Author: Lindsay Smith
Source: Received for review
Release Date: April , 2014
Yulia's father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she's captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she's thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one--not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention--and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.
The story starts with Yulia making her way through the black market to get supplies for her mother's illegal clinic. She is on a constant high alert as her father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions. She is captured by the KGB and so is her mother and young brother and they use this leverage to make Yulia cooperate. She quickly learns to trust none.
Yulia was the perfect character for this story, she was smart and quick witted. She knew how to protect herself and was constantly on high alert. She never completely trusted anyone in the KGB and she did not trust even her own family completely. Her constant awareness of her environment made her an interesting character to have a prescriptive through. I liked the other teens who were involved in the KGB spy program also. There were some there on their own free will while others, like Yulia were captured and forced to work with the KGB. There was a lot of secrets of Yulia's own family that the author barely scratched the surface of in this first novel. I am curious to see which characters are going to continue to be apart of the story.
There was a helpful chart (at least in my edition) that showed common nicknames of Russian names which helped throughout the story. There was also a brief explanation of how Russian names are read as a woman's name would be read completely different from a man's name even if they have the same last name. There was a lot of research and though put into this plot. The race to space between the US and Russia was highlighted in this novel as well as the assassination of JFK along with some magical realism mixed in.
I enjoyed this novel a lot and I will certainly be pushing this novel on everyone I know who enjoys historical fiction.