Saturday, February 16, 2013

Also Known As ~ Robin Benway (earc) review

Also Known As
Bloomsbury Juvenile
February 26, 2013
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Being the daughter of two spies -- and a master safe-cracker -- sounds like a glamorous life. For sixteen-year-old Maggie it is . . . . in some ways, but so far it's mostly meant never attending school like a normal kid, moving so many times and so often that she hasn't made any friends, let alone found a boyfriend.

Maggie longs for her own assignment.

Then she gets one.

Maggie Silver's first assignment takes the family to New York and Maggie to high school for the first time. She'll have to navigate her way through the private school, crack a safe or two, get past school security -- and befriend the cute Jesse Oliver -- to solve the case.

And stop from blowing her cover.

Add together my love of Robin Benway's debut Audrey, Wait! and the spy!girl novels I've been enjoying lately (Kirsten Miller's Kiki Strike and Ally Carter's Heist Society series) and I was super excited for this book.

Maggie is the daughter of two spies, each with their own unique skills, who's been brought up all over the globe, and who has her own skill: safe-cracking. It's now time for her own job/assignment.  I liked that Maggie was a bit awkward and that her assimilation into high school wasn't all smooth and stealth, despite her being a spy.

At times the amount that she just did not seem to get about teens and current culture in general, made me think of if Spencer Reid from 'Criminal Minds' had been a girl (and a spy) going into high school. Then, though, she knew enough pop culture (TV, etc) that some of her lack of knowledge didn't seem to sync up. It made it a little hard to grasp just who her character was.

The cute boy, what develops between him and Maggie and the quandary it presents for her was a great part of Also Known As. Both the character and his story line gave the story some great depth. We also learn more about Maggie -- as does she, I think -- through it all.

After we started out with Maggie's safe-cracking skill, I have to admit missing her spy work later. Even if it had been through flashbacks, it would have been nice to see how she and this talent of hers, fit in with her parents assignments as we were getting into the story.

Despite Also Known As being about Maggie's first assignment as a spy, after being raised by two spies, the story focuses more on its main character and her interpersonal relationships. Some of her first. Though it's light on the spy work, those elements definitely add something unique and special to the tale.

Rating: 8/10

thank you to Bloomsbury & NetGalley for my egalley

1 comment:

  1. I agree about wishing to see a little more spying going on in this one, but I enjoyed it anyway. It really was such a cute, light novel. Definitely going to have to pick up some more Robin Benway books after this!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction


Book Trailer Friday [@RandomHouse @TransworldBooks]

Beth Dorey-Stein's From the Corner of the Oval  - a tale of being the White House stenographer during the Obama administration will be ...