If Jason Bourne were a teenaged girl…
Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped as a child and raised in North Korea as a spy. When her agency sends her to the U.S. to infiltrate the very group her parents once worked for, Jocelyn jumps at the chance to turn double agent and finish off her kidnappers once and for all. She convinces the head of the American spy agency to trust her, but it’s not quite as simple as that: Jocelyn has to fight the withdrawal symptoms from the drug that the North Koreans used to keep her in line, and her new fellow spies refuse to trust their former adversary. Worst of all, there might be some new information to uncover about her parents – if she even wants to find out.
This action-packed spy thriller is part Gallagher Girls, part Alex Rider, and part Bourne Identity.
Author: Meghan Rogers
Publisher: Philomel Books
Published: April 12th 2016
The Raven Files #1
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At the time of me picking this one up, I was well into a bunch of double/secret agent shows such as Nikita and Alias (which this book is promoted as) and I was here for it. There’s also a cool Pinterest board that gave me all the visuals 🙂 .
Keeping it short: Jocelyn, breaking away from her North Korean captors decides to go to America and become a double agent to bring them down for the wrongs they did to her and the girls they control.
We have all the spy elements in this one: training scenes? Check. Infiltration? Check. Scissor kicks? Check. A train scene? Hell yeah. But if I’m honest, though I appreciated it, I didn’t really focus on it; the characters are the ones who caught my attention.
Because Jocelyn’s been through some things. She’s in a place where no one trusts her and she’s hiding secrets which isn’t helping her win any friends. And her strength shines bright. She’s such a badass; we’re not talking about the secret spy stuff that she does, but the inner conflict, the Snape vibe coming from Agent Harper who’s continuously on her back, (which felt unnecessary and tiresome
did anyone else get the correlation?) as well as the hatred that’s coming from those around her and her new partner, Travis.
Speaking of Travis, they have a hate-to-friendship thing happening and I liked it. I understood where his anger was coming from, but the… transition to friends? Happened really sudden and there was no build up to the initial moment of we’re friends, I understand you, etc. But I can’t deny I thought their friendship was great. There was a great support and trust system, without a romance. However, I’m not excluding any type of romantic relationship in the future 😉 .
Yet despite my love for the characters, I never really connected to anyone. I wasn’t worried for the characters, the villain, though easily detested, weren’t a blip in my mind. I was never on the edge of my seat, my heart never raced; I was just along for the ride. Which isn’t an issue when I look at it as a mindless afternoon read. But it would’ve been an added plus if these characters latched onto my soul… or something.
This does end on a cliffhanger and there is a sequel, so I’m excited to see where things go and all of the character development.