EGOROVA & NASH

 
Full Name: Egorova & Nash
Codename: Red Sparrow
Nationality: Russian
Organization: Russian Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Jason Matthews
Time Span: 2013 - 2018
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Dominika Egorova is an agent with the SVR.
       Nathaniel Nash is an agent with the CIA.
       Together they make one heckuva team.
       Egorova was a gorgeous young Russian woman, beautiful in both body and soul, who dreamed of being a ballerina and had more than enough skill to achieve her goal. Her history professor father and her symphony musician mother did without much so that she could have a chance to do something she loved so much. Her skill and her dedication might on their own have been enough to achieve that but Egorova had extra talents that helped immensely and would play an even bigger part in her life.
       First there was her incredible memory. If she saw something or heard something, she remembered it. From the age of five she could name the composer of any piece she had heard and could recite the lines of plays she had watched.
       Second, and more interesting, Egorova was at a very young age diagnosed as a synesthete - "someone who perceives sounds, or letters, or numbers as colors". When music played she saw these colors dance about the room. When people talked or thought or reacted to events, she saw colors as an aura around their heads, halos which revealed via hues the true attitude of the individual. Yellow of deceipt. Red of passion. Black of evil. Those were the bad colors she hated to see. Blue was a much nicer color to the young girl. Purple was the best.
       Her parents were fearful of what might be thought of their child or worse yet how she might be used with this talent so they strongly impressed upon her the need for totally secrecy about this gift and that was one instruction she took to most seriously. She talked about it to no one ever again.
       But she used it. Constantly. And when her father passed away and her own career was destroyed by a horrid act of a competitor in the ballet school and then her disgusting Uncle Vanya saw a chance to use both of these events for further his own career at her expense, she knew what was going on. She might not have an opportunity to do much about it but she knew. And she learned.
       This "loving" uncle on her father's side was the rotten soul who forced the young dancer into a totally different line of work and changed her life forever. Familial loyalty was totally unknown to Major General and First Deputy Director Ivan Dimitrevich Egorov, known as Vanya to family of which was few and friends which numbered even less. He, of course, pretended affection but his true nature was pretty obvious to anyone who dared look closely and especially easy for one with Egorova's abilities. When he needed someone close to perform something especially unpleasant and dangerous and even more importantly to keep it a secret, he looked at his beautiful niece and saw a Sparrow.
       In the Russian intelligence world, a Sparrow was a woman who used her highly trained and skilled body to create 'honey traps' to ensnare would-be targets into working for the Rodina (Motherland). To these specialists, the product of a unique school, sex in any and all forms was a weapon to be used whenever and however it was necessary to get the job done. No matter what the proclivity or leaning the intended had, a Sparrow knew how to exploit that yearning to get the 'victim' to do as instructed.
       Egorova was an unwilling student at that facility. It made her quickly despise the people who would and use such a place. It made her distrust and dislike the government that would employ such people. And that disgust gave her a purpose.
       Dealing with her uncle and his cronies and his boss and his ultimate boss, President Vladimir Putin, all made her disgust grow. She still loved her country but not the people who ran it. Keeping her feelings hidden, though, let her operate without their knowledge. That's when they sicced her on Nathaniel Nash.

       Nash was the third son of a prominent Richmond lawyer. His grandfather had been a lawyer and had started the prestigious firm that catered so proudly and successfully to all the power players of the South. Daddy had taken his rightful position in the firm and risen to run it eventually. His two older brothers had learned "enough" of the law to take their seats at the table. Nash was supposed to as well.
       But he didn't. He studied Russian and thought about public service and listened to the CIA recruitment seriously. He went that route and you'd have thought he had betrayed all that was holy when he told his family he would not be joining their enterprise. He became the black sheep and could not have been happier.
       Being an agent was what he was meant to do. He could recruit with the best of them and he was fantastic at guarding his people's safety. Which was how he came to be the contact for one of the best moles the Agency had in Russia. It also became how he proved over and again how dangerous he was to Russian Intelligence and why they needed someone of Egorova's talents to bring him down.

       What neither the SVR nor the CIA could imagine is that Egorova and Nash would do something incredibly unprofessional. They fell in love.

BOOKS

Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2013
Last Appearance:2018

1 Red Sparrow Red Sparrow
Written by Jason Matthews
Copyright: 2013

Dominika Egorova is forced to become a 'sparrow', a Russian operative trained in seduction, and her first big target is a CIA officer, Nathaniel Nash, who is handling sensitive agents inside Russia. When the two fall in love, the danger for both becomes far greater.
Note: this novel won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and it most definitely deserved it.

2 Palace of Treason Palace of Treason
Written by Jason Matthews
Copyright: 2015

Staying alive as a double agent for the CIA, Dominika Egorova struggles as she must combat a murderous boss, Iranian operatives, and still rescue a CIA agent in trouble inside Russia. Her relationship with her handler, Nathaniel Nash, is a major complication as is the fact her name is on a list of CIA sources.

3 The Kremlin's Candidate The Kremlin's Candidate
Written by Jason Matthews
Copyright: 2018

Dominika Egorova and Nataniel Nash must find a Russian agent about to be appointed to a very high office in the US government in a bold plan to rule the US from the inside.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:2018
Last Appearance:2018

1 Red Sparrow Red Sparrow
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers: Justine Haythe, Jason Matthews
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence as Dominika Egorova, Joel Edgerton as Nathaniel Nash, Jeremy Irons as Korchnoi, Mary-Louise Parker as Stephanie Boucher
Released: 2018

Forced into the Russian 'sparrow' program, Dominika Egorova is trained to seduce and control her targets. Her first major assignment is the CIA agent Nathaniel Nash. She is supposed to get him to fall in love with her. She is not supposed to reciprocate.

MY COMMENTS

       This two-book series (third coming out in a month from this writing) had been on my stack of to-be-read for over a year. Looked interesting but then so did a bunch of other series. I would get to it eventually. I had missed the fact that the first book had won an Edgar. Should have seen that and paid notice but I did not. My bad.
       Then I learned of a new spy movie coming out starring the terrific Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence. I've liked her in everything I have seen her in and the fact that she was doing a espionage drama made me sit up. And the name was familiar. Didn't I have a book by that name? Let's look. Yep. A two-book series. Well, guess I better check it out before the movie arrived.
       As I started the book (ebook version) I noticed how big the novel was. Quite large books make me a tad nervous these days because they tend to be filled with so much unnecessary fluff or, even worse, get so repetitive. "Here's hoping!" I said to myself.
       Wow, was I lucky. This book has no, repeat, no fluff. This book is not in the least bit repetitive. This fantastic book is so jam-packed with authentic spycraft and double dealings and dynamite cloak-and-dagger operations that I was hooked from the very beginning and could not - no, would not - think of letting go until I finished it.
       One way you know you have a winner is when you absolutely must know how it ends and you do not ever want to finish it because that means it is over.
       That is how it was with the first book. So when I did, reluctantly, come to the end, and the end was a terrific one, I rested for all of a few minutes and then loaded the second one.
       Now sequels are so seldomly as good as the original. Just the way it is. It is hard to have lightning strike twice. Zap! This book was every bit as good as the first.
       I could not put it down. The battery on my tablet died during the book. Put it on to charge while grabbing my phone and picking up the story right away. No time to wait. That is how good the book was.
       Now that I am done with the second, I have already pre-ordered the third. When it comes, the rest of the world can do without me for a day or two.
       And when Ms. Lawrence hits the big screen as Dominika Egorova, I will be there my popcorn and my soda and my complete attention.

GRADE

My Grade: A+

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