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Red Sparrow: A Novel | [Jason Matthews]

Red Sparrow: A Novel

Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova 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 valuable mole in Moscow.
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Publisher's Summary

The start of a major career! A gripping, highly commercial espionage thriller written with the delicious insider detail and up-to-the-minute insight only known to a veteran CIA spook.

In today's Russia, dominated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, 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 valuable mole in Moscow.

Seeking revenge against her soulless masters, Dominika begins a fatal double life, recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington - hunt down a Russian illegal buried deep in the U.S. 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.

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©2013 Jason Matthews (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1030 )
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4.3 (929 )
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Performance
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  •  
    jon Meridian, ID, United States 06-08-14
    jon Meridian, ID, United States 06-08-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    "Amazing, especially for a first novel"
    What made the experience of listening to Red Sparrow the most enjoyable?

    The "inside baseball" made this a lot of fun. The characters were well developed, and there were very few times when you felt the author stretched the limits of plausibility. I was impressed by how well the author made the Russian female spy the main character and let the US spies recede into the background. His supporting characters were very real and likeable or detestable (as intended)


    What other book might you compare Red Sparrow to and why?

    If you liked "The Company" you will like this book. Its a modern look at the US-Russian competition.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth W. Gray III 06-06-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    9
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    "Very entertaining"
    What did you love best about Red Sparrow?

    A very well crafted story and one that will have you guessing until the end. Characters are very complex and the author is very skilled at describing the subject matter and taking you into this world. Its been a long time since I have read a book that I have had no idea were it will go and it was fun to just listen and be along for the ride. Book is long and I never once felt bored or knew what would happen, and thats rare these days. The Narration was well done and Im really looking forward to a follow up. I rarely give out five stars or write reviews but this booked certainly warranted writing about. If you love spy novels this one is first rate and far better than most of the stuff thats churned out and poorly done in the categories.
    A book for me has to be real life and extraordinary for me to give five stars and that is the only reason this book is not five stars.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    all were good in different ways


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    no blockbuster moments the author was skilled enough to build the plot continuously until its end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    antonio genthod, Switzerland 05-30-14
    antonio genthod, Switzerland 05-30-14 Member Since 2011

    A reviewer's got to do what a reviewer's got to do

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A GREAT disappointment ...."

    A number of great reviews pushed me to buy and read (or rather to "listen to") this book . What a disappointment ! The story moves along stereotypes : "our" guys are all good, corageous smart & fighting for a better world (except a couple of top CIA bureaucrats) ; "theirs" guys (the Russians) are so unbelievably stupid, mean and corrupt (except those of are willing to betray their country). Modern Russia is like URSS (the Evil Empire) , if not worse. The reader does not develop empathy for the main characters as they are lacking depth and originality ; the plot moves fast , but gets boring after a while.
    On surface it sounds and looks like a Le Carré cold war novel , but it is only a pale imitation. Stay away !!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Corvallis, OR, United States 05-23-14
    Robert Corvallis, OR, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2011

    Old World Traveler

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Smooth and very well done!"
    What did you love best about Red Sparrow?

    You have to love a book that bashes President Putin of Russia. This one has likely been banned in Moscow. It is a great spy novel with all of the cruelty one might expect of the ex-KBG crowd. When one realizes what Putin is doing right now to Ukraine this book certainly contains some remarkable parallels to our current situation.

    Oh, and wait until you copy down the recipes. You'll see. This audiobook is a good listen with a great reader.


    What other book might you compare Red Sparrow to and why?

    I'd have trouble doing that. This books is unique in many ways.


    What about Jeremy Bobb’s performance did you like?

    I'm not one for Russian, but he sounded convincing enough for my hearing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I would not want to listen to this book for 14 hours. It was much more delicious over a period of 14 days. Like a good box of chocolates, why would you want to eat the whole box at one sitting? I did everything I could to draw the experience out. Sorry it is over.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terrance Ft. Leavenworth, KS, USA 05-20-14
    Terrance Ft. Leavenworth, KS, USA 05-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Read"
    Where does Red Sparrow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 1/3


    Any additional comments?

    Superior book with lots of great details. It's a interesting contemporary "new" cold war spy thriller. I hope that this becomes a series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-13-14
    05-13-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It needs a sequeal!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Red Sparrow to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Sparrow?

    The ending, your jaw falls open and you scream, 'No!


    What about Jeremy Bobb’s performance did you like?

    Loved it, his inflections were all well timed with appropriate amounts of emotion and punch.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Red Sparrow is perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the recipes in between the chapters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SHD 05-07-14
    SHD 05-07-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A brilliant, complex and compelling story"
    Where does Red Sparrow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a favorite of mine. Wonderful characters richly developed and subject material that is just fascinating. In the top handful of books I have both read and listened to via Audible.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Loved the development of the lead protagonists. Nate and Dominika are both so individually likeable and they are developed so well as the story unfolds.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scenes in Finland when Nate and Dominica grow to know each other were very good as the ever present danger of SVR compromise looms.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, for sure, but I broke this up into a week of riveted listening.


    Any additional comments?

    Very much hoping for more from this author. Loved this book. Thank you Jason.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew McLelland Lookout Mountain, TN 05-06-14
    Matthew McLelland Lookout Mountain, TN 05-06-14 Member Since 2010

    outdoor guy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic Spy Novel - and I'm very picky"
    Where does Red Sparrow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's different from other spy novels in that the main character isn't a butt-kicking agent (Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp, Brad Thor's Scot Harvath, Ludlum's Jason Bourne, etc) - seems to be more real than those book. Fantastic plot - a real page turner


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Sparrow?

    The turning of the Russian agent


    Have you listened to any of Jeremy Bobb’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    My first Jeremy Book - I like him and his ability to do all the Russian accents


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Sex, Seduction, Spies, Secrecy, Scandal


    Any additional comments?

    My only "complaint" is the author's ending most chapters with a very specific recipe from food that was eaten. I wasn't sure what this was all about - it never really came together and for some reason I found it annoying after awhile. The author must be some sort of major foodie - I can't imagine any other reason these recipes are listed (you have to read / listen to the book to understand)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 04-30-14
    Jennifer 04-30-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "AMAZING!"
    Where does Red Sparrow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks I've listened to so far. Outstanding both in content, plot, character development, and performance/narration. I'm desperate for Jason Matthews to write a sequel!!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES! I couldn't stop listening!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas C Morris 04-22-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thoroughly enjoyed the audobook: story & narrator."
    What did you love best about Red Sparrow?

    As an old Cold-Warrior, I appreciated the Putin-era update to the Soviet-era spy stories.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked the one-eyed, midget assassin. He only had a couple of scenes, but who doesn't like a truly evil, sadistic little bastard? Enter: a nasty Peter Dinklage.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ending. Saw it coming, but it's satisfying and absolutely correct for the story. Whets the appetite for a sequel, too. Almost as good were the scenes with the American traitor. Geeze, I wanted to kill that one, myself.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I wanted it to last twice as long. I want to get back into this world as soon as the next episode comes out. Oh, yes, it needs sequels.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not a big fan of semi-explicit sex in adventure novels. It seems so unnecessary (see: Game of Thrones), but it's not too much, here. Also, I'm not a big fan of female adventure-story leads (it usually comes across as PC), but it's clearly fundamental, here; and it's not PC. Yep, lookin' forward to the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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