Books on Film: RED SPARROW by Jason Matthews

In March of next year, Jennifer Lawrence will star in Red Sparrow, the movie based on Jason Matthew‘s first Dominika Egorova series. The movie is directed by Francis Lawrence (no relation to the star, but also worked with her on Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay I II), and the screenplay is by Justin Haythe. Joel Edgerton and Mary-Louise Parker also star.

Here’s the book’s synopsis:

State intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and, inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s most valuable mole in Moscow. Seeking revenge against her soulless masters, Dominika begins a fateful double life, recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington; hunt down a Russian illegal buried deep in the US military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Putin’s intelligence service. Dominika and Nathaniel’s impossible love affair and twisted spy game come to a deadly conclusion in the shocking climax of this electrifying, up-to-the minute spy thriller.

Red Sparrow is published by Scribner (North America) and Simon & Schuster (UK). At the time of writing, it is also on sale for Kindle in the US and UK. The second novel in the series, The Palace of Treason (US/UK), is also available. The third novel, The Kremlin’s Candidate, is due out in February 2018.

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads

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Excerpt: DESPITE THE FALLING SNOW by Shamim Sarif (John Blake Books)

SarifS-DespiteTheFallingSnowShamim Sarif‘s Despite the Falling Snow is out today, published by John Blake Books. Below, you will find a short excerpt from the novel. Before that, though, here’s the synopsis:

The enthralling narrative of Shamim Sarif’s powerful second novel moves between present day Boston and 1950s Moscow.

After an early career amongst the political elite of Cold War Russia, Alexander Ivanov has built a successful business in the States.

For forty years, he has buried the tragic memories surrounding his charismatic late wife, Katya — or so he believes. For into his life come two women — one who will open up the heart he has protected for so long; another who is determined to uncover what really happened to Katya so long ago. The novel’s journey back to the snowbound streets of post-Stalinist Moscow reveals a world of secrets and treachery.

Shamim Sarif’s elegant writing delicately evokes the intensity of passionate love and tragic violence.

Continue reading

New WOLFHOUND CENTURY Covers…

With the third installment fast approaching, Gollancz unveiled today a new cover style for Peter Higgins‘s excellent Wolfhound Century series. And it’s a pretty striking style, to say the least:

Book 1 – Wolfhound Century

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Book 2 – Truth and Fear

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Book 3 – Radiant State

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The new editions are due to be published in April 2015. I may have to buy the first two again, so they look all nice on my shelves… I have shared the cover and details for Radiant State already, but I thought it would be nice to have them all together in one place. You can read my review of Wolfhound Century, here. In case you’ve missed the series, here’s the synopsis for the first in the series:

A thousand miles east of Mirgorod, the great capital city of the Vlast, deep in the ancient forest, lies the most recent fallen angel, its vast stone form half-buried and fused into the rock by the violence of impact. As its dark energy leeches into the crash site, so a circle of death expands around it, slowly – inexorably – killing everything it touches. Alone in the wilderness, it reaches out with its mind.

The endless forest and its antique folk lore are no concern to Inspector Vissarion Lom, summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist – and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police. A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists. Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party. And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head at the children’s home.

Lom’s investigation reveals a conspiracy that extends to the top echelons of the party. When he exposes who – or rather what – is the controlling intelligence behind this, it is time for the detective to change sides. Pursued by rogue police agents and their man-crushing mudjhik, Lom must protect Kantor’s step-daughter Maroussia, who has discovered what is hidden beneath police headquarters: a secret so ancient that only the forest remembers. As they try to escape the capital and flee down river, elemental forces are gathering. The earth itself is on the move.

Upcoming: RADIANT STATES by Peter Higgins (Gollancz/Orbit)

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I really enjoyed Peter Higgins‘s first novel, Wolfhound Century. I haven’t got around to reading the sequel, Truth And Fear, but it is inching up my TBR mountain. In the meantime, I spotted this cover on Gollancz’s website, and thought I’d share it. While the publisher’s page didn’t have a lot of information, I did some digging and it turns out that this is the third novel in the Wolfhound series. While digging, I also found the cover for the US edition (below), which will be published by Orbit Books. As for a synopsis…? Well, this is all I was able to come up with:

IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE ANGELS AND THE STATE, THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE VICTOR.

Radiant State will be published May 19th by Orbit in the US, and May 21st by Gollancz in the UK.

Incredibly, someone has already rated it 1* on Goodreads… What a tool.

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Upcoming: “The Age of Ice” by J.M. Sidorova (Scribner)

Sidorova-TheAgeOfIceUKThis looks like an interesting novel. It has already been described as “boldly original and genrebending”, and it will apparently take readers “from the grisly fields of the Napoleonic Wars to the blazing heat of Afghanistan, from the outer reaches of Siberia to the cacophonous streets of nineteenth-century Paris”. Colour me very much intrigued…

The Empress Anna Ioannovna has issued her latest eccentric order: construct a palace out of ice blocks. Inside its walls her slaves build a wedding chamber, a canopy bed on a dais, heavy drapes cascading to the floor — all made of ice. Sealed inside are a disgraced nobleman and a deformed female jester. On the empress’s command — for her entertainment — these two are to be married, the relationship consummated inside this frozen prison. In the morning, guards enter to find them half-dead. Nine months later, two boys are born.

Surrounded by servants and animals, Prince Alexander Velitzyn and his twin brother, Andrei, have an idyllic childhood on the family’s large country estate. But as they approach manhood, stark differences coalesce. Andrei is daring and ambitious; Alexander is tentative and adrift. One frigid winter night on the road between St. Petersburg and Moscow, as he flees his army post, Alexander comes to a horrifying revelation: his body is immune to cold.

The Age of Ice is published by Scribner in the UK, and will be out near the end of July 2013.