Hey all, Dani here.
First things first, a disclaimer. I was given an e-ARC of this book by Drea Damara in exchange for an honest review.
You’re supposed to add disclaimers like that when you have an ARC of a book, but personally I always find it a bit aggravating. I always give honest reviews, even if the book was written by my best friend…or myself. I mean, I did give an honest review of my own book a few months ago.
Anyway, back to this. I met Drea Damara at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con last year and picked up her first book, The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane because it was about a bookstore with books that literally wept tears, and could transport you to another world. There’s also magic and adventure too. I’m kinda ashamed to admit that I’m still only like 1/3 finished with it. I need to finish it. But, when approached about reading and reviewing Chasing Vengeance, the first of the Trinity Missions, I couldn’t resist.
It’s an espionage adventure thriller type novel, and I’ll be honest…I love espionage related books. I actually took an espionage course in university that was taught by a professor who used to be CIA. This book hooked me from the beginning, and I think the cover is really cool too.
Never reveal your secrets…
Trinity, an intelligence organization known only through whispers, specializes in covert action. Heading up this modern-day operation is founder Gerry Strakner and his team of skilled misfits. The key to staying alive lies within their code: never divulge your greatest fears or darkest secrets. But sometimes the past refuses to stay buried…
While his organization is under attack, Gerry must let his favorite operative, Caria, fend for herself against a vicious arms dealer. When he learns that she is caught in the crosshairs, his only hope is he’s taught her enough to stay alive.
Now Gerry must call in an old favor to save Caria. Ivan Skavinsk, a reclusive mercenary, is the one man skilled enough to infiltrate the playing field of assassins. But which side is he truly working for? Does loyalty have an expiration date or will deception burn everyone within its reach?
I think that Chasing Vengeance highlights Damara’s background and knowledge base perfectly. The book primarily takes place in 2011, but there are flashback scenes as well, which add to the situation or to the character you are following at that time.
The descriptions were well done too. It is clear that Damara has traveled and worked in other countries and dealt with a variety of people and cultures, and I appreciate how those details were used to make this story feel all the more realistic.
Also the web of characters and their relationships, lies, and secrets was wonderfully complex, and perfect for this kind of story. After I was sucked into the story and started really connecting with the characters I absolutely did not want to put it down.
I love that with a lot of intelligence organizations and similar occupations, you are never wholly certain of allegiances, or whether a person is “good” or “evil.” So many of them walk the fine line between the two, living solidly in the shades of grey on the spectrum. That complexity makes the story all the more interesting to me.
Gerry, Caria, and the rest of Trinity are great characters, but in some ways I think my favorite person just might be Skavinsk. Oh, also Jancy. I loved Jancy; she really did think of everything when it came to support and equipment for the operatives of Trinity.
There were so many twists and turns, and secrets, and lies, and complications that made this an absolutely thrilling read for me. I’m really looking forward to picking up a paperback copy really soon. And I’m so glad that this is the start of a series because I would gladly read more Trinity Missions books.