Victoria Simpson
Red to Black by Alex Dryden is a story about what has happened in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. The story centers around two characters, Finn and Anna. Finn was with MI6 and Anna with the KGB, and the two have developed a romantic relationship.

The story opens with Anna sitting in a basement reading journals, trying to find Finn. The entire book is told from her point of view, which gets a little bit odd at points. For instance, there are moments where the story is only about Finn at that point with Anna no where in sight, and she is still narrating. How does that work? Does she have ESP (or ESPN as a friend in high school used to say)? I mean, the KGB's good, but not that good...right? I mean, I should hope so--Otherwise, the U.S. has been in deep trouble for a long time and the Soviet's were being incompetent for over half a century by not listening to their intelligence service. I doubt that's true; therefore, Mr. Dryden has a bit of a logistics issue.

Another issue was grammar and spelling. That's the editor's fault. Moving on....

Anna's character could be a bit irritating just because she was so slow and could be a bit selfish. This is more than made up for with Finn--he's the must have dreamy British spy with a devil-may-care grin. Absolutely lovely. As for Anna, she's not intolerable, just slightly annoying. I can easily look it over, though. After all, I have noticed men have difficulty writing likable female characters (it's not their fault; we're the complicated sex).

This story was very entertaining, all of my criticism aside. I believe a good book or story must be entertaining above all else. Otherwise, it's a failure. This is why I loathe Hemingway, the old drunken bore. So, I give this story three and a half stars out of five. I really do recommend it. It was very fascinating with interesting points about politics tied in.

You can order the book from Amazon.

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Victoria Simpson
So, dear reader, whoever you may be, I am about to embark on an adventure into the great, wide-world of blogging.  I'll be honest; this is a test run for a travel blog I'll do next year when I'm living in Italy.  However, I do love to do reviews.  Books especially are my passion!  I'll try to be kind and write decently enough.  I've never really done this sort of thing before, so it'll be an experience.

The sort of review I would like to do will be more in depth than just a quick synopsis.  I would like to get some good analysis of the subject as well.  I have read many a book and wished I had my time and money back when I finished.  Unfortunately, quick reviews and short synopsis rarely help me decide on a book to read or film to watch.  Hopefully I can spare you some of my grief.

Now we come to the REALLY awkward part.  I apologize.  If you don't want awkwardness or are not a particularly "sensitive" reader, skip this. I want to make sure it is understood that because I say a book or film is a good read or entertaining does not mean I'm endorsing the author per say or moral actions of the characters.  I happen to be a Christian and am taking the time now to let you know my morals are pretty traditional.  I don't really want to go over this too much more and keep the blog away from my personal life, but I also have to consider people who share my religion and be considerate of their needs (as well as people I know offline.  I really don't want to shock them). Therefore, I will warn readers of things that might seem questionable.

That being said, many Christian novels are poorly written so I shall be steering clear of many of them (notable exceptions being Tolkien, Lewis, and Lawhead).   They're not all bad; I've just had some really bad experiences.  If you have suggestions, let me know, and I'll review that! Not all of the books and films will be morally perfect.  I would ask that more sensitive readers look past the little things and see the greater picture of the book or film.  And remember, I'll be sure to caution you. This really isn't a review of books or films aimed at younger readers.  If any of this is offensive, contact me, and maybe I can explain this better or put you more at ease.  Most awkward part over!  So sorry you had to endure that!

Okay, the first review will be about a book called Red to Black by Alex Dryden .  It is about Russia at the end of the twenty-first century on as well as foreign policy.  It's fiction.  I haven't finished it, but so far, so good.  If you want to get started before that review comes out, by all means, go ahead!