Also Known As (series) – Robin Benway

Also Known As

Synopsis

Which is more dangerous: being an international spy… or surviving high school?

Maggie Silver has never minded her unusual life. Cracking safes for the world’s premier spy organization and traveling the world with her insanely cool parents definitely beat high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. (If it’s three digits, why bother locking it at all?)

But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York City for her first solo assignment, her world is transformed. Suddenly, she’s attending a private school with hundreds of “mean girl” wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school’s elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat… all while trying not to blow her cover.

From the hilarious and poignant author of Audrey, Wait! comes a fast-paced caper that proves that even the world’s greatest spies don’t have a mission plan for love.

Review

Ah, I’ve missed spy books set in everyday settings! I love seeing them assimilate into the real world (hello, Gallagher Girls series). 

Some parts were a little farfetched, but I still enjoyed the book. And I’m already off to the next one!

Going Rogue

Synopsis

Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. 

Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. 
Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. 

Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. 

But when Maggie’s parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. 

Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her “new team” flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.

Review

There were several problems with this sequel, which is a shame since I enjoyed the first one: 

-Stretching the story unnecessarily
-Overemphasis on “love” (aka puppy love/unrealistic infatuation-at-first-sight)
-Overused trope of something good suddenly seeming bad
-Stealing from others who stole something doesn’t make you less of a thief
-Likewise, using stolen profits to “benefit the arts” or whatever doesn’t make the action any more noble than the “corrupt” people
-Too much distinction between good and bad — in real life, most people are a healthy medium
-PARIS, WHAT? That escalated quickly. 
-Shallow character development (if there was any new development at all) 

With spy and espionage books, the devil is in the details. And the details weren’t present. I was really disappointed.

Related Reading

  • Gallagher Girls series – Ally Carter (not as good as this)
  • Boy Nobody – Allen Zadoff
  • A Girl Named Digit series – Annabel Manoghan (Better than this)

Rating: 4.5/5 for Also Known As
2.5/5 for Going Rogue

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