Reviews

Northern Spy, by Flynn Berry

thepaledreamer's review against another edition

Go to review page

2.0

2.5 stars.
I have so many mixed feelings about this book. As a character-driven novel, it excels. I was fully invested in Tessa, Marian, and their family (their mom cracked me up multiple times, bless). Unsurprisingly I also enjoyed the espionage/informant aspects though admittedly, the plot had SO many holes it tested my suspension of disbelief. Mostly my ambivalence comes from the novel's descriptions of Northern Ireland. I am not well versed in the history of The Troubles, yet from all accounts, while the peace in NI is a tense one, there haven't been as many attacks as this book seems to suggest (this week notwithstanding). I even saw a couple of reviewers native to the region say it was a fictionalized version of NI? I don't know; I feel as if more effort had to be made to establish the alternate timeline if that was the case, and if it was more Tessa worrying over her family, then that could have also been made more apparent? It's a shame because though I did enjoy reading it, these aspects just kept pulling me out of what would have otherwise been a great reading experience.

bookmaddie's review

Go to review page

emotional mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

memedahabreh's review against another edition

Go to review page

mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A

5.0

ryno23's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

I enjoyed this book, I believe. It ticked a lot of the boxes for me: Northern Ireland; based during The Troubles; audiobook with an Irish narrator. But it didn’t quite feel nearly like a perfect book. Tessa works for the BBC. Her family are against the Republicans, but Tessa sees her sister on video doing a robbery. The story follows how true family ties are. But there was some disconnect for me. Not quite a 4. A 3.75.

lauren890's review

Go to review page

dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.75

rachelmrothe's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

3.5⭐️ for a fun read that gets automatic stars for being based in NI/Ireland. A few plot holes and was a little less excited when I found out the author was actually American but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Some negative reviews seem upset that it portrays a less than accurate description of what modern day life is like in Belfast but my impression was that this was a fictionalized speculation of what Belfast couuuuuld have looked like if peace deals weren’t made/things went awry and feel like it’s clear/well known that this isn’t what Belfast is like currently ? Idk I enjoyed

laashpa's review

Go to review page

dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.0

jenabest's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

 3.5 rounded to 4.
I was hooked early on, but started to wane a bit as the story went on. There were some weird discrepancies in time/violence level and with Finn's age/development. The end wrapped up really quickly and felt like the juicy bits got left behind somewhere. 

shannonflavin's review

Go to review page

dark tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

lscheer's review

Go to review page

3.0

Quick read, slow story.