My thoughts: I give it ♥. I really wanted to like this. It had so much promise and positive reviews. Dominika was not developed well. The book was obviously written through a male author’s perspective while trying to voice a strong & sexual female character, which he did poorly. It was outrageously obvious that a man was writing the sexual encounters and perhaps living out some of his own fantasies. Also, what was up the recipes at the end of each chapter? How frightfully bizarre… The first chapter even was a struggle to finish as I had no idea what was going on and who Nate and MARBLE were and what they were trying to accomplish. The interlaced Russian language was repetitive and over-explained. The plot moved too slowly with sparse action, and I didn’t understand why partnerships were made and what the endgame was supposed to be for both agencies. I truly hope this will be a better movie than a book but I have no intention off ever going to see it.
State intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA’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 most valuable mole in Moscow. Seeking revenge against her soulless masters, Dominika begins a fateful double life, recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington; hunt down a Russian illegal buried deep in the US military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Putin’s intelligence service. Dominika and Nathaniel’s impossible love affair and twisted spy game come to a deadly conclusion in the shocking climax of this electrifying, up-to-the minute spy thriller.
Taking place in today’s Russia, still ruled with an iron fist by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Red Sparrowdisplays author Jason Matthews’s insider knowledge of espionage, counter-espionage, surveillance tradecraft, recruiting spies, interrogation, and intelligence gathering. As The Washington Post hails, this is a “sublime and sophisticated debut…a first-rate novel as noteworthy for its superior style as for its gripping depiction of a secretive world.”