After one of his assets was killed and someone trying to kill him, CIA's handler Skinner disappeared for a while until he's brought out of hiding. Now with a new asset to protect, Skinner must find a way to get back into his old life as a spy while trying to keep his asset Jae alive. With a growing cyber attack that could take down the powers of the world and kill millions, Skinner and Jae must put aside their own problems to work together or both will end up dead.
READING A SPY NOVEL:
I like spy novels, they can be a lot of fun to read as long as they are done right. By right I mean by making the story have a really cool main character that's they spy of all spies who can use all sorts of fighting techniques, never misses what he shoots at, has cool cars, gets put into very scary situations but still able to get out, and always gets the girl. To me that's a spy novel, or I should say that's the beginning of a spy novel. There still needs to be a villain or some sort of group that's masterminding an evil plot that the spy has to stop or take down. So what exactly does the book Skinner have when it comes to a spy novel?
Well, it does have a super spy who is supposed to be skilled and scary, though really Skinner wasn't really a spy in my terms because he didn't do any real spy stuff. His job and skill set is protecting his asset and though doing so would put him in situations that would be considered a spy related job, he was still really only a body guard. Sure he is tough and scary but just because he worked for a people that would be considered spies does not make him one. Is the janitor that cleans the building they work in a spy? What about the receptionist at the front desk? Maybe the one that drives the bosses around during work hours is a spy? If this is the case than anyone can be a spy and if so then I supposed then that Skinner is a spy. His asset however, Jae, now she is a spy and one that I liked more as a character than I did Skinner.
Skinner was a book that took me reaching around 100 pages before I could get fully invested in the story. Typically when I read a book I want to know what I should be expecting out of the story, whether it's a story that' going to be about stopping aliens attacking the world or if someone is lost and needs to be found, but it took too long for this to be fully revealed. Sure, if I had read one of the descriptions about the book online I could have seen that the story was going to be about a cyber attack and would revolve around Skinner getting his asset Jae in the right area to help find and stop the people responsible. But I didn't do that, I did like I typically do with a book, I pick it up and start reading it. Most books will tell the plot at the start and then the rest of the story will cover the characters following along with that plot idea. Author Charlie Huston does things differently with this book because instead of really writing where this story is going to lead to he writes about the characters.
It's very interesting in how well he writes his characters and as I read about their histories and what they where going through in that moment I was pulled into the book. He has wrote about these characters in a way that make them feel like they are me as I read them or at least someone that I know and/or relate to. Charlie Huston pulls you into the character before he pulled me into the story of Skinner. Once he got to the meat of the story where I was beyond the character development the story really picked and became very interesting. Skinner didn't quite feel like a spy novel but it is, just one that instead of being the normal fast cars and beautiful women, Skinner seems like what real spy life would be like. It's dirty, it's gritty, and you can't trust anyone, which is what this book becomes about as well as being about the main character Skinner who is a tough guy that people shouldn't mess around with. I might have been slow to get interested in the book but by page 120 I really didn't want to put the book down. Charlie Huston writes his characters better as well as more interesting than anyone I've read in a while and because of that I wanted to read more of this book.