Jordan McCollum launched these books earlier this summer and I gave her a shout out then.
This is shout out #2 with a review and a give away!
I like a good spy novel with a little romance thrown in for good measure when I feel like getting outside the box of strict romance. But I don't like it too intense. I, Spy and Mr. Nice Spy were a perfect fit for me. Just the right mixture of both.
The characters are well crafted and like any good spy book, I had a little trouble following things here and there. I think this is a prerequisite to writing spy thrillers. You want to confuse your reader just enough to keep them off balance and want to keep reading but not so much that they get so lost they throw in the towel. This book is one of the former. Or maybe I just don't speak spy very well. Either way, good job Ms. McCollum. I did find the spy humor a little over the top at the beginning but then it tempered down and became more natural as the book went on.
I really got into the characters and their complexities, which is good because as a reader you need to be emotionally hooked to the characters to make it an enjoyable read. Another pat on the back for Ms. McCollum.
Another thing I love thrown into books is foreign languages and this has at least three! Russian, Finnish, French. It's not easy to do and you need to use native speakers or close enough to do it right and while I don't speak any of these, it looks from the acknowledgements that Ms. McCollum did just that. Not to mention getting the keyboard to do Cyrillic alphabet has got to be a pain!
Lastly, I, Spy is the first in this series, so that means more enjoyable reads to come. Hooray! When the next one launches, you can be sure I'll be giving a shout out about it so you can pick up right away and continue enjoying Talia's adventures in spy and love.
I read I, Spy first and then Mr. Nice Spy, but I think you can read them opposite and that would work just fine too.
Now about the giveaway. I'm taking a page from Nichole Giles, though not to the swag extreme she is wonderfully capable of.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm giving away an e-copy of I, Spy to the person who most closely guesses the time I was born. See, you get to do your own little version of spy/detective work. Leave your guesses in the comments section below. You have until midnight tonight and I'll announce the winner tomorrow morning on my birthday!