Member Reviews

My rating: 3.5/5

First of all thank you NetGalley for the ARC! I was so excited when I got it because I've been a big fan of Marie Lu since Legend and I've read all her books so far!

This story is about a superstar named Winter Young and how he gets recruited by this spy agency to help them out on a secret mission to capture Eli Morrison with the help of their own agent Sydney Corsset as his bodyguard. They don't start off in the best of terms but soon make a pretty good team as the story progresses.

The story overall was so much fun almost felt like a netflix show, and who does'nt love that! The characters were great and well developed. What I had an issue with was how Winter and Sydney started falling for each out of nowhere and had no progression in their relationship. I would have liked to have seen more vulnerable moments between them, where they actually talk about their past and bond more.

Also loved the twist that I surprisingly did not see coming. Overall all I really enjoyed the new side of Marie Lu's writing, and also this world in particular that she created and hopefully she will bring back these characters.

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I've been a fan of Marie Lu for a while now, and am always excited to read more from her. This was a unique concept for a spy novel and I was invested in what was going on around it. The story worked well and I was invested in what was happening to the characters. It had what I enjoyed from Marie Lu and it was a joy to read. I'm excited to read more from the author.

“Is he feeling okay?” Winter had muttered to Claire as he stood before one of Eli’s cars. “Don’t worry about your boys,” Claire had told him. “They’ll have their own fun.” Then she’d given him an encouraging well done! look before sending him off. Now only Sydney was heading down two steps behind him, her silver pants swishing against her legs in a shimmer of fabric with every move she made."

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When one of my favorite fantasy authors decides to create a new novel in different genre like Ya action packed spy thriller meets romance, I can only say “bring it on!” And honestly I’m truly intrigued by Bodyguard meets Mission Impossible theme blended in my favorite trope; enemies to lovers!

Great thing about this book is not only its fast pacing, riveting, ultra exciting, unputdownable, captivating action scenes or twisty, surprising, heart pounding progression of the story! The characters are also amazing.

Winter Young is a superstar global Chinese American pop phenomenon at the age 19, still grieving his hero step brother, dealing with his emotional unbalanced mother.

When he’s approached by secret organization called Panacea for a secret mission to take down infamous criminal mogul Eli Morrison, he says no to the agents till he finds out his brother is also secret agent of this organization and if he accepts their offer, he can finally learn the truth about how his brother died.

Eli Morrison is just about to hire him for special concert for his daughter Penelope’s 19th birthday where a several of European politicians, elites, wealthy business man will be also invited. The concert will take place in London. During the occasion, Winter has to seduce Penelope to get closer to Eli’s inner circle, delivering a gift that contains tracking gadget to his right hand man/ secret lover of his daughter.

Of course another secret agent will accompany Winter as his bodyguard during the mission. But he never guessed he would be paired with a badass, ice queen who was successfully resisting his charms!

Sydney left her old life behind after dealing with loss of her mother and mistreatment of her abusive father. She started from scratch to build a new and lonely life. The agents : Niall and Sauda become her real family, accepting her as she is. They even supported Sydney for treatment of her kleptomania.

Sydney is also 19, coming from completely different background from Winter and she is already prejudiced and unhappy about babysitting a pop star. But she realizes he’s more than meets the eye. Even though they’re like moon and sun that cannot share the same space at the same time, they have to find a way to work out their differences for the sake of their important mission. But the sparks already fly between them. Sydney has to stay in the shadow as Winter is aim to live in the spotlight. Even though they achieve to complete their mission, how could they stay away from each other against all odds?

This book makes you breathe heavily, squirming in your seat, keeping you on your toes as you hurrying your head into your e- reader! ( let’s rephrase: you just keep hitting your head to your e-reader screen with full of excitement)

I loved it so much! And I loved those characters! I want them back! I hope dear Marie Lu brings them back sooner with another breathtaking, exciting adventure! Fingers are already crossed!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/ Roaring Book Press for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

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#StarsandSmoke #NetGalley Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this novel. I encourage you to check this one out! Really solid read.

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