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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Book Review: The Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

Series: The Red Sparrow Book 1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 2/20/2018
Format: Media Tie-in
Source: Purchased from Barnes and Noble

In contemporary Russia, state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova has been drafted to become a "Sparrow" -- a spy trained in the art of seduction to siphon out information from their marks. She’s been assigned to Nathaniel Nash, a CIA officer who handles the organization’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception and, inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow. 

I will be the first to say that books about Russian espionage are not my first pick to read, that is usually my mom’s type of book. I will say the reason I picked this book up was because of the previews for the movie version. I just had to read the book before I see the movie, it is how I roll.

The beginning grabbed me right away, I was pulled into the lives of Dominika and Nash. It was a more slow pace to start, which I liked because it eased me into some very heavy reading. After the two meet the book really takes off and I was taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions. There were moments in the book that I was cheering them on and then the next I was raging against one of them for being asinine. The many other characters beef up the story. The author peppers a variety of evil and good men and woman throughout the storyline that creates an almost dizzying affect for me. I couldn’t tell most of the time who were the good guys and who were the bad guys! Which means I was staying up late just to read one more page that turned into one more chapter!

As a bonus, at the end of each chapter was a little recipe for something one of the characters ate. I did mark a few to try just because the way the author described the savory meal made my mouth water.

The author’s expertise is very prevalent in his writing. As I was reading, I wondered if his career with the CIA was as exciting as Nash’s. This was definitely not a book I would have picked up just out of the blue, but I am so glad I did. The ending of this book is really just the beginning and left me craving to read the next!