Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Review: I, Spy by Jordan McCollum (Whitney Finalist 2013)

Title: I, Spy (Spy Another Day #1)
Author: Jordan McCollum
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Digital Copy
This book would be rated: PG-13 for adult situations and violence

Jordan McCollum's I, Spy is the first book she wrote for the Spy Another Day series (there's actually a short story that takes place before the actions in I, Spy, but it was published later). The novel, which was one of two in the series that is a Whitney finalist, centers on the actions of Talia Reynolds, a CIA agent working undercover in Ottawa, Canada. In fact, her actual profession is so secret that  even her boyfriend of a year, Danny, thinks she's a lawyer (she did, in fact, go to law school-- it's part of her cover).

In I, Spy, Talia and her co-worker, Elliott, are put on the case of a Russian aerospace executive. A couple of problems become evident: first, Elliott is distracted because his wife is due to deliver their baby any day; and second, Danny is getting increasingly impatient with the number of times Talia has to cancel their dates due to work. The opening scene of the book draws readers in immediately, and I found myself enjoying the first two-thirds of the novel quite a bit (despite thinking Danny is a whiner). I loved Jennifer Garner in the Alias series back in the day, and the books remind me quite a lot of the series (Talia is always getting dressed up in some getup to get ready to meet someone). The last third of the novel felt like one extended conclusion, with lots of action and violence and threatened violence and plot twists and, quite frankly, it dragged a bit for me. But overall, a fun read, and I was happy to delve into the sequel after reading this.

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