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10 thoughts on “Red Sparrow

  1. Heather Fineisen Heather Fineisen says:

    While I was reading this I kept going back to my Goodreads account and looking at the reviews perplexed but coaxed to keep reading I finally came to the conclusion that this is one of those books that appealed to most but not to me Dominika is a training to be a Red Sparrow a Russian female seductress agent and she also has the gift of synthesia or seeing colors in an aura around people that reflects their spirit a mood ring sort of thing Promising Where the author lost me is the sexual content which I found ridiculous I am not a prude I even enjoy a titillating sex scene of many variations Dominika masturbates with her grandmother's amber hairbrush and then there is a recipe for Beet Soup Dominika has a lesbian sex encounter at Sparrow School and here's a recipe for a Cuban Sandwich from the airport Dominika has a fake orgasm worth of When Harry Met Sally and we can make crepes I may have some of the recipes out of seuel but you get the idea Each chapter is followed by a recipe And the women have sex like blow up dolls I even went back to the reviews thinking oh I bet women readers did not go for this but they did I could find no glaring trends to support my own conclusions Just my own lonely opinion that this is ridiculous from my own female point of view So I say skip it and read a Ludlum or Le Carre There you will find sex and substanceA copy of this was provided by the publisher

  2. Matthew Matthew says:

    A recipie for Red Sparrow 1 cup of Cold War 2 tablespoons of espionage 5 cubes of chopped suspense In a sauce pan in simmer a handful of double agents and several pinches of government secrets After 15 minutes slowly stir in the Cold War espionage and suspense After it thickens pour in to a baking dish sprinkle traitorous crumbs over the top and bake for 1 hour Serve with a side of sex and a glass of revengeI thought this book was fantastic It is not an action packed spy thriller It is of a cat and mouse chess match The suspense and stakes are high throughout and it kept me guessing I don't think there was a second I wasn't on the edge of my seat If you love spy thrillers cold war drama and anything else of that ilk this is definitely the book for you

  3. Bibi Bibi says:

    Random thoughts So happy that I persevered to the end considering that nothing actually happened Not a damn thing that wasn't predictable or contrived CIA FBI Russian FSB espionage red sparrows Russian secret agents who learn the fine art of seduction and sex ubiuitous food recipes why? double agents a lot of spy speak and countless acronyms Additionally our protagonist Dominika is a synesthete the ability to see auras depicted as colours which to me is a very interesting concept except sadly Matthews never fully utilised this plot device in any meaningful mannerThat said I reckon the movie will condense the repetitive narrative while ramping up the action seuences My advice? Wait for the movie and skip the book

  4. Kemper Kemper says:

    Maybe we Americans were just a little bit hasty when we said that we won the Cold War? ‘Cause it’s seeming and like that we were really just leading at halftime Modern Russia with Vladimer Putin running the show is essentially the Soviet Union with a better public relations department and the old spy games between their Foreign Intelligence Service and the American Central Intelligence Agency are back with a vengeance Young and ambitious CIA officer Nate Nash is the Moscow handler of a highly placed Russian code named MARBLE When a planned meeting goes sideways Nash manages to save his asset but he blows his own cover so badly in the process that he’s exiled to Helsinki where he sulks about the setback his career has suffered Russian intelligence knows it has a leak and is desperate to find it so they send junior agent Dominika Egorova to see if she can pry loose the name of the mole from NashDominika was a talented ballerina as well as a true believer in the new Russia She is also secretly a synesthete who sees sound as colors as well as auras around people that clue her into their mental state When her dancing career was derailed she is sucked into the spy business by her uncle who promises her position but really sees her as just a beautiful woman that he can whore out for his own purposes Despite how her uncle uses her and the bureaucracy that thinks she only has value on her back Dominika manages to earn a place in the intelligence service with her brains and will as she nurses hidden grudges at the way the system has treated her After Nate and Dominika meet a delicate dance of manipulation begins but who is recruiting who?I’m a big fan of FX’s The Americans as well as currently being surrounded by a bunch of Russian consultants at the office I’m convinced they must be secret agents running honeypot operations because there’s just no way that many good looking people are a representative sample of the Russian population Or I’m just jealous that they’re making us American office drones look like jeans wearing mole people by comparison Seriously if the Cold War is really kicking off again I’m putting my money on themThe point is that I was in the mood for a good spy vs spy novel and this one delivered It won the 2014 Edgar Award for best first novel and the author Jason Matthews is reportedly a former CIA officer who had over 30 years of service The book is filled with the kind of details about spy operations that just feel authentic but it never devolves into a Tom Clancy style recitation of hardware and proper procedures because it’s got plenty of human drama as wellDominika is the engine that runs the rest of the book She’s an intriguing character because of the anger and frustration she feels as someone who just wants to be permitted to do her job but is constantly used and humiliated by brutal men of limited imagination The only false note to her is that it feels like Matthews wrote her synesthesia as giving her almost telepathic abilities when it comes to reading people Why couldn't she just be smart and institutive instead of using a neurological disorder as a way of making her ‘special’? It’s becoming an overused fictional trope these days Another minor nitpick is that Matthews uses a gimmick of having the characters constantly eating or preparing food and then putting the recipe for what they had at the end of a chapter This was kind of a neat touch at first but after a while it felt like he was really straining to find new dishes to shoehorn into the action Also This spoiler does not give away the ending but does involve a major character introduced halfway through the book view spoiler I initially enjoyed the female American senator character who sells secrets to the Russians She’s a complete narcissist who is so self involved and annoyed at any potential inconveniences that she refuses to take the most basic security precautions This seemed like the kind of motivation you might find in a traitor in the age of Facebook However after a while with her relentlessly bashing the US intelligence agencies at every opportunity it left me wondering if Matthews suffered at the hands of some politicians during his career and was getting a bit of fictional revenge by portraying such a character as a villain completely devoid of conscience What started as interesting became an over the top cartoon hide spoiler

  5. Paromjit Paromjit says:

    This is the first in the Red Sparrow trilogy of which a film with Jennifer Lawrence is set to be released in 2018 Jason Matthews brings all his experience of being a spy with the CIA to bear in this well plotted espionage thriller His descriptions of the workings of the American and Russian intelligence agencies bear all the hallmarks of the politics paranoia intrigue uandries and motivations that shape the organisations Set in the contemporary world of Putin's Russia Matthews portrays the world of spies that suggest the Cold War may well be over but it is business as usual and in practice so little has changed although Putin's PR spin is significantly slicker Dominika Ergova is a synesthete who has had her career as a ballerina trashed and thanks to the machinations and exploitation by her uncle ends up as a struggling state intelligence officer pushed into becoming a trained sparrow a spy who seducesNathanial 'Nate' Nash is a CIA operative and handler of a major Russian asset MARBLE when everything goes wrong He manages to save the asset but not himself as he ends up in Helsinki bemoaning the stalling of his career ambitions The Russians are determined to find the mole and use Dominika for that purpose Dominika is seething mass of rage and resentment over the limited visions and brutality of the men who have power over her She is than capable of independent thinking and is no biddable and easily controlled woman Nate and Dominika end up having a sexual affair which seems to have little future This is a story of sex betrayal deception double dealing and a myriad of twists as the American and Russian spy agencies erstwhile enemies go up against each other in their efforts to find the moles in their own sides Each chapter ends with a recipe The biggest weakness of the novel is Matthews portrayal of the American and Russian sides as too black and white with the Americans as the good guys and the Russians as evil Otherwise it is a great espionage read that is tense gripping and compelling I am really looking forward to seeing the movie Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for an ARC

  6. Madeline Madeline says:

    Looking for a story of romance and adventure in exotic European locations written by a former CIA operative and featuring delicious recipes?Then I highly recommend My Life in France by Julia Child

  7. Matt Matt says:

    With all the hype this series has received I thought it best to try the first novel in the trilogy to see if it meets my expectations Jason Matthews has not disappointed with his knowledge of the topic and ability to transmit ideas onto the page Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Nash has been working as a CIA operative to handle an important mole within the Russian Government No one seems to know who it could be or how much information the Americans have garnered but Russian President Putin is enraged and wants this person found Feeling some of the heat the CIA takes the opportunity to move Nash out of the region and resettles him in Helsinki Meanwhile the reader learns all about Dominika Egorova whose past as a ballerina ended with a freak accident Pulled into the Russian Intelligence sphere by an uncle who works as a senior official within the SVR the KGB’s modern day cousin Egorova is targeted for a high stakes game to retrieve the needed information from Nash Sent to a ‘Sparrow School’ Egorova is turned into a seductress where sexpionage is the name of the game Her skills will be useful if she can lure the mole information from Nash while focussing her attention on his weaknesses After crafting a chance encounter within the Finnish borders Egorova begins laying her honey trap but Nash is not taking the bait at least not in the way she suspects he should Instead Nash sees a potential to turn Egorova to the Americans and have her feed additional information to the CIA Tensions build and Egorova makes a decision she feels will benefit her in the long run but sours the relationship with her SVR handlers Forced back to Russia Egorova is presumed ‘handled’ in some dank prison while Nash returns stateside with some valuable information; there is a Russian mole within the American intelligence community that could compromise everything The race is on to find this mole before too much can be handed over to the Russians while also continuing to protect their own information pipeline Egorova has reported some of her news to SVR officials and seeks another chance to finish the work she’s started With two moles and significant blowback to come the American and Russian Intelligence communities are fighting to gain the upper hand in this post Cold War world Two agents doing what they do best may end up shaping the final outcome of this explosive game of espionage Who is playing for whom that’s anyone’s guess Matthews shows how his past as a CIA official can help shape this gripping thriller that opens every conceivable door for the reader to push onwards A trilogy that is sure to impress many especially those who love a traditional novel of spy games Highly recommended to those with the patience and interest in deep rooted spy novels a la John Le CarréWith this book now a major motion picture and the final novel recently released I have heard much about it as it appears all over Goodreads I thought it high time to take a look to see if it might be for me While the beginning was a little dense I had to remind myself that I am not one who normally reads well crafted spy novels which seek to forego the superficial banter and develop over time enriching the reading experience As I pushed onwards I found myself drawn to both Nate Nash and Dominika Egorova two players from different spheres whose dedication to the cause cannot be discounted Matthews does well to create elaborate and intriguing backstories for these two—particularly Dominika’s synesthesia—as well as meshing them together in a dance that can only have significant conseuences I found myself very interested in the ‘training’ undertaken by Egorova sure that this sort of ‘Sparrow School’ is common than it might seem While many readers may be familiar with the idea of a honeypot mission Matthews pushes this out of the sweaty sheets and pillow talk turning the entire undertaking into a slow and methodical game of chess with two countries staring one another down unsure how much they know of the other’s game plan Additionally the creation and development of the two moles keeps the reader hooked as they watch both individuals undertake their respective positions and extract the needed information to pass along Who will be caught and at what price? The story is fabulous and develops slowly but never loses the momentum through a strong narrative and believable dialogue Matthews has done well to personalise the story with insider bits that promote a story that rests on a foundation of fact or does it? The reader need not feel they are being spoon fed yet another America vs Russia novel of high stakes and back alley stabbing but rather a methodical understanding of the world of espionage with results dependent on the risks undertaken With the uncanny use of recipes embedded at the end of each chapter—usually related to the food mentioned in the earlier narrative—Matthews shows that he has a lighter side and can lure the reader in through their stomachs as well as minds I cannot wait to sink my teeth into the next novel hoping that the development is as exciting as what Matthews developed here I can see why there was so much hype Matthews knows his stuff and has the literary awards to show for itKudos Mr Matthews for a stellar debut novel This series could really have some serious potential to win over many who have not yet developed a love for high caliber spy novelsLovehate the review? An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons a different sort of Book Challenge

  8. Esteban Esteban says:

    I very nearly despaired of finishing this book a couple of timesIn one review they compared this book to John Le Carre I don't think so That was the MAIN reason I picked it up and gave it a goSo slow so boring so full of words that said almost nothing Sometimes you get a book very rich in words which tells a rich story this was not the case it gave me the impression of the author's infatuation with his capacity to link words in sentences then in paragraphs pages chapters and so onAnd the russian Words in russian in every page all the time for everything so exhausting The heroine is introduced as being fluent in various languages one of them english yet she always had to resort to russian to say a specific word or phrase so not so fluent I guess So the author speaks russian then and wanted to give us some ambiance not for me you didn'tThe story is common there is absolutely nothing to make it stand out from any other glamourous spy story far fetched slow repetitive boring wordynext

  9. Trudi Trudi says:

    Think the Cold War is over? Think again I'd always had somewhere in me I mean really who doesn't? an interest in Soviet history and everything Red Army KGB Iron Curtain and Gulag It's one of the greatest stories ever told after all the rise and fall of a mighty and murderous political and geographic monolith that aggressively absorbed many nations and languages and religions into its insatiable machinery in a uest for ultimate global supremacy A nerve wracking Cold War entrenchment would prove a constant counter balancing act with the United States to see which would emerge the most super of two superpowers while the rest of us could do nothing but watch with bated breath to see whether one or both would destroy the world in a conflagration of nuclear annihilation Good timesWhile it seems like those old Cold War threats and anxieties are in the past lost to the annals of history and diminished by Soviet collapse I would venture that there remain a fair number of Russian politicians who think otherwise Dig a little deeper into Putin's presidency and you will find a shocking or perhaps not that shocking at all amount of old school Soviet corruption and megalomania And that's what gives Red Sparrow its sense of urgency and authenticity The author doesn't really have to exaggerate or sensationalize his modern spy game between CIA operatives and Russian SVR agents It's happening In point of fact it never stopped Names might have changed there might be a veneer of civility and legality over the top of it all to shine it up for a new century but in a lot of important ways it's the same shit different dayAuthor Jason Matthews isn't writing out of his ass either He's been in the spy game for over three decades and served in multiple overseas locations performing clandestine acts and participating in recruitment operations Reading about spy games as they are unfolding in this century is definitely thrilling though at times because it reuires so much description it's easy to become mired in the details Many times while reading the action I longed to be watching it instead Spy games are extremely visual by their very nature so I did feel that some of the book's potency and terror was lost in the amount of dense prose reuired to put the reader in that place I couldn't help think about FX's brilliant spy drama The Americans and how it handles drops and communiues late night rides expedient kills and ruthlessly efficient body disposal all the impressive since it's done using 80s technology and employing an array of epic wigs After three superb seasons I'm truly addicted especially to the rich emotional depth that simmers beneath its layers of intrigue and counterintelligence techniues So yeah watching this stuff tends to be way awesome than reading about it The author overcomes this handicap by introducing a great cast of characters to act as our portal into the twisty exciting narrative giving us people to care and worry about The stakes are high in these cat and mouse games that aren't games at all of course One wrong move and you're dead your body likely never to be found I will definitely read the second book in this series if only to tide me over until The Americans return in January Two uick nit picky thoughts1 What the hell is up with all the recipes appearing at the end of every single chapter? That became a bit annoying only because I really didn't see the purpose and some of them made me hungry which would make me stop reading in order to run for the refrigerator2 Dominika is a kick ass female lead I really like her a lot but I wish she didn't have those extra sensory capabilities because it felt like cheating Couldn't she just be kick ass full stop with a really well tuned social and emotional intelligence to read people rather than something that's almost paranormalsupernatural?

  10. Tim Tim says:

    The first third of this trilogy has a few good plots and assorted misses The end of this first trill is wantingas in wanting to be better 6 of 10 stars

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Red Sparrow ✅ [PDF / Epub] ☉ Red Sparrow By Jason Matthews ⚣ – Die Thrillersensation aus den USA verfasst von einem CIA InsiderDer aufstrebende CIA Agent Nathaniel Nash soll in Moskau einen hochrangigen Informanten der Gegenseite treffen Als plötzlich Schergen d Die Thrillersensation aus den USA verfasst von einem CIA InsiderDer aufstrebende CIA Agent Nathaniel Nash soll in Moskau einen hochrangigen Informanten der Gegenseite treffen Als plötzlich Schergen des russischen Geheimdienstes auftauchen gelingt es Nash seine uelle unerkannt in Sicherheit zu bringen Doch mit der Aktion gefährdet er die gesamte Operation und wird selbst zur Zielscheibe Denn um den Verräter in den eigenen Reihen zur Strecke zu bringen setzt der russische Geheimdienst die junge Agentin Dominika Egorowa auf Nash an Dominika ist ein „Red Sparrow“ ausgebildet zur verführerischen und tödlichen Falle Ein gefährliches Doppelspiel zwischen den Fronten entbrennt.