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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Amy
  • Edwardsville, IL, United States
  • 10-30-17

Good Stuff.

This is solid the entire way through.
The performance is nicely done.
I believe you'll find this worth your time.

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Superb. Freaking Superb.

The author presented his characters and his story with incredible richness and depth. I don’t know that any other spy novel will come close to Red Sparrow. The recipes added layers of “human-ness” to the story in the same way that they did in Like Water for Chocolate; not easy to pull off and became one of my favorite things about the book. This book isn’t one to pass up.

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The start of a great trilogy<br />

I've read two books in the trilogy and look forward to the third in February

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  • Al
  • SAN DIEGO, CA, United States
  • 10-04-17

Good modern day spy novel.

Same feel and delivery as The Company by Robert Littell with a contemporary setting. Highly recommended.

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Spying with extra senses on a post cold-war divide

Red Sparrow is a captivating spy story with many captivating twists and a splash of romance for flavor. It took me a whole to get into the story, but when I did, I eagerly dived into the complex but easy to grasp story and floated along for the ride. With the 3rd person narrator we get a glimpse into both sides of the post cold war, as well as the minds of the players, both small and large. The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad, except for the ones who straddle the line as double agents and their handlers. Dominika and Nate are agents on opposite sides of the divide. Their dance leads to a well paced adventure that had me eagerly listening at every free moment! There are some bad reviews (not sure why), but I really enjoyed the ride and look forward to reading more from this ex-CIA author.

One of the only issues I had with the story is that the main protagonist is a synesthete - 1 star removed. In the story she can see other people’s feelings, intentions and moods - read their auras. Synesthesia is close to that but what the author is describing is more of a empath. A synesthete can not ‘feel’ anything another is feeling, or sense what they are thinking. People effected by this perceptual phenomenon experience these 'mis-mappings' only inside their own head - they do not sense other people’s states or see auras as Dominika did. I have read a biography about this in the past. I am not a neuroscientist, but synesthesia is the condition where the person effected had biology that incorrect maps sensory inputs. So they experience feelings and emotions associated with colors, sounds, tactile and other responses to inputs like numbers, letters, words, colors, shapes and a whole list of other mappings. They literally see colors when counting numbers and can do math with those colors. For example they can only see a red colored 1 when they think about the number 1. Every number and letter is mapped to a color permanently. It is actually a lot more in-depth so do a google search to find out more about this fascinating condition.
None of this takes away from the story!

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  • Ian
  • Frankston South, Australia
  • 09-22-17

Thoroughly Flawed

Decent spy caper thoroughly undermined by being way too long and featuring possibly the dumbest, most contrived and shabbily written spy handler I've come across. And every staggeringly illogical and inexplicably unprofessional action her takes can be explained by love.

The narrator was flawless though and deserved better than this drivel.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Story, Poor Production Values

Loved the book. Great story and characters. As a Russian speaker, the narration was disappointing. Mr Bobb was great until he got to a Russian word; then often he got them wrong. What was frustrating is that most of those words came up again and again. Wrong every time. I blame the production team. With just a little extra work these irritants could have been removed. It's a shame that attention to detail is is not a priority. Great book though. I'll get the series.

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Great Spy Novel

Compelling, riveting story filled with intrigue, suspense, romance and tradecraft that harks back to the best Cold War spy novels.

Ummm... this is in my library but Audible now says this title is not available in my country??? What's up with that?

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Fascinating spy thriller

I absolutely loved the book. It reminded me of &quot;The Academy&quot; which I enjoyed a lot. I wasn't bored at all throughout the story, the narration was just as good. I was a little surprised by the torture in sparrow camp which seemed unbelievable but I don't know how things go in Russia.

In the end, it looked like there was a second book coming. I was hoping that there would be but disappointed not to find one.

I would highly recommend this book.

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Note to Russian-speakers

While the storyline and story-telling are excellent, the complete massacre of every Russian word by the reader (and the author makes wide use of these) is very distracting and detracts from the storyline ...