Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews {Book Review}

What better way is there to write a book on espionage than being a veteran CIA agent? Jason Matthews has insight that only someone that has been on the inside can have.

I refrained from watching the movie Red Sparrow until I read the book because I didn’t want to spoil the ultimate suspense that only the book could give. I’m so glad I did (although I still haven’t gotten around to watching the movie).

This is definitely one of my top recommended reads of 2021.

Not long before reading this book, I watched a spy documentary on Netflix about different kinds of espionage and it was awesome to see some of them being played out in the book.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book Review: Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews #bookreview #readingcommunity


Former ballerina, Dominika Egovora, is forced to become a ‘Sparrow’, a trained seductress. Now an intelligence officer in present-day Russia, ruled by President Vladimir Putin, she is assigned to operate against a young CIA officer, Nathanial Nash, who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

Dominika and Nate soon clash in a duel of tradecraft, strong wills and forbidden passion that not only threatens their lives, but the lives of others. As allegiances are made and broken, their game reaches a deadly crossroad.

One of them begins a dangerous double existence in an operation balancing on life and death.


This isn’t your average action-packed spy thriller novel but a clearly thought-out chessboard game.

The suspense is present right from the start and on a constant high in the plot. The book is detailed and classically woven, a raw and violently authentic sounding spy novel.

There’s much backstreet politics to get lost in and figure out who is screwing who over at a time.

All the characters in the book are well-written and leave their own specific mark on the reader. The emotional and mental patterns of characters are interesting to see unfold as the plot strengthens from chapter to chapter.

There aren’t many violent and chase scenes to read through, which was a relief because the focus wasn’t on the physical aspects but on the psychological ones.

There are some sex scenes but nothing too graphic, most details left to your own imagination.

The Sparrow school was a shocking part to read, and the training and humiliation that is endured, might not be a comfortable to read for everyone.

The torture part of the book was hard to read, and I was in awe of the character’s strength, mentally and physically.

The ending made my jaw drop as I wasn’t expecting such viciousness from the one side, but I should have seen it coming based on the information in the book leading up to the moment. I was especially amazed by Dominika’s composure.


I absolutely loved this book! LOVED IT! I couldn’t put it down.

I didn’t think I’d be able to sit through another spy book after failed attempts of James Bond but this was a fantastic surprise.

I especially enjoyed the random endings to chapters by adding the recipe of meals the characters had in a specific chapter.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 3.95 on GoodReads. I gave it a 5.

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews {Book Review} #bookreview #readingcommunity

Have you read Red Sparrow?

You can purchase it here.

More reviews from the Red Sparrow series

Palace of Treason – Jason Matthews
The Kremlin’s Candidate – Jason Matthews

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