Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Title: Sekret
Author: Lindsay Smith
Publication Date:  April 1st, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Source: Won in Giveaway
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: An empty mind is a safe mind.

Yulia knows she must hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive in Communist Russia. But if she sometimes manipulates the black market traders by reading their thoughts when she touches their skin, so what? Anything to help her survive.

Russia's powerful spy agency, the KGB, is recruiting young people with mind-reading capabilities for their psychic espionage program. Their mission: protect the Soviet space program from American CIA spies. Why shouldn't the KGB use any means necessary to make the young psychic cooperate? Anything to beat the American capitalist scum to the moon.

Yulia is a survivor. She won't be controlled by the KGB, who want to harness her abilities for the State with no regard for her own hopes and dreams. She won't let handsome Sergei plan her life as a member of elite Soviet society, or allow brooding Valentin to consume her with his dangerous mind and even more dangerous ideas. And she certainly won't become the next victim of the powerful American spy who can scrub a brain raw—and seems to be targeting Yulia.
“We are a well-rounded team. Just as in hockey, we cannot all play the same position- we need goalies, defenders, scorers. We must practice as a team and learn to trust one another's movements. If Sergei has the puck to pass, then he has to trust that Mikhail will be there to pick it up.” - pg.47
Book 1 for #TBRTakedown. This was so good! I loved the plots and the characters. Now I need to get my hands on Skandal. This book was historical fiction which I am typically not the biggest fan of, but this book was so well done. The main character Yulia, is psychic and can see people's memories through touch. The KGB (equivalent of the CIA in Russia) is gathering up children such as Yulia for their own secret group of psychic children.

From the start of this book I was pulled into the world of espionage, spies, and kids with psychic abilities. Lindsay Smith has crafted an amazing world in the 1960s with the events of the Cold War. While this is clearly fiction, there were so many elements that seemed so real to me. Smith clearly did her research on Russian and that time period for this series.

The plot of this series is incredibly deep and while I have no clue where things are headed, I'm perfectly okay with that. I loved not knowing where things were going and what to expect. I did figure out the one big reveal early but I was not overly disappointed in that. I think there were clues there to help you come to that prediction on your own.

As for the characters, I absolutely loved the group of misfit, psychic children. While I absolutely hated Misha and Masha, they were still their own unique characters that had a role to play. As for Sergei, on a purely personal note, I loved the hockey knowledge and obsession he had. As an avid hockey fan who knows how important that sport is in Russia, I loved the tribute to the sport through Sergei. Larissa was also an important character for Yulia's development and an ally. I also loved Yulia and Valentin and the course of their friendship. It was definitely not thrown in your face like other books. There were also Ivan but he was not very prominent in the book.

Overall, this was a fascinating read and a great start to what I assume is a fantastic series. I have high hopes that Skandal will live up to this book and I will enjoy it just as must and the story unravels further. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up and I cannot wait to see how that is accomplished.

Let me know your thoughts on the book if you've read it or if you plan to!

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