The Dead Cat Tail Assassins

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Pub Date 06 Aug 2024 | Archive Date 23 Apr 2024


The Dead Cat Tail Assassins are not cats.

Nor do they have tails.

But they are most assuredly dead.

Nebula and Alex Award winner P. Djèlí Clark introduces a brand-new world and a fantastical city full of gods and assassins.

A Most Anticipated Book of 2024 According to Bookish, She Reads, Civilian Reader, and FanFiAddict

Eveen the Eviscerator is skilled, discreet, professional, and here for your most pressing needs in the ancient city of Tal Abisi. Her guild is strong, her blades are sharp, and her rules are simple. Those sworn to the Matron of Assassins—resurrected, deadly, wiped of their memories—have only three unbreakable vows.

First, the contract must be just. That’s above Eveen’s pay grade.

Second, even the most powerful assassin may only kill the contracted. Eveen’s a professional. She’s never missed her mark.

The third and the simplest: once you accept a job, you must carry it out. And if you stray? A final death would be a mercy. When the Festival of the Clockwork King turns the city upside down, Eveen’s newest mission brings her face-to-face with a past she isn’t supposed to remember and a vow she can’t forget.

The Dead Cat Tail Assassins are not cats.

Nor do they have tails.

But they are most assuredly dead.

Nebula and Alex Award winner P. Djèlí Clark introduces a brand-new world and a fantastical city full...

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ISBN 9781250767042
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Average rating from 176 members

Featured Reviews

P. Djeli Clark immediately became a must read from the first book of his I read.
Always so blindingly clever.
In this world the Goddess of Death grants a new life to those sign her contract to be reborn after death
and become Her Holy Assassins.
Eveen is one such dead assassin.
Resurrected seven years ago she has become a legend.
But now she has a problem.
Her younger self has been impossibly plucked from the past and is her new target.
A mission she cannot complete, even though she must or risk the anger of The Goddess of Death.
Kick ass action. A new incredible world to explore. And best of all wonderfully complete and compelling characters.

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Eveen, a dead (or undead?) member of the Dead Cat Tail Assassins, gets sent on a mission to eliminate a well-protected target. The mission goes sideways when Eveen hesitates, thinking the young woman's face is familiar AND that the target is too young to be killed. Sky, the young woman, thinks Eveen has arrived to rescue her but is stunned to learn not only that Eveen meant to kill her but also that the two of them seem to be the same person.

Thus begins another wonderful tale from the fiercely imaginative mind of P. Djeli Clark. This fast-paced novella has Clark's signature dry humor and ability to spin out a plot from seemingly random and twisted threads. Despite the dangerous and morally questionable nature of her work, Eveen is a fascinating character with a sly wit and a blank space where the memory of her past life would be, so it's a treat to watch her try to figure out why she was sent on an impossible mission. As always, Clark really digs into exploring power dynamics and what justice means to different people, leading to a satisfying finish.

P. Djeli Clark has yet to disappoint me. His characters (especially the female characters), his plots, his pacing, his worldbuilding are all amazing. And whoever is responsible for this gorgeous cover deserves a raise. 5 stars, give me more in this universe, please!

Thank you, and NetGalley, for providing an eARC of this book. Opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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Um, a story that has both "cats" and "assassins" in the title? Sign me up! It also helps that it was written by one of my favorite new authors of last year. We get Clark's dry sense of humor as well as a fast-paced novella that is well organized with interesting characters. Not to mention the world he has built! Pick this up immediately!

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I had a very enjoyable experience reading this book. The main Character Eveen was likable and a bit of a book nerd. A girl after my own heart. The Dead Cat Tails Assassins takes a look into what choices could make you become the person that you are, and if that is something that you can accept. Eveen is forced to look at herself in multiple ways to determine if it is worth looking back on the past or looking at the future of just accepting the present. The twists and turns were fun to watch play out and several characters drew a laugh from me. I finished the book all in one sitting and did not regret it.

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I have tried to read a book by this author before, but I just couldn't get into it. However, I was given this ARC, and I'm glad I gave the author another try.

I really enjoyed the characters and world building. In fact, I would love to see more of this world. I feel like the magic system is really cool and could be developed into so much more.

The story itself is complex and intriguing with lots of little twists and turns, keeping the pages turning.

The only thing that kept this book from being 5* for me was the use of modern colloquial sayings, which just didn't seem to fit, and also the use of dialect by the goddesses, which made it difficult to understand. Luckily, it was only a minor part of the book. If it had been throughout, I wouldn't have finished it, as I'm too neurodiverse to be able to understand what was being said when it isn't written clearly.

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P. Djèlí Clark is back with another laugh-out-loud, creative fantasy with intriguing worldbuilding and well-written main characters. This was more of a novella than a novel, and I wanted to know more about the world and the characters. But for anyone who enjoys P Djeli Clark's other books, this is a must read.

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This book is so much fun. I love P. Djèlí Clark's writing, it is fast paced and evocative and shot through with crackling humour. Eveen is an undead assassin, with no memory of who she was before her soul was given over to the goddess of knives, but she ends up face to face with... her own face? on what should have been a routine assignment. This triggers a hair raising time sensitive quest to find out the truth and see if it can be undone, with her fellow assassins on her tail and the city's magic running high.

There is blood, and death, and assassinations, and demon dogs who eat people, but the tone never becomes too grim. It is so well balanced with humor and burgeoning friendships and I highly recommend it. I need to go read the rest of the author's books right now. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for access to the eARC in exchange for an honest review

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“Wi a Aeril. Wi word a law. An di law a fi wi power. Buh wi run tings, tings nuh run wi!”

Although this book ends with a satisfying conclusion, my biggest qualm is that it could’ve been longer. If we cannot have a longer book then we should at least get more stories in this universe because this book is something serious. Clark never disappoints. I fell in love with his work because of Ring Shout. That novella got me out of a pretty bad reading slump. His storytelling is immaculate and it is so full of life. We have so much worldbuilding and character work clocking in at 224 pages! This is a testament to his skills as a writer and it further, in my mind, cements him as one of the best fantasy writers that we currently have.

This book manages to be funny, charming but also equal parts dark with all the action that you could possibly want.

I honestly couldn’t pull myself away. I devoured this book. I could honestly read endless stories that take place in this world.

What a treat. I cannot wait for everyone to read this and I’m so grateful to Tor for letting me have access to an advanced readers copy!

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WOW! What a story!! I could not put this down!! 4.5 stars for sure! Thank you NetGalley and TOR publishing for the digital ARC of this book. This is my honest review:

This was such a unique story that was fast paced, action packed, with a badass female main character, and a great concept. Eveen, an undead assassin gets contracted to assassinate…no spoilers 🙈… and ends up going on a journey to solve the mystery of who ordered this and why…and well how. Just wow, I really did not see each plot twist coming. I loved the concept behind this story, it was refreshing to read something new. I enjoyed Clark’s story telling, and the lore of this world.

The only reason this isn’t a five star read for me is because I do wish there was a little more time spent on getting to know all the characters. I didn’t feel awfully connected to any of them except the main character, and even then that falls pretty short. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing though because it’s not the point of this story. It did exactly what I think it wanted to do and that’s okay. This is one of the more plot driven books over character driven where the story will stay with you forever even though the characters might not.

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This book is so much fun, and such a thrilling roller coaster ride of magic and action, undead shenanigans, intricate intrigue, and glorious world-building. The characters just pop off the page, the world is vivid and exciting in all its complexity and detail, and the book had me literally laughing out loud several times. Another hugely entertaining book by P. Djèlí Clark.

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I really enjoyed the concept of this novel, it had everything that I wanted from the description. The characters felt like they belonged in this world and how the assassins worked in this universe. I enjoyed the Goddess of Death in this book and resurrection for the assassins for the Goddess. P. Djèlí Clark has a great writing style and I enjoyed the world that was built.

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Absolutely loved this book!
Snarky and complicated heroine. Unaliving. Interesting plot twists.
Fantastic world building with beautifully written prose.
The book was a delightful and amusing read that is in my top three reads for 2023.

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Dude, seriously I am OBSESSED. I love everything about this story. I mean total chef’s kiss! I love the world building, along with the lore that sets the story. I love how the Festival reminds me of Mardi Gras. The characters were funny and each of them unique in their own way and played a special part in the story. I love this story!

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This was so dope. Certain scenes reminded me of this anime called Claymore. The badassness of Eveen is just top tier. I love her. The fights, the magic and the characters. The whole experience was amazing.

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This is a delightful tale of an assassin, a member of the Dead Cat Tail Assassins (who are not cats,do not have tails and are definitely dead) who take assignments for assassinations for hire to be completed by dawn. Eveen, the Eviscerator, (as she is know because her last assassination involved a knife and a victim whose guts were spilled out on the ground),has accepted a new assignment. She proceeds with her orders but something doesn't feel right about this one. Instead of assassinating the victim, who seems to have been kidnapped, Eveen rescues her from her kidnappers. On further discussions with the girl she is supposed to murder, Eveen becomes aware that she might be related to her or... perhaps the girl is her from an earlier time. This sets Eveen and the girl on a quest to find out what is going on and to fix the situation before sunup when all sorts of bad things happen to Eveen and her entire group. This is a charming romp in a fantastic world which is in the middle of a grand festival.
This is a fun read!!!

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The Dead Cat Tail Assassins may certainly be dead, but these characters are not. Reading this book was a delight and, at once, hilarious and touching. Definitely read this book if you enjoy empowering female characters and evocative imagery as the backdrop of a dramatic plot of revenge.

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★ ★ ★ ★ 4 STARS

"Dozens of guards were injured.”
"Pfft. More like . .. scores.”
"Fine, two dozen.”

It’s not often that an author can make me fall so hard for its characters in such a short amount of time, but Clark has managed to deliver a book whose biggest critique from me is that it just isn’t long enough.

A sardonic undead assassin. Her clever, and very-much alive, target. A city night full of debauchery and drunk festival revellers.

I think that the strength to this book is its strong sense of atmosphere. Clark combines the compelling mystery that ties Eveen, the assassin, and Cyanna, her mark, against an interesting setting and magical folklore that we learn across the journey. Their mission, to be completed before dawn, is marked by the appearance of a colourful cast of characters, from quirky (and scary) assassins to shady city leaders.

As we go about the story, we learn bits and pieces about the magic present and it’s involvement in the local history, but it’s only by the end that I was able to piece everything together in a way that made sense. I find that there is still much about the magic that is left unanswered, however, this does not make the story feel incomplete, but feel rather like a piece to a wider world that we have yet to discover.

Master of Djinn, Clark’s other work, has always been on my TBR, but this novella has definitely pushed me to get to it faster.

Overall, it’s a great read, with compelling characters and a charming story. Definitely a good one for those that like their fantasy with a side of humour and found family elements.

Thank you to TOR and NetGalley for providing me with an eArc of this book!

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Let me preface this by saying I'm not the most diligent when it comes to writing reviews for arcs that I've received. I finished this book in one sitting and literally RAN to write this:

"The Dead Cat Tail Assassins" is an exhilarating thrill ride set in a skillfully crafted world. From the very beginning I was immersed in a vividly imagined setting with a plot that delivered non-stop excitement and suspense. Many times I found myself thinking of the John Wick series while reading this book. The dialogue was witty and funny, the characters were charming in their own way, and the pacing was relentless, ensuring that there was never a dull moment as the story unfolded.

Overall, "The Dead Cat Tail Assassins" is a must-read for those craving a fast-paced, action-packed narrative with compelling characters and a world that captivates at every turn of the page. Happy Reading!

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The moment this book ended I practically SOBBED.

Not because this book was sad or super emotionally taxing, I just simply did not want to leave. Reading the last book felt like being RIPPED away from this story, but that’s how good P Djeli Clark is at creating such an interesting world and such cool characters I just want to be around 24/7.

The Dead Cat Tail Assassins was magical. It was atmospheric, exciting, and compelling ALL the way through. Clark didn’t miss a single beat with this one and I ate up every single page.

I absolutely adored both Eveen and Sky and their unique dynamic. It was interesting to watch them try and exist together while navigating their situation. I loved Eveen for her shitty memory and her foul mouth, and Sky being her complete opposite was perfect.

I loved the world because UGH the worlds are so insaneee. I love the clockwork elements, the way magic works. Clark is just a master. Sorry if this is just me complimenting him back to back to back 😬.

Anyways, I loved loved loved loved the plot! I didn’t know exactly what to make of it at the beginning but as the pages turned I found myself hooked and by the end I was entirely enthralled. Loved the execution and outcome. Ugh I just wanted more more more!

Please read this when it comes out you won’t regret it!

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This is my first P. Djèlí Clark but will *not* be my last. Within the first three pages, I had such a strong sense of the characters and setting. Our protagonist, Eveen, is remarkably likable and relatable for an assassin, especially one who oh, is also dead, and has no memories of her life as a living person. She is sent to "ship" Sky, another immediately likeable woman who knows how to roll with the punches. They build an unlikely alliance, fighting off other undead assassins (turns out it's hard to put a stop to someone who's already dead).
It's really hard to talk about this book without spoilers, but it included many of my favorite fantasy world tropes, and a few unexpected plot devices. A must read for people who like vengeful women, fiery gods, and fans of tongue-in-cheek fantasy (think Gideon the Ninth, Tress of the Emerald Sea).
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC and TOR for publishing my favorite books!

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