International Sensory Assassin Network

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
331 Pages
Reviewed on 06/29/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Mary Ting is an international bestselling, award-winning author. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

When Ava is given the chance to escape her life in a juvenile detention centre and become a trained assassin for ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network, along with other troubled teenage girls, she accepts and looks forward to her new start in life. Ava embarks on a harsh training regime led by friend and training director Russ and tough, emotionless field operative Mitch. All the female assassins are injected with Helix serum which increases all of their senses, making them a deadly force to be reckoned with. Ava receives strange messages from a person called Sniper, who seems to know about her past. Whilst Ava is on a mission with her team, Sniper - aka Rhett - and his gang kidnap her and reveal the reality behind ISAN’s work. Ava is left devastated by the discovery and as ISAN recaptures her, she is left wondering if she can trust anyone.

ISAN - International Sensory Assassin Network by Mary Ting is a gripping novel that caught my attention from the first sentence when Ava leads her team in a training exercise. The plot is fast-moving and filled with three dimensional and realistic personalities. I especially found the relationship between Ava and Mitch interesting, as they fought a battle of wills throughout. As Mitch relentlessly tried to get into Ava’s mind, she had to constantly fight him psychologically. I loved the character of Ava; she was strong and had a gritty determination. It is refreshing to see a novel filled with so many great female characters. I found the creation of ISAN and the description of their work, and treatment of those who decided to leave, quite chilling. My favourite line has to be: ‘Memories can be erased, but you never forget emotions’. I feel this summed up the story perfectly. There is plenty of action and suspense throughout and the ending surely made way for another novel and the continuation of Ava’s adventures. I hope so.

Sarah Westmoreland

Life’s been rough for Ava. Orphaned at a young age, she was placed in foster care, under the guardianship of an abusive foster father and a neglectful foster mom. Tired of the constant abuse, she finally ran away from home... only to end up getting arrested. But that’s where things seemed to turn around in Ava’s life. A scientist from ISAN (International Sensory Assassin Network) tested her blood, along with the other children in the government’s care. What they found was a special genetic anomaly that would allow her to be a part of a top-secret assassin project, fueled by an experimental serum known as HelixB77 (Helix, for short). With her senses greatly enhanced by the effects of the serum, Ava quickly found herself at the top of the program, the leader of the highest ranking team in the assassin network. But Ava’s world will be turned upside down again when she is abducted in the middle of a mission. Her captors seem strangely familiar, though she has no memory of them... Could their impossible story be true?

ISAN - International Sensory Assassin Network by Mary Ting is a fascinating dystopian adventure. The post-apocalyptic American landscape is well described, as is the new society that has risen up in place of the former United States government. The characters are strong and driven, as well as being well-rounded individuals with interesting back stories. The plot is fast paced and gripping, and it’s easy to lose oneself in the world Ting has created. Altogether, ISAN - International Sensory Assassin Network is a very pleasing young adult read!

Divine Zape

ISAN — International Sensory Assassin Network by Mary Ting begins with a bang and ends in high pitched action. In a story set against the backdrop of a world ravaged by meteors, the reader follows compelling characters fighting to survive in a world turned merciless. The United States is no longer what it used to be. It’s been transformed into a desolate place with surviving patches ruled by the Remnant Council and divided into North, South, East, and West.

Meet Ava, a seventeen-year-old girl who finds herself in juvenile detention. She is privileged — or is she really? — to be among the few selected for a special program, and must be injected with a serum to enhance her life. While she is in training, a stranger kidnaps her and tells her that her life has been a lie and that the ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network, has worked hard to make sure she knows nothing about her history and plans to use her at their will. She has to choose where her loyalties lie, but how much time does she have when danger is racing towards her?

Mary Ting has crafted a story that will entice fans of science fiction with strong elements of the dystopian genre. The crisp writing, the exciting and well-crafted scenes, the complex characters, and the cunning plot are elements that make Ting’s writing an engrossing read. I enjoyed the way character development is handled and from the very first sentence of the story, the reader gets a powerful sense of conflict, setting, and character: “I ran to live” are the first words and this introduce readers to a world torn apart by bullets and violence. This is a tale of survival and a young woman’s search for meaning. ISAN — International Sensory Assassin Network is a riveting, hard-to-put-down novel.