Review: Cameo the Assassin – Dawn McCullough-White

Series: The Cameo Series 1

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: Ebook 200
Published: 2009
Review by Lis

The Kingdom of Sieunes is rife with taverns, dirty streets, and clay pipe smoking citizens all toiling to feed their families and keep themselves in something little better than rags. With a foiled revolution just ten years prior still burning in the hearts of many, the royals enlist the aid of assassins to keep things in order. The townsfolk entertain themselves by dreaming of better times to come and regaling in stories of the undead said to walk the graveyards at night… and of Cameo the killer with corpse-like eyes…

Scarred and jaded Cameo is one of the most effective assassins in the employ of the Association, moving from one mission to the next as long as the alcohol keeps flowing. Her acceptance of the murder-for-hire lifestyle is thrown into doubt when she meets a local highwayman with a penchant for fine clothes and women, and then she begins to think about breaking with the company but no one ever breaks with the Association under good terms.

Lady Gaga sings proudly: I was born this way. However, that doesn’t apply to all. Some people are “made this way.” Of course, Gaga sings about sexual orientation rather than live in general. Cameo, our main heroine is one woman who is a victim of circumstance and ‘made this way.’ She lives the The Kingdom of Sieunes where a failed revolution still lives in the heart of the people. People who are controlled royals who enlist the help of assassins to keep their rule. Cameo is one such assassin. It’s not a profession she chose to be in. In a sense she is a victim or rape, abuse, the supernatural and men in general. It has left her dead, quite literally actually. She was brought back, but no longer human. With her white eyes, she’s scary as hell and good at her job. So good, in fact, people tell scary stories about her. Propbably not something she wanted in life, but got anyway. So she does her job and the rest of the time she spends in an alcohol induced haze. 
That is until she is held up by highwaymen: Black Opal, who is scarred but has a love for women and women’s clothes and Bellamy a jack of all trades who turned criminal. Besides Cameo, both men play an important role in this story. In a way they are the opposite of Cameo. Where she has no choice, they do. They form an unlikely trio. The boys make her question everything and a wanted fugitive to boot. Together they must face challenges and come out whole at the end. 
What I liked first and foremost about this book were the scarred, imperfect characters. They are not your everyday characters. While there are plenty scarred and abused character in the world of books, you haven’t ever met them like Cameo, Opal and Bellamy. Their characters not only have depth but are intricate and round. In a way I found this more a character driven story than a plot driven story. The story itself is alright, but a bit weird of sorts. There are adventures, but never a clear focus as to where it was going. There was no goal to the story itself. 
As the first in a series, this story is not spectacular but most definitely not bad either. It’s something of an acquired taste, I’d say. For a self-published book, the writing and editing is not bad. It is definitely a good start. 

23 thoughts on “Review: Cameo the Assassin – Dawn McCullough-White

  1. anachronist says:

    Scared and imperfect characters are just like me so I love them insanely in any fiction work I can grab. Thanks for a great review Lis – as always it was a pleasure to be introduced to a series by you! Say what you might but Blodeuedd attracts great reviewers!

  2. Mel says:

    Interesting sounding book. Not sure it's for me though – I like my charatcers to have chosen their own path a little. 🙂

  3. Blodeuedd says:

    @LizHm…nope and I can't even see it nowDCIt was good :)@MishaI think I once had a conversation about how I do not like character driven stories. but who knows@CherryLol@StephThey do seem to have more to offer@MelissaThat happens :/

  4. Blodeuedd says:

    @AnaAwww you flatterer you 😀 I try my best@MelI might just feel the same@ElysiumNice to hear@Alyssa:)@AurianOk made my mid up, yes plot for me too

  5. naida says:

    Nice review by Lis. I like the Gaga reference. Sometimes I'm weary of self-published books, but I do give them a try as well.

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