Abdul Ghali, a CIA analyst, is tasked to go after Milo Weaver — the head of The Library. The Library is a private organization collecting classified information all over the world. It does not trust the authorities, hence its creation, and is often involved with terrorists and violence. But Abdul is not a field agent. For the longest time, he’s been sitting behind his desk and computer analyzing data. So the big question is, why is the CIA sending him and why now? This book is the fourth installment in the Milo Weaver series, but it can’t be read as a standalone. It uses jargon, most of which I would not have understood had I not read similar spy books before. The story-telling is dry and cold. The characters are two-dimensional. It’s easy to get confused between Milo and Alan, between Leticia and Alexandra because sometimes it’s not clear who’s speaking. There are no chapter headings to indicate whose POV it is. There is no clear mission to the point that it gets frustrating. At first, they are tracking Milo, then Abdul, the Milo again, then someone else. The story is dragging, and things only quicken at ~30%. On a positive note, the book tackles relevant issues, is backed-up with good research, and is feminist.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Check my sidebar; follow me here and on the rest of my social media accounts for more bookish content and honest reviews!
This is my first DNF of the year. But from what I have read until ~45% of the book, I’d rate it a 2 out of 5. This review may contain some spoilers.
First of all, the book is promoted as a romantic comedy, but there is nothing funny going on, at least in the first half.
Secondly, most of the characters are problematic. Sloane’s husband, Myles, is obviously cheating on her with his colleague, Bianca. But instead of talking to Myles about it, her first plan of action is to “win the competition”, which means having lots of hot sex and then snooping around Myles’ phone for evidence. Myles is caught in the act but instead of apologizing, he gets angry with Sloane for not respecting his privacy. While that is really something to be mad about, that’s not the point. He is one cheating bastard and he won’t admit it. And then there’s Bianca. How can you even call yourself as Sloane’s friend when you’re fucking her husband behind her back? And instead of telling Sloane the truth, she gives her vague hints to somehow clear her conscience.
As I read along, the issues got heavier for me so I just decided to stop. None of the characters piqued my interest anymore and the story was not getting better. Still, thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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From the cover to the blurb, The Girl in the Tree looked promising. I was intrigued and wanted to start reading it right away. However, after about halfway in the first chapter, I realized that the story was all over the place. The narration took a lot of turns that it was hard for me to follow the protagonist’s main point. I put the book down and gave it another chance the next day. Nothing changed. I still felt lost as the narrative branched into a lot of mini-stories, that is why I decided not to finish it. I’m not sure if it was the translation that made it weird and confusing, or not. This one just did not appeal to me as I was reading along and I felt like I was only dragging myself page after page. I would still recommend this book though. I did not like it but it was not terrible. Other readers might enjoy the zigzagging turn of events and might give it more chance than I did. P.S. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.