Best Book Ever: Spies

I blame it on the new Adele song for the upcoming James Bond movie, or the fact that I'm seeing Daniel Craig's face everywhere lately, but this week I wanted to talk about books with spies!  As you'll see from our choices, though, not all spies have to be James Bond.  Check out what our contributors picked.  

The Gallagher Girl novels are my go-to for when I'm having a horrible day. I love Ally Carter's writing style, it's so comfortable and engaging. A few pages in and you're completely absorbed in the world of Cammie and her friends feel like you're part of life at Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Sidenote: if I could go to spy school, I totally would! I'd be the worst spy ever, but man, does Carter make it sound like fun. Cammie's story arcs are fabulous, the secondary characters are fun and well-developed. And the heroes? They make my list of favorites too.

Tiffany Schmidt, debut author of Send Me a Sign (2012, Walker-Bloomsbury)

What is a spy? Someone so smart and intelligent that they can fool anyone surrounding them close or not close to achieve what is necessary. So that character and book that personified a perfect and favorite spy for me was Robin LaFevers' GRAVE MERCY. I instantly fell in love with Ismae and how dedicated she was in her life as one of St. Mortain chosen ones. Ismae is one serious heroine that will give any other book's heroine a run for their money.  

Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum has got to be at the top of my list. I love all the espionage & intrigue, but even more so, the fact that Jason Bourne doesn't even know what he has/has not done himself just adds an entirely different level. This entire series is so action packed and kept me guessing at every turn. Definitely one I'll read again some day.

J.R. Johansson, debut author of Insomnia (2013, Flux) 

Who doesn't love the intrigue of a spy novel, especially when there is magic and a totally kick-ass heroine? Any of the books in Maria V. Snyder's Study series (Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study) fit the bill. The series follows Yelena, a young woman sentenced to death for killing her kidnapper/torturer. She receives a bit of a reprieve from the head of security, Valek, however, when she is offered the poison tasting position for Commander Ambrose. While trying to balance learning all the necessary skills for this position and hiding her developing magical abilities, Yelena becomes embroiled in some political intrigue that sets the stage for her to travel throughout Ixia and Sitia. Yelena is one tough chick, Valek makes me swoon, the supporting characters are amazingly well written, the bad guys are super bad, and the plot kept me guessing throughout the series. Anything by Maria V. Snyder is a win, and the Study series is no exception.

Jessica @ Simply Infatuated

Spies? What books have I read with spies in them? I couldn't even think of many other than the James Bond books, but then it came to me. Duh. Harriet the Spy!

Written by Louise Fitzhugh and published in 1964, well before any of us were born (even me!), this book remains a children's classic that was adapted into a feature film starring a young Michelle Trachtenberg. It was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, highly memorable in that it was about an aspiring writer who keeps a notebook with observations about her classmates and neighbors. Many of her notes are none too flattering though, and when her book falls into the wrong hands, her secret is out. Her classmates are angry and hurt, and they take it all out on Harriet. This was probably the first book that drove home for me the idea that our actions have consequences. Years later, I worked on a school newspaper just like Harriet, and I unfortunately learned that lesson again firsthand. Anyway, it's an important book and a fun story that has spawned a series of continuing books and will always stand the test of time.

E.C. Myers, author of Quantum Coin (2012, Prometheus Books)

As for us...

My favorite spy story is Grave Mercy. It squashes together historical fiction, a bit of fantasy, and nun assassins (yes you heard that right). I had never even heard of a book about nun assassins before- it is brilliant! The story was excellent- full of twists and turns and unexpected surprises. I can't wait for the second book in the series, coming April 2013!


What about you? 

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