Friday, March 6, 2009

The Spymaster's Lady - Joanna Bourne

She's braved battlefields. She's stolen dispatches from under the noses of heads of state. She's played the worldly courtesan, the naive virgin, the refined British lady, even a Gypsy boy. But Annique Villiers, the elusive spy known as the Fox Cub, has finally met the one man she can't outwit...

British spymaster Robert Grey must enter France and bring back the brilliant, beautiful—and dangerous—Fox Cub. His duty is to capture her and her secrets for England. When the two natural enemies are thrown into prison, they forge an uneasy alliance to break free. But their pact is temporary and betrayal seems inevitable. They flee, pursued every step of the way by ruthless authorities, caught in a net of secrets and lies. As the fates of nations hang in the balance, Grey and Annique fight the passion that flares between them—forbidden, impossible, and completely irresistible...

Please note that this review contains more spoilers than what I usually include in my posts.

I heard so many good things about this book, and, from a minority, so many bad things, that I was curious to know what the fuss was all about.

First of all I have to thank one of my readers for sending it to me and I am sorry that didn't read it sooner. I felt I owed you a review but between work, internet problems and other books It took me some time to get to it.

One of things that really defines a book for me is the believability factor. There are many implausible plots out there (SEP's for instance) but the way that a story is written can really make me believe in almost anything, or not!

IMHO The Spymaster's Lady has one big problem. No matter how interesting the story might be I just couldn't believe in Annique. I had two problems with her, the first one is her childlike voice, she is supposedly a super spy with lots of experience but she talks like a 15 year old. Then she is blind, but she keeps running around without hitting any obstacles, recognising where she is, performing surgery without killing the patient... Then I realised she doesn't do anything that is truly intelligent, nothing really stands out (unless you count the blind surgery) we are just told by everyone else how good she is, how intelligent, how smart, how perfect... it was weird reading over and over again how perfect she was, like the author really wanted to convince me. Unfortunately I prefer to be shown than to be told.

The pace of the action though kept me reading and I must say the second half was better than the first one. I still had to suspend my disbelief when she doesn't recognise Grey's voice after hearing it for so long but besides her voice there wasn't much more to annoy me and I was even a bit interested in knowing more about the secondary characters. The final twist however was very predictable and did not help make the story more believable to me.

Despite all this I kept on reading and it was quite a fast read. Had Annique been a different person it might have been a good read. I did appreciate the fact that it's a spy story, that there are many twists and surprises. As it is, it's a 2.5/5.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with your review, I was so disappointed with this story after all the hype surrounding it. For me it was one of the worst books of last year!


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