I asked and received this book through NetGalley for free. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway.
What the book is about
The book follows several points of views but the main story is based on Project Pandora, a mysterious project commanded by the Russian Government 30 years ago that somehow has ended up in the hands of a drug dealer trying to cash it out to escape from prison in a country nobody knew existed, Ozerkistan. Kat Foster, a junior diplomat will have the mission to meet this person and asses the veracity of his claims as well as bringing him to the corresponding authorities...at least that's the plan she has been told, but as she will learn, there are a lot of things that she wasn't told before accepting this mission.
I enjoyed the first chapters of the book, the introduction of the characters, leaving tiny glimpses of not only the Pandora mystery, but their own lives and what took them to where they are presently. The opening sentences on every chapter were perfect subtitles for each chapter.
I liked the main idea of the book; the way the mystery was shown, little by little, with a nice political build up and personal details of the characters here and there made for a good general flow of the story. Most of the dialogues also had a good rhythm to them, albeit sometimes they could seem forced.
While the book is not intended to be a comedy, at least it is not advertised as one, it has serious chuckling moments, through irony and dark humor. The bit of political humor is also appreciated. Characters were in general well built, giving insights to their past through a series of flashbacks, that didn't overtake the story, but gave it more sense to the actions of everyone involved.
However, there were several things that ticked me off and made me wonder farther from a 4/5 ratting. First of all, and off course this is personal, the fact that they refer to "Columbian cartels". People, I've said it before and I will say it again, it is Colombia with an O, and hence it should be ColOmbian cartels. This, you are going to say, is not enough to take down a whole point, and I agree, but it bother me nonetheless.
Then we have the scene where Kat uses her Krav Maga...this might a be a tiny spoiler, but bear with me, so Kat is in this very uncomfortable situation, as in, she will probably be raped situation. Through other chapters in the book it has been hinted that she was abused at a certain point in a way that I thought this would have a bit more of weight. Alas, it felt like the only reason to keep hinting for this was so it would made sense that she kicks the guys ass, since she know Krav Maga. It was one of the build ups that fell flat for me, mostly because all the previous mentioning were pointing (for me) for a deeper scene and not just a page of her defending herself.
'In this life, there are two types of men,’ explained the rider. ‘Those who have the power to do harm to others; and those who do not.’