Here’s the synopsis.
When the book opens, it opens huge. The reader is thrown right into the action, which never really stops. We find the hero, Angela Abrams, on a mission in Afghanistan, where she is a sniper in the British Army. The only thing is, the mission she is on is one she created herself. She’s taken it on herself to do a few unsanctioned missions. Her unsanctioned assassination gets her in trouble, she gets herself in more trouble, and she winds up in the brig.
Enter Rourke Andres, super-assassin and head of a secret cadre of assassins that operate ‘off the books’ under the auspices of an international advertising agency. He recruits Angela as part of his team, which means she has to leave her old life, identity, name, etc. She becomes Quinn Rogers, a.k.a. The Dragonfly, one of the top--and most feared--assassins in the world.
Let’s talk about what I liked/disliked about Unsanctioned Eyes. First, the likes. As I already mentioned, the style of writing is amazing. Merritt provides imagery and depth to each scene without getting flowery or wasting time describing things that don’t need to be described. She truly trusts the reader to get what she’s trying to say, and there was never a point where I was left doubting or questioning her words.
There are also droplets of intrigue and hints as to some of the protagonist’s backstory throughout, but Merritt doesn’t just drop it all at once. Each new reference of Quinn’s history gives just a little more information about who she is and why she’s become The Dragonfly. Though, this doesn’t get fully explained. Some of it is left for Book Two. (Can’t wait!)
The main conflict of the book opens up fairly early, and at first I was worried that there would be a ton of filler or action-for-the-sake-of-action throughout. I’m glad I was wrong. Each scene develops with near perfection, and though there are some scenarios that seem a bit far-fetched, I reminded myself that James Bond once drove a tank through St. Petersburg with a statue of Tsar Nicholas on top. Nothing that Merritt writes is as far-fetched as that.
The few parts that I didn’t like truly didn’t draw away from the enjoyment of the book. Trust me, they are small stuff. I’ll try to not give away too much of the story or spoil the plot here, but if you’re sensitive to that, skip the rest of this review. For the first part, the main antagonist isn’t as developed as I would have liked, nor did they have that large of a part in the story, at least for the first ninety percent of the book. I didn’t even realize that the antagonist was the antagonist until deep into the story. Quinn’s battles are all against a variety of sub-characters with no relation to the true antagonist.
Also, during a mission-gone-wrong, Quinn kidnaps an eighteen-year-old named Nathan. He was my least liked character in the way he seemingly accepts the fact that he was kidnapped and never really tries to escape, even though there are parts of the novel where I would have liked to have seen him try. There are also multiple characters all vying for Quinn as a romantic partner (there’s no romance in here at all, maybe one kiss?) and they all seem to make their interests known at the worst time.
Outside of those few items, as I already mentioned, I absolutely LOVED this book.
Overall, I gave Unsanctioned Eyes 4.75 stars.