Wednesday, October 2, 2019

YA ARC Review: The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif

The Athena Protocol
Author: Shamim Sarif
Series: Athena Protocol
Publication: HarperTeen (October 8, 2019)

Description: Bourne Identity meets Karen McManus in this action-packed series opener about a spy gone rogue, perfect for fans of Ally Carter and Killing Eve.

Jessie Archer is a member of the Athena Protocol, an elite organization of female spies who enact vigilante justice around the world.

Athena operatives are never supposed to shoot to kill—so when Jessie can’t stop herself from pulling the trigger, she gets kicked out of the organization, right before a huge mission to take down a human trafficker in Belgrade.

Jessie needs to right her wrong and prove herself, so she starts her own investigation into the trafficking. But going rogue means she has no one to watch her back as she delves into the horrors she uncovers. Meanwhile, her former teammates have been ordered to bring her down. Jessie must face danger from all sides if she’s to complete her mission—and survive.

My Thoughts: This is a story about spies and about family. Jessie Archer is a member of an elite all-female vigilante squad who works around the world to save girls and women. When she goes out of control on her mission and kills the man who is holding a group of girls hostage, she is fired from her organization because her actions brought too much publicity.

This situation is particularly difficult because her mother Kit is one of the three founders of the organization. She already has a lot of resentment towards her mother who, as a rock star, left Jessie alone for weeks at a time when she was a child because she was busy touring. Add in that her mother lied to her about her father and you have a situation that is filled with resentment. The fact that her mother has been clean, sober, and present for some time hasn't overcome Jessie's childhood trauma.

Jessie knows that the group's next mission will be taking them to Serbia where they are trying to take down a human trafficker named Gregory Pavlic. Kit has a gig performing at his birthday celebration which will give the team an in to look for incriminating evidence. The also have an ally in country named Aleks Yuchic who has had some success bringing down other criminals.

Jessie steals some equipment from her office and decides to go to Serbia to conduct her own investigation. She engineers a meeting with the trafficker's daughter Paulina who runs a gallery that focuses on photography. All their research has indicated the Paulina is not a part of her father's criminal enterprise.

Jessie's investigation indicates that that sex trafficking is just the tip of the iceberg of Gregory Pavlic's crimes. She is sharing what she finds with the rest of her team but they still won't let her take part in their operation.

The action was fast-paced and the betrayals kept on coming. I liked the relationship that Jessie has with her colleagues and the founders of the agency she works for though I had some trouble with the idea of female vigilantes seeking justice for women. I also liked that Jessie was smart and brave.

Fans of thrillers will enjoy this one. It would make a great movie too.

Favorite Quote:
"It doesn't matter if I trust her or not," I say. "I managed to steal that card from her because she trusted me."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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