Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow

Book - 2013
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Russian state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers collide in an atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers.
Publisher: London : Simon & Schuster, 2013.
ISBN: 9781471166129
9781471112607
9781471112591
Characteristics: 434 p. ; 24 cm.

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t
talk2terih
Jun 10, 2018

This book was a little bit longer than it needed to be, but that is often the case with new writers. As he goes along, he will learn to edit himself, or his publishing house staff will help him learn.
The very best thing about this book is the lesson in tradecraft it provides. Mathews' career in Intelligence allows the reader rare insight into a cryptic and cloaked world where even a simple glance means everything or nothing and that kindly old lady watering her flower garden may not be who you think she is.
Mathews has created some memorable characters and I look forward to reading the next title in the series and seeing their stories unfold.

a
agoldsby
Mar 16, 2018

Jason Matthews gave us an amazing, intriguing, smart, page turning thriller. I could not put this book down! Then I went to see the movie. I thought there’s no way Hollywood could mess this up. If you take the words from the book and put them in a script-it’s fool proof. Jason Matthews wrote a superb spy thriller like a cross between Salt & the female Jason Borne. In turn Hollywood gave us The Spy Who Shagged Me, bad accents and all. I could not have left that theater more dissatisfied. They cut sooooo many characters and left out everything that made Dominika the layered, nuanced heroine you cheer for as Jason Matthews intended. Poor Jennifer Lawrence if I read this , then read the script I would’ve been irate. Hollywood & JLaw eagerly turned Dominika into a flat, hypocritical, backstabbing weirdo. They really messed this up. Do not go see this movie. Just read the book because clearly the producers and director did not. The book gets five blazing hot stars , the movie gets half a star for casting Jeremy Irons but had to take the other half away because they barely used him and completely rewrote the character.
OH & thank you Jason Matthews for the receipes! At first I thought it was completely random then by the time chicken kiev came around I was planning my Red Sparrow receive blog.

c
cambridgedon
Dec 06, 2017

Well above average spy novel that reeks of authenticity since author was a former CIA operative. Very good plotline but doesn't quite have Tom Clancy's gift for storytelling. But to be fair it's very difficult to make following people or avoid being followed (SDR) sound interesting no matter what spin you put on it. Nonetheless, a very good first novel and looking forward to more in the series. Interesting that Matthews seems to be a foodie as he addends a recipe to each chapter.

c
Candaceb108
Nov 12, 2017

Fabulous. Great writing. Well researched, great balance, humor the best. And new things to cook. One of the best spy novels I have read in decades.

m
Manekineko_0
Oct 21, 2017

Fast-paced, wonderfully researched spy novel. It is well written and super thrilling, and if that's not enough to sell you, there is an authentic, delicious Russian recipe at the end of each chapter!

x
xiaojunbpl12
Apr 19, 2017

Ultimate spy game! First hand experience plus unusual writing skill, macho and sensual (1 recipe per chapter, a bonus).

r
rahmmie
Oct 11, 2016

This book was definitely entertaining but despite its length, I couldn't help feeling like I was reading the "light" version of a spy novel, the flavour was off and there was not enough substance. The characters are definitely likeable so maybe the next book will be better

m
mstolarik
Aug 21, 2016

One of the best spy novels I have read. It was interesting, fast moving, full of suspense and excellent descriptions of all the countries where action took place, including the Russian phrases used. It is up there with my other favourite writers such as Philip Kerr, Vince Flynn and Daniel Silva. Lot better then the likes of Alan Furst , or Len Deighton (the latter I had trouble understanding!).

c
carol507
Feb 23, 2016

Hard to read - too many acronyms.

debwalker Sep 28, 2015

Best fiction I've read in a long while. The Cold War spy novel resurgent in the era of Mr. P. P for psycho among other things. Matthews knows his stuff from the inside of the CIA. Tautly written and intensely plotted. Can't put it down and yet sometimes I need to just to catch my breath.

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