The Assassin Game
The Assassin Game
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Annotation: At Cate's isolated boarding school, Killer Game is a tradition that only a select few are invited to play, they must avoid being killed by a series of thrilling pranks, and identify the murderer.
Catalog Number: #5884260
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2015
Pages: 325 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-492-63275-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-492-63275-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015027625
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The rules of the game are simple: "One Killer is chosen, and he or she has to Kill." Metaphorically, that is 's up to the Killer to concoct inventive (yet harmless) slayings. After three grueling years at the isolated Umfraville Hall, located on blustery Skola Island, Cate has finally been "harvested" by the Assassins' Guild ndpicked to participate in the annual game of Killer. Cate's initiation is accompanied by the unexpected arrival of her (now startlingly handsome) childhood best friend, Vaughan. A tech genius eager to get in with the Guild, he has crafted a covert tracking website, Crypt, where game members can anonymously convene and communicate. But when "deaths" devolve from red-powder-painted shower heads into actual poison, Cate notes a sinister extra profile on Crypt. Could there be two Killers, one of them genuinely lethal? As the tide rises and Vaughan inexplicably vanishes, Cate alone must identify both assassins. While the premise is no doubt derivative d readers may detect at least one killer before our headstrong heroine does Kay's world building is topnotch and the suspense palpable.
Kirkus Reviews
A girl joins a traditional secret murder game in her snooty boarding school only to find that the game might be more real than anyone had intended.Cate attends the elite private academy located on the Welsh island that her nouveau riche parents have inherited. The white teen's not at the genius level of so many of the other students, but she makes it into the Game anyway. Every year the Assassins' Guild holds a game in which one member secretly becomes the Killer and stages fake murders of the other players. It's all completely secretive and elaborate, and Cate is proud to be in it. But when biracial (part-Jamaican, part-Irish) Vaughan, a childhood friend, shows up as a new student and manages to gain late acceptance into the Guild, Cate begins to worry. Computer-whiz Vaughan sets up an undetectable social network in the school, and someone Cate knows only by the screen name Skulk begins to taunt her. When an actual death occurs in the Game, things become all too real. What is Vaughan really up to, and why has he apparently followed Cate to the school? Through Cate's present-tense narration, McKay keeps things ambiguous so that readers will continue guessing until the true culprit is revealed in the climactic scene. Her witty, self-deprecating voice captures the thrill of belonging and the complicated emotions that come with new money.Smart, edge-of-the-seat thrills. (Thriller. 12-18)
Publishers Weekly
Umfraville Hall, an exclusive boarding school on the windswept Welsh island of Skola, is an ideal setting for a mystery that takes a few cues from Agatha Christie-s And Then There Were None. The Assassins- Guild, a secret society, is ready to start its annual game of Killer, and the rules are simple: one Killer is chosen, who may -kill- other members using -wacky-but-child-friendly- methods (-Death by gassing with a stink bomb in the common room. Death by -suffocation- with a duct-taped duvet-). Sixteen-year-old Cate, newly initiated into the Guild, can-t wait to play Killer, but when her childhood friend Vaughan insinuates himself into the game, and the -kills- start getting out of hand, what should be harmless fun turns deadly serious. McKay (Undead) pokes a bit of fun at teen angst, using Cate-s wry voice to tell this twisty whodunit. Her narrow viewpoint intensifies the tension as she tries to stay ahead of the Killer, and although readers may guess the culprit before the final revelation, they probably won-t care, since it-s so much fun getting there. Ages 12-up. Agent: Allison Hellegers, Rights People. (Aug.)

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up Cate's been harvested: chosen to be part of the Assassin's Guild, a secretive elite club at her boarding school. Playing the game involves avoiding being "killed" through a series of ongoing pranks. But what happens when the killing becomes real and the game becomes a nightmare? The book opens in a rush of excitement and suspense. McKay continues the thrills throughout the novel, leaving readers guessing at who may be mixed up in the murderous game. The writing can be choppy at times, with less than believable dialogue between characters, but the pace keeps the plot moving forward even when it falters. Fans of elusive thrillers like Gail Giles's What Happened to Cass McBride will enjoy this book thoroughly. Lovers of mystery and suspense and those who appreciate a good boarding school story will also engage with this fast-moving and adrenaline-packed novel. VERDICT Recommended for public and school libraries looking to expand their YA mystery collections. Tabitha Nordby, Red River College, Manitoba, Canada
Voice of Youth Advocates
Admitted to her school's exclusive Assassin Guild, Cate cannot wait to participate in the group's traditional fantasy-kill game and soon becomes a real-life target. She has attended Umfraville Hall on an island off the coast of Wales for three years. She considers herself a student of normal ability who has been admitted to this exceptional school because her parents own the island. Each year, the Assassin Guild carries out a game in which a secret "killer" creatively and secretly eliminates the rest of the members. Traditionally, old members vote in the new, but this year, Cate's childhood friend, Vaughn, enrolls in the school and crashes a Guild meeting. He negotiates his membership by offering a computer program that protects both individual and group secrecy. Each member adopts an online mystery name, but an extra, hostile name appears. The kills become real. Cate and Vaughn scramble to discover the murderer. Vaughn disappears, and Cate places herself in more danger to find him.Red-herrings abound in this page-turner. Each gifted, thin-skinned, self-centered, selfish Guild member is a suspect. Even Cate's favorite teacher may be guilty. The fast-moving plot will motivate readers to sort through the many characters, guess at their motives, and spot the real criminal. Vaughn may make this a cross-gender read, but narrator star Cate will draw enough female readers to require more than one library copy.Lucy Schall.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (9/1/16)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (7/1/16)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Word Count: 93,884
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 14.0 / quiz: 183553 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:22.0 / quiz:Q69236
Lexile: HL690L

Who will be left after the lights go out? "It is 4 a.m. when they come for me. I am already awake, strung out on the fear that they will come, and fear that they won't. When I finally hear the click of the latch on the dormitory door, I have only a second to brace myself before-" At Cate's isolated boarding school Killer is more than a game-it's an elite secret society. Members must avoid being "killed" during a series of thrilling pranks-and only the Game Master knows who the "killer" is. When Cate's finally invited to join The Guild of Assassins, she knows it's her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs. But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save The Guild. But can she find the real assassin-before she's the next target?

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