Tuesday, 7 June 2011

I, Spy?

Author: Kate Johnson
Type: Kindle ebook
Genre: Mystery/suspense
Series: 1st book in the Sophie Green Mystery series
First Published: March 2007
First Line: "Okay, I can do this."

Synopsis: Sophie Green is working in a boring job as an airline worker in England. Her life outside of work isn't much better. She spends a lot of her free time with her cat watching episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and, sadly, the closest thing to a romantic relationship Sophie has is fanaticizing over her hot Swedish co-worker. Needless to say, she needs some excitement in her life.

Suddenly Sophie finds herself in the middle of a security situation at the airport that gets noticed by a secret British government agency. They are in the midst of recruiting new spies for their agency and ask Sophie to join. Sophie is not typical spy material - she's a buxom blonde whose only knowledge of spies comes from Hollywood. Will Sophie be up to the challenge?

My Thoughts: Going into this ebook (which I bought for only a dollar) I was hoping for something along the lines of a Stephanie Plum book. Quirky, incompetent main character in a 'fish-out-of-water' type situation who is aided by even quirkier comedic secondary characters. Weeelll, that's not what I got unfortunately.

For me, a storyline can be crazy and quirky but it still has to have some thread of believability. For a bored airline worker to suddenly get offered a highly secretive and dangerous job offer as a British spy after one security issue is too far-fetched. What kind of government agency hires new recruits in this way? I shudder at the thought. She has no idea what she's doing so it's more than a little unbelievable that the fact that she thinks on her feet is the only thing keeping her in her new job as a spy.

As for the romance aspect, it was just OK. I didn't feel a lot of sparks between Luke and Sophie and I totally didn't 'get' the whole sex scene that happened right after Sophie gets hurt badly. How is that romantic in the least? It came off as silly and not romantic at all. Sadly, Sophie's closest relationship seems to be with her cat.

I've ascertained that the believability wasn't great in this book and sadly neither was the suspense or mystery. It definitely took a back seat to the romantic storyline. There was little mystery to speak of and the suspense that was involved wasn't enough for me. Keep me on the edge of my seat at least for a bit!

I did enjoy a few aspects of the book and will give the author credit for the funny, witty banter. Luke and Sophie did have a few funny jabs at each other but the scene between Luke, Sophie and Sophie's brother over the phone (a 'who's on first' routine) was quite funny. I think that my favourite character was Sophie's fellow newbie spy, MacBeth. Unfortunately he wasn't used as much as I would have liked. He could have had some great one-liners. He's the "Tank" character in this series (Tank being a huge, tough, silent guy from the Stephanie Plum series).

If you're up on your British-isms and popular culture you'll like this book too. For example, Sophie comparing herself to Stephanie Plum, a Michael J Fox early 90's movie reference, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" references etc. But if you're not well versed in Buffy (like myself who has never watched an episode) or haven't boned up on your knowledge of British culture the references fall flat quickly.

Unfortunately, the funny parts of the book couldn't make up for the overall lack of storyline and suspense that this book was sorely lacking. I'd give this book a pass.

My Rating: 1.5/5 stars

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