• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Alias Emma (Alias Emma #1) by Ava Glass

Alias Emma is a fast-paced cat-and-mouse chase across hidden London, led by Emma Makepeace, a resourceful, tough, new spy determined to thwart the Russians' deadly plans.

Emma Makepeace, a brand-new British spy, is jumping into duty--and danger--with both feet.

Barely out of basic training, she has just twelve hours to deliver her asset across London to safety--without being spotted by the Russians who have hacked the city's thousands of cameras, and their assassins, who are out to eliminate the person she has sworn to protect. And Emma would very much like to make it out of this alive as well.

Russians are systematically eliminating scientists who betrayed Mother Russia to England and MI6 years earlier, and Emma's wise handler is determined to figure out why--and stop them before they kill another. But not everyone at the Secret Intelligence Service may be trustworthy--both Emma's handler and Emma herself are wondering if there's a mole inside their ranks who is assisting the Russians in their bloody vendetta.

This fast-paced thriller tracks Emma and Michael, the distractingly handsome son of Russian dissidents who she has pledged to protect, on the longest night of their lives as they work to evade the thousands of cameras documenting London citizens' every move.

The stakes are life-and-death for Michael and Emma, but Emma has never been one to back down from a challenge. The Russians haven't had her on their radar, so they don't know about her unusual tactics and her ability to think on her feet. And they don't realize she's got her own personal vendetta against Russian intelligence--which is the reason she became a spy in the first place. Emma's creativity and unorthodox ideas just might save them both--but they'll have to be crafty and find a lot of good luck if they have any hope of getting to safety.

I read this start to finish during a flight (and delay), and Glass offers a cat-and-mouse chase through side streets and underground rivers in a peek at hidden London that's detailed and gritty and gripping. I was so happy to realize this is the first in a planned series. Sign me up for every bit of this!

I received a prepublication digital edition of Alias Emma, published August 2, courtesy of Bantam and NetGalley.

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Ava Glass is a former crime reporter.

Ava Glass is a pseudonym for Christi Daugherty, author of the YA Night School thrillers.