Thursday, February 4, 2021
Kill Order by Nicole Nadeau is a short story prequel to her novel Death by Midnight. The story gives the reader a front row seat to Ivan Komarov's inner turmoil over being the son his father wants, and being himself.
The story begins with Ivan trailing a woman through the streets of a town in Siberia, Russia on December 23rd. He feels nothing as he tracks her movements, and eventually aids his father's goons in her kidnapping. To him she's just another jump he has to make to please his father, until he's asked to end her life. Suddenly Ivan isn't sure about his father's rules, the gun feels heavy and cold in his hands, and he stares with numb horror at the woman sobbing on the ground. It's at this pivotal moment that Ivan chooses himself over his father's commands. He lowers the gun, only to watch the woman be murdered by his father.
The narrative continues as Alexei (Ivan's father) advances with his plan - a meeting with a blackmailed doctor who believes he is getting his wife back in return for a briefcase filled with an unknown item. The switch takes place on Christmas day, illustrating just how little Alexei cares for others, including his own son. While Christmas is usually a time for family and joy, the Komarovs' is filled with death and deceit, anything to bring Alexei closer to his revenge.
I thought the story did a good job of further showing how different Ivan is from Alexei. They may be related, and have many of the same ideals, but Ivan is not his father. Ivan has not yet murdered an innocent in cold blood. Even though he has been raised to be a carbon copy of his father, Ivan is not. He is uniquely himself, and he can be redeemed.
Ivan definitely has some Draco Malfoy vibes going on, although I feel that Lucius is a much better father than Alexei, which is saying something. Maybe having a living wife helps.
Rating: 4/5 trees. An excellent prequel to an excellent story.