FURTHER I won t be spoiling the new book, but I can t promise I won t be spoiling the first one You can check out my review for the first book HERE if you re curious Second thing I d like to say, if you really don t know anything about Assassin s Creed or don t care to know, I wouldn t advise reading the books You ll be confused There is a book that recently came out that s an introduction to the world You can buy that HERE Alright now, moving onto the review The first book left off with all of the characters getting separated, and in this sequel, everyone comes together The Assassins and the Templars are both still looking for the three prongs of the Trident of Eden, and it s a race to see who will get them first This novel brought back all the elements I love about the Assassin s Creed world, and I really like how this series is bringing the neither element to the table In the video games, the heroes are always the Assassins, and the bad guys the Templars or Abstergo But, in this book, we see that neither side is necessarily the hero or the villain There s a gray area to both group and the young adults in the novel are seeing that Second, what I really loved about this book is the fact it gave me Indiana Jones vibes The way they were looking for the Piece of Eden in a tomb and had to travel through the jungle of Asia I dunno, it made me think of young Indiana Jones on adventures And I LOVED it The plot line brought me all over the place, in the genetic memories, and physically over the continents Another positive thing I enjoyed about this novel is that we get in depth with almost every character s personalities and motives They all have some sort of development, some positive and others negative Javier is my favorite character so far, and I liked getting inside his head and seeing his side of things in this novel, rather than just Owen Also, we see a lot of Natalya and I ADORE her I m pretty sure she s the one on the cover I m happy that there are female characters being brought into this world I hope to see one in a video game by herself without a male partner soon ALSO One of my favorite character s from Assassin s Creed Heresy was in this novel as well Victoria Bibeau Sometimes I forget the worlds are allowed to connect, and characters from the video games and other stories pop up in the novels, even across novels I hope to see of her, and Anaya who was mentioned at the end It s WEIRD wanting to learn about the Templar agents rather than the Assassins after reading Heresy The plot line got SO much intense in this book Some of the prongs were found and maybe didn t exactly end up in the right person s hands.BUT the novel ended off in quite an interesting turn of events I m curious to see how everything will go down in the next book This book is full of action, there s barely any boring or dry spots in the novel It definitely keeps you interested Personally as an AC fan, found this book better than the movie that just came out, and maybe even some of the games That may be because I ve been a reader longer than a gamer though, hehe If you love Assassin s Creed and haven t picked up this series, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR If you have read the first book, Last Descendants, well tomorrow is your lucky day Tomb of the Khan hits shelves December 27, 2016 P.S IT S SHINY This book was ten times better than the first one and I couldn t put the book down Looking forward to the next This is an extremely cool series Matthew J Kirby is a great storyteller, in this second book Tomb Of Khan, there is constant conflict between the Templar Order and Assassins Each side has a piece of the three prongs of the Trident of Eden, but only can seven youths put them together Owen, Javier as part of the Assassins travel to Mongolian China to find the tomb of Mongke Kahn. An Assassin s Creed SeriesTomb Of KhanOwen and his friends have lost They managed to do something incredible, but were defeated When they located the first piece of an ancient and powerful relic long considered a legend the Trident of Eden it seemed little could stop them This piece was sought by the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templar Order, but before either organization could take the piece, it was stolen by an unknown third party The relationship between the teens fractured Owen and his friend Javier taking sides with the Assassins, the others with the Templars.Now there are still two pieces of the Trident of Eden to find, and both are determined not to repeat their mistakes The next piece is said to have been buried with the Mongol warlord Mongke Khan, whose tomb has never been found Teens on either side of the conflict will have to go into simulations in war torn Mongolian China in a race against time to discover the next piece, and ensure their safety before their enemies find it first. A fun read, good series, interesting interactions, believable that people who pick sides one way or another.Seems like there s one book one for each of the prongs of power.Now all I have to do is put my hands on it Enjoy Very exciting novel that brings the true idea of Mathew J Kirby s imagination. My name is David, and my sister and I were captured by the Templars I ve been enjoying the simulations in the Animus using my grandfather s DNA, but my sister says it s not a game I know we re searching for the three Pieces of Eden, but it s been a blast experiencing combat missions with the Tuskegee Airmen However, one night I went exploring in secure areas of the compound and overheard a disturbing conversation Isaiah told his men to infiltrate the Assassins and kill our friends Owen and Javier what kind of people would murder kids My sister, Sean, and Natalya don t believe my story, but I m now sure these Templars can t be trusted I think Natalya is on the fence about them, so I hope she ll come with me when I escape I m almost positive she s discovered the location of the second prong of the trident, and we ve got to retrieve it first You need to read book one first I wasn t crazy about the Animus simulations this time, since several characters were experiencing unrelated events It got a little muddled between those descriptions, and the multiple names for characters and their ancestors added to the confusion It wasn t unmanageable, but it created some difficulty after a day or two of not reading Whereas the simulations were most important in the first book, I found the real world problems interesting this time The ages long conflict between the Assassins and the Templars continued, with Monroe s status unclear in the beginning He reappeared to change the dynamics, but there was a new player involved who had gotten the first Piece of Eden This person was finally revealed during the book s climax There was some killing involved in the plot, but it wasn t as bad as the cover words Assassin s Creed might imply Actually, the creed guides the Assassins actions, and they seemed honorable than the Templars The book continued the question as to whether either group was totally good or totally bad With the identity of the new player now known, I m looking forward to reading the third book. The book Last Descendants Tomb of the Khan follows the story of two main groups the Assassins and the Templars When one of the characters, Natalya, finishes a session in the Animus, a fictional machine that allows one to relive the experiences of their ancestors, she describes a method she uses to help her mind focus on the real world Victoria had trained her to latch on to specific memories, like the sound of bells ringing at her grandparents Russian Orthodox Church, or the smell of shchi simmering on the stove while the spicy manti dumplings steamed These were the details that made up who she was and helped her find herself again when she got lost in another life 6 This quote is important because it relates to the ways that people tend to hold onto specific memories Although in this particular example, the character is using this to combat a fictional force, this also can apply to real life In reality, the common practice of remembering specific memories relates to the partial control people have over their emotions If a person is feeling upset or stressed, for example, focusing on the memory of a positive experience can be used for relaxation This is significant in the book because it is a very human behavior that emphasizes the realistic emotions of perhaps the most human character in the novel Natalya is constantly experiencing anxiety about having to relive a horrible life of war within her ancestor s memories, and her indecisiveness about extremely major decisions only adds to her humanity This is why the practice of holding onto memories is important in the story It helps Natalya quell her emotions in order to work towards a greater good, while also giving the reader a character to sympathize with due to her desperation and human behavior.
Matthew Kirby was born in Utah, and grew up in Maryland, California, and Hawaii As an undergraduate he majored in history, and then went on to pursue an M.S in school psychology For ten months out of the year he works with students, and during the rest of the year he writes He and his wife currently live in northern Utah.
- 352 pages
- Tomb of the Khan (Assassins Creed: Last Descendants #2)
- Matthew J. Kirby
- 07 November 2018 Matthew J. Kirby