as a (hot mess) spy novel: 2 stars out of 5, because it could be a good read on a beach
This is not high brow fiction. It is, strictly speaking a spy novel but on a comic book level. I could not finish it (I admit, I am a snob about writing). There was one scene where one of the spies was investigating a house for some reason and then the female occupant came home. She was described as looking strong, like a female MMA fighter (there was another scene where the writer felt the need to say something about the woman's sexual fullfillment). A fight breaks out between the man and woman, the woman is killed by the man hitting her in the neck with a fire pocker. I guess I could say it was James Bond-ish. I am glad the movie decided to leave out that the female protagonist (Dominika, I think that is her name) "sees colored auras" around people. Why not just say she can read body language, that would be closer to actual spy craft.

as a novel: 1 star
I have read enough novels to know that, if a novel does not know what it wants to be, that is a red flag. Each chapter opens up with a recipe that is unrelated to the plot. I know the author was a CIA agent and not a writer, but I would hope someone would have suggested against this at some point. Nathaniel Nash has some issues with his family, something about trying to break from tradition and be his own man, this is never developed further on. Atleast Dominika's family issues are related to the plot, having her arm twisted into sparrow school. The romance moved to fast to be believable.

gmoney83's rating:
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