Bourne Identity meets Karen McManus in this action-packed series opener about a spy gone rogue, perfect for fans of Ally Carter and Killing Eve.
Jessie Archer is a member of the Athena Protocol, an elite organization of female spies who enact vigilante justice around the world.
Athena operatives are never supposed to shoot to kill—so when Jessie can’t stop herself from pulling the trigger, she gets kicked out of the organization, right before a huge mission to take down a human trafficker in Belgrade.
Jessie needs to right her wrong and prove herself, so she starts her own investigation into the trafficking. But going rogue means she has no one to watch her back as she delves into the horrors she uncovers. Meanwhile, her former teammates have been ordered to bring her down. Jessie must face danger from all sides if she’s to complete her mission—and survive.
Don’t miss this gripping page-turner that New York Times bestselling author Patrick Ness called “a ferocious, take-no-prisoners thriller that actually thrills!”
Athena, a secret, unsanctioned organization that protects women and children internationally, was founded by Chinese tech tycoon Li Chen, African-American former ambassador Peggy Delaney, and retired white British musician Kit Love. Protocol dictates that its agents eschew bloodshed, but after Jessie Archer, 18, helps her fellow operatives free 50 young women from a cage in Cameroon and then realizes that their captor will serve little time, she kills him. The team flees, but the incident attracts media attention, prompting Athena to fire Jessie an especially devastating decision, given that Kit is Jessie's mother. Jessie refuses to stay sidelined, however, particularly after she learns that Kit will serve as bait in an operation a targeting human trafficker Gregory Pavlic. Tailing Athena to Serbia, Jessie launches a solo investigation that proves far more difficult and dangerous than anticipated; she also becomes attracted to Pavlic's daughter. First in a planned series, filmmaker Sarif's YA debut compensates for a thin premise with an inclusive cast, ample action, and escalating stakes. Some underdeveloped secondary characters lessen the interpersonal conflicts' heft and verisimilitude, but Jessie's conflicted attraction rings true, and a gratifying conclusion hints at emotional complexities to come. Ages 14 up.