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Assassin Marked

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An interplanetary crime syndicate.
A debt, long overdue.
An assassin gone rogue.
Love. Revenge. Betrayal.

Although he knows it will mean the end of his relationship with both the Crime Syndicate and his long-time lover, Captain Victoria Maruska, Damian can’t let sleeping dogs lie. After overcoming his captain’s well-intended efforts to hold him back, Damian sets off to exact his revenge on the man who had once left him to die on the barren wastelands of Earth. . . .

Victoria may not know where to look, but she knows she has to find him. Following Damian’s disappearance and the not-so-mysterious murder of one of his superiors, the Syndicate has called Captain Maruska’s loyalty into question. As a result, she has been assigned the unenviable job of leading a task force to hunt him down. . . .

On the outs with his lover and on the run from trained killers, Damian DuFonte is . . .

An Assassin Marked.

42 pages, Paperback

First published October 6, 2017

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About the author

Michael C. Sahd

3 books157 followers
Michael C. Sahd grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. From a young age, he read voraciously, particularly in the fields of fantasy and science fiction. Shortly after becoming a teenager, he learned to play and enjoy fantasy games such as Dungeons and Dragons. At around the same time, he began writing stories and D&D campaigns of his own.

As an adult, Michael attended the College of Santa Fe, studying in the fields of English and literature. During this time, he honed his writing skills and expanded his writing portfolio. Although he has completed numerous short stories, Assassin Marked represents his debut published work. Most recently, he published his first full-length fantasy novel, The Unfettered Child.

Currently, Michael lives with his wife and four children in a small town in Texas, where he is working on writing the next installment of The DuFonte Chronicles.

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5 stars
11 (22%)
4 stars
15 (31%)
3 stars
14 (29%)
2 stars
6 (12%)
1 star
2 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Debrac2014.
1,990 reviews14 followers
May 7, 2019
Very short story that abruptly ends when you want more!
Profile Image for Grace J Reviewerlady.
1,802 reviews77 followers
December 4, 2017
Firstly, let me say that I’m not – and never have been – anything remotely like a fan of sci-fi. However, I just have to follow that up by saying I LOVED this short story!

Packed with detail, a great story, and sci-fi information which even I can understand make this such a fun read. It’s also thrilling and exciting. No struggling to understand what was going on in this one – just a need to keep reading and find out where it goes. I’m quite fascinated by the powers of the characters, and perhaps may not shy away from this genre now (yes, me – who’s not a sci-fi fan AT ALL).

My grateful thanks to author Michael C. Sahd for opening a world to me which I knew nothing about – and up until now understood even less. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Angela Cuéllar.
946 reviews96 followers
December 4, 2017
pooled ink Reviews:

Assassin Marked is a short story that introduces what is sure to be a very interesting world. Damien seeks vengeance, Victoria’s loyalties tear her apart, both have a choice to make that will alter the course of their lives. Do they obey orders? Or do they allow love to sway them and death to chase after? This is the story of an assassin marked.

Although short, it is well-written and perfectly sets up what will no doubt be an exciting and tangled chase. It gives but a taste of this world of assassins, spaceships, the mob, and more. I’m definitely intrigued.

If you’re a fan of science fiction, space travel, or Star Trek with an assassin twist, then you might be interested in reading this. Give it a try and find out how one becomes an assassin marked.
Read my review here: https://pooledink.com/2017/12/04/assa...
Profile Image for odedo1 Audio book worm. .
665 reviews5 followers
November 5, 2017
This was fun, for a person that always read thousands pages of hard core brain splitting space operas it was very unusual to finish a book in an hour, so yes I enjoyed it, I only wish that it was a little longer unless this is part one of a series which I have no idea.
I've just noticed that this is the author first novel which surprised me because there is a writer experience in this short story.

I hope you plan on continuing with you writing, you sure got it in you, I would love to read more of your writing, I have no doubt that you can accomplish it as a writer!
And please don't forget letting me know when you finish more books.
Profile Image for Cat Ellington.
Author 28 books18 followers
May 25, 2019
Featured at The Review Period with Cat Ellington from 2019-05-10 - 2019-05-24, Assassin Marked (The DuFonte Chronicles Book 1) by Michael Sahd has been archived for its place in the Reviews by Cat Ellington Complete Anthology book series.

603 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2019
This is a well written story with interesting characters about two assassins, who are in love, pitted against one another. When first reading it can be a little confusing because, while it remains in the first person, the author switches between the two main characters without stating which we’ve changed to. Assassin versus assassin isn’t perhaps the most original idea in the world but it was interesting none-the-less. You can tell the author's intention is for this to be part of a larger series and as such it kind of stutters to a stop rather than building to a climax. There’s more set up than resolution. That said though I enjoyed the Sci-Fi space setting featuring a mafia like organisation. As it’s a short story it, obviously, takes little time to read and passes some time. I’m just not sure it will ‘hook’ many readers into wanting to know more about what happens next. At least it didn’t for me.
Profile Image for Erica Robyn Metcalf.
1,199 reviews73 followers
January 11, 2018
Assassin Marked by Michael C. Sahd is an incredible short story filled to the brim with action, violence, and romance!

Make sure to pick this one up when you have a spare half-hour that you can dedicate solely to reading; you won't be able to put this down!

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.

The first chapter did a wonderful job setting up the story. In chapter one, we meet two characters, Damian DuFonte, who is an assassin determined to get his revenge, and another, Victoria Maruska, a psychic that captions her own ship.

As the story continues, we switch back and forth between the two main characters perspectives. A couple of the chapters focus solely on one character at a time, but then the rest of the chapters overlap in the timeline. I am usually not a fan of this method, but it was done incredibly well here! Each scene that was overlapped really added to the overall story; I loved seeing the scenes play out from each of their perspectives.

This short story was so well written. I absolutely loved the tone that the author captured. The description was brief, but very powerful! I cannot wait to read more from Michael C. Sahd!

My favorite passages:
My gunship hid somewhere in the surrounding woods. I slipped through the trees like a disembodied shadow in the night. An iron fence surrounded the yard. Metallic pillars held up the disc-shaped mansion that balanced on top of them, and cruiser docks extended beyond the mansion.

Most kitchens rest at night. In this one, a guard stood decorating a sandwich. When he bit into his sandwich, it took revenge, decorating his blazer with mustard and tomato juice.

A small gust of cold, stale air rushed in. My heart dropped with the ramp, sinking low into my stomach, through my feet, and then anchoring me to the floor just like the magnetic locks that held the ramp in place.

My final thoughts:
This book was right up my alley! It had an assassin, a strong woman with interesting powers, and it was set in space! When I picked this one up, I was hooked immediately and could not put it down.

I highly recommend this short story to any sci-fi fan that doesn't mind a bit of violence.
Profile Image for Alyssa Marie.
99 reviews8 followers
November 5, 2017
This was a relatively short story. I read it in just under an hour. It was well written and the chapters flip flopped between an assassin, Damian, and his female captain, Victoria. It's set in the future, and the author is extremely descriptive throughout the story. It was easy to imagine being in it.

My only qualm is that it ends very suddenly, but this is good in that it remains open for a sequel to further the story. Since it's only seven chapters, there is room for more growth and it could become a series. As for me, I don't like cliffhangers since now I have to WAIT to see what happens, but that's okay.

If you're into futuristic scifi, this is a good story to check out. As I said, it's short and won't take long to read through.
Profile Image for Delilah Bluette.
Author 6 books15 followers
April 5, 2019
I read this short story as my first #IndieAuthor purchase and as promised I am reviewing it.

Firs thing I want to make clear is I HATE this particular sub-genre of sci-fi so take that into account when you see my 4 stars up there. That's how good this short story was. Michael's writing made me like something that I normally would not have chosen to read on my own, and that is a very good thing.

Damian and Victoria are NOT heroes. They're not even anti-heroes. They are bad people doing bad things for the seedy underbelly of society. At first the writing style focus on visual description was distracting but once I got a little ways into this book I realized it was on purpose. Neither one of these characters delve very deeply into emotions which would make them weak and therefore focus on the superficial exterior aspects of their reality, just like two people who know they are bad for each other would do while hoping that the other would cave first and do right by them.

The adventure is short yet conveys years of experience succinctly and without distracting from the moment at hand. This is the point which actually brought the review down to four stars, as that feeling of time passed didn't occur until later in the story. However, it made me run the gamut of emotions from happy, to sad, to pissed off for and at the characters.

If you like gritty sci-fi and tales of reluctant love and heartbreak, this is a great read.
Profile Image for Paws, Pages and Purrs.
257 reviews10 followers
April 5, 2019
This short story was suggested by the author himself, Michael C. Sahd when I asked to have recommendations/suggestions and after reading the summary on Audible, I was intrigued and decided to give it a go.

I like sci-fi, I really do, but there was something about this short story that made it so I couldn't get into it at all. I don't know if it's because I felt like it was missing some backstory or if I started in the middle of something which made me start over to make sure or if it was the narrator's voice but I just couldn't enjoy this story to it's just value. I listened to this on my way back from work, in the bus, at 1.35x.

I love when i can get to know the characters more but this felt too fast. I couldn't side with anyone, I couldn't like anyone and I was just confused overall. I see a lot of good reviews for this and I feel bad but it happens I guess. Maybe I wasn't as in the mood for this one this time and I'll enjoy more another time? I don't know.
Profile Image for Anthony Puyo.
Author 7 books41 followers
April 23, 2019
3.5 rounded up to 4

It's an action story that is written in the style similar to that of a comic book. I personally think it would make a good one. It's a short read with not much backstory on the characters, however, I think it works well that way. And I feel it was tailored that way purposely for fast action and entertainment. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the read. Off the sample I knew what I was getting into, and it was exactly what I was looking for: a short, fast paced, lean and mean read.
Profile Image for Rebecca Hefner.
Author 24 books1,179 followers
April 9, 2019
This fantasy short story has it all. Love, power struggles, betrayal. For some reason, while I was reading it, I had flashes of the cantina scene in Star Wars. As a huge Star Wars fan, that was really awesome! If you like fast-paced adventure and a quick story, this one's for you!
Profile Image for ˚₊‧☾ space case ✩‧₊˚.
311 reviews36 followers
July 9, 2018
Ignore how long Goodreads says it took me to read this, it really is a super quick read! I hadn't realized I still had it on my currently-reading list until the time of writing this review. (It's been a long few weeks, folks.)

Ahem. Review.

Jumping right into what I liked about this short bit, the descriptions were awesome. Literally, the first note I made as I read though this was "damn good descriptions", followed by enjoyment of the fact we're not info-dumped on like I had been expecting considering the length. The information was actually pretty nicely sprinkled along as I read, and at no point was I sitting there thinking I wasn't going to remember anything because too much was unhauled onto me in the span of a few paragraphs.

I do have to admit though, because the information was so nicely laid out, that I was actually steadily getting more and more interested in the past rather than the future of the characters we're given to see though. Not sure if that was the intention, but it happened to me! So, you know, I'd be down for seeing a prequel from this world, if that was ever in the works. Particularly from Damian. I was more invested in him than Victoria.

The thing I wasn't very keen on at all actually was Victoria herself. Something about the way she read just didn't click with me, and that could just be because I was more interested in Damian's side of things than hers. For a short story, I would have rather had all Damian to read on.

And, as for the ending, I was not ready for it to come, and I think this definitely could have benefitted from a handful more pages to keep it from feeling as abrupt as it did. But, in general, it really is a cool sci-fi break to take if you want something short to flick through.
Profile Image for Rachel Green.
14 reviews5 followers
February 7, 2018
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this affect my review or my rating of the novel.

Assassin Marked is a science fiction short story about Damian DuFonte, a professional assassin on a vengeance mission after being left for death on a planet. However, his vengeance is strictly forbidden by the Crime Syndicate, Damian knows that this mission, in the end, will set him against Victoria, a fellow assassin and his lover. To proceed, Damian must decide how far he is willing to go to get his revenge - and whether he will accept the consequences.

When reading science fiction, one of the first things I look for is realism in the technology - and in Assassin Marked, the heightened technology is present, but woven quietly into the background of the plot. For a short story especially, I felt this was done remarkably well - it gave me a sense of the world around the characters without dwelling on the details. The ending of the story suggests that the plot will be continued, and in a longer format, I would love to see more of the technology (especially the shield used by Mike), but the balance was spot-on for a short story.

While the characters in Assassin Marked are rather straightforward, I loved the bit that I saw of them in this short story. Damian's backstory and motivations were well developed, and the internal conflict between his desire to kill (as he has done so many times) and his love for Victoria was fun to read about. The author had limited space in the short story to develop Damian, but I was pleased with what he managed to do, and it definitely motivated me to read whatever he releases next on these characters. Victoria, too, makes an interesting character and intriguing antagonist. I would love to see more from Victoria - perhaps a whole story or even a full-length novel. She is a strong female character with some interesting character flaws, and if given the space to develop.

See the original review here
Profile Image for Aqiul Colombowala.
83 reviews10 followers
December 8, 2017
I received a free copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review. Read the full review here - Book Review - Assassin Marked

This was a quick and fun read. For the amount of pages this book has, it packs quite a bit of story! Damian DuFonte is an assassin at the top of his game. There's hints of something gone awry in his past that he seeks revenge for. Unfortunately for him, the person who betrayed him is a high ranking member of The Syndicate.

The story starts off with Damian and his lover, Victoria, another high ranking member of the Syndicate. Damian is bent on getting revenge but Victoria doesn't want him to do it because of the consequences. To prove her loyalty, the Syndicate charges Victoria to find Damian and end him.

The book is pretty well written. Damian shows all the signs of a man consumed by his need for revenge to the point where he is willing to give up the only woman he has ever truly loved. The Syndicate is a shady criminal organization run by three anonymous people; whatever their objectives and goals are a mystery at this point. The plot is interesting and its a joy to read the violence Damian can do and the love he has for Victoria.

While world building is limited in a book this small, there's still hints all over of the incident in Damian's past that has led him to this point. I'd love to read a larger story which explores this in greater detail.

4/5 for being a quick and fun read!
Profile Image for Ronald.
149 reviews1 follower
December 6, 2017
Michael C. Sahd, the author of ‘Assassin Marked’, seems to be a master with short stories. Unfortunately, this particular short story needed to be longer. It’s ending left me with many unanswered questions. I could easily imagine several courses that the story could have taken.

The story was good. There was a little mystery with the reader wondering what pissed off the assassin so much; and there was a romantic interest. I don’t particularly like books written in the first person, but it works for this short story.

As evident from this book, Michael C. Sahd has the writing skills necessary for a successful book. I encourage him to take on writing a book-length story.
Profile Image for Katelyn Furtick.
593 reviews19 followers
November 26, 2017
*3.5/5 stars*

**I received a digital copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**

I really enjoyed this! The writing was really very good and setting was interesting. I really liked the characters, and the overall plot. I do wish it was longer, but I think that this author has something really strong here. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Full review here: https://katelynpdickinson.wordpress.c...
Profile Image for M. Garnet.
Author 136 books17 followers
August 29, 2019
I got this free on BookDoggie and what a great little story. This author is still in his infancy as an author and I want to wish him all the luck in the world. Please Michael, write some more as your characters in AM were wonderful and the future world was believable. Get this short story and you will agree with me.
Profile Image for Marceline.
127 reviews4 followers
July 16, 2020
I enjoyed the different perspectives in each chapter but the story itself wasnt good and left unfinished. Perhaps this was an excerpt to get you to buy into a book series but I personally won't be reading anymore of this author.
1,014 reviews4 followers
August 29, 2019
Done in 25 pages

25 pages does not a book make. It was a fairly good short story which had the obvious intent of leading into the next segment.
1,439 reviews12 followers
December 2, 2019
outer space drama.
Damien works for the criminal Syndicate, but has to avenge a wrong. Someone left him behind on a mission,(he survived) He has been tracking the traitor, and has found him.
He kills the traitor even though he knows the Syndicate will put out a contract on his life.
One of the hunters is his lover, Captain Victoria Maruska, who has Psychic abilities.
1,760 reviews2 followers
August 31, 2019
A quick read.

Damien used to work for the mafia. Victoria still dies, and she is ordered to kill Damien. I wished this had been !onger. I like the idea of the Syndicate in space. This is filled with action and some elements of Noir. It is part of a srries.
Profile Image for Michael.
519 reviews8 followers
May 1, 2019
Needs a better editor!

It seemed that every chapter brought a character speaking in the first person! This makes it confusing to follow. Character was almost non-existent.
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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