Friday, March 27, 2020

Espionage with an AI twist

I have just completed reading my first ARC (advanced reader copy) for a book from Hidden Gems.  I enjoyed getting to read this espionage thriller by DS Kane.   It was the 10th and final installment in the Spies Lie series.  Although, I had not read the other books previously I was able to fully enjoy this book.  It is quite a globe trotting experience, with major scenes at Stanford, Tel Aviv, Scotland and England.  In this story we learn that an AI created by Ann Sashakovich and her design team for a competition has become more adept than people realize.  This AI begins manipulating humans and has the different espionage agencies running around attempting to infiltrate and turn each other's agents.  Ann and her fiance, Jon Sommers, are called to help find the enemy and even get pulled away from their honeymoon to do so.

There are lots of players in the game and this could be a bit confusing at times.  I found myself wishing I had a chart to tell me who everyone was and how they were related to one another.  I discovered at the end that there was an index at the end with a listing of characters.  I guess that's the downside to reading an ebook.  I might have found it earlier if I had a physical copy.   This did not stop me from enjoying my book and I will probably go back and read the earlier books in the series now.  You will enjoy this book if you like high paced thriller espionage books with a little scifi thrown in.

False FlagsFalse Flags by D.S. Kane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

False Flags was a high speed and engaging spy novel that is the 10th and final book in a series. I had not read any of the previous installments but that did not prove to be an issue with this book The reader is introduced to Ann Sashakovich and her fiance', Jon Sommers, early in the book. We also learn out about a previous AI competition that has gone awry for Ann and her Stanford classmates that has left two AI's battling each other and trying to influence the espionage world.

The initial setup of the plot involves Ann and her classmates, Glen Sarkov, Dave Nordman, Laura Hunter, and Samantha Trout and their interactions while interviewing for jobs post college. Many of the interviews are with intelligence agencies which we find out are no strangers to many of the characters as they have family members in the business working for different nationalities.

This is actually one of the few issues I had with the book, there were often too many characters referenced and their relationships with the other characters discussed. It was hard to follow and I found myself lost and having to flip back for clarity. I wished while I was reading for a character chart, which I found at the conclusion of the book- which would have been easier to discover if I had been reading a physical book.

Overall the action and the story line were quite engaging. There were many interlinking subplots which the author tied together quite well. I appreciated the author's final chapters where Jon told what happened in the ensuing years to many of the key characters. I would like to have found out what happened further with the AI and the havoc it was attempting to reek on the world. We were left hanging on that one aspect.

All in all I can recommend this book

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a free copy

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
  1. Literary Escapes-  Israel
  2.  Cloak and  Dagger  #CloakDaggerChal : Book  #21
  3. Medical Examiner-  6 Toe Tag 
  4. Mystery Bingo
    • Weapons card :  Fistfight
    • Crime Scene:  Lawn
  5. Popsugar- #popsugarreadingchallenge #22 with a robot, cyborg, AI character
  6. 52 Books in 52 weeks  #43 Set in a country you’ve never visited before
  7. Book List Queen #28 By an Indie Author
  8. NJM #NJMBookChallenge2020  #6 a book with a bad boy hero 
  9. Wizarding World Tour  possible categories
    • Koldovstoretz- related to my Scottish roots

1 comment:

  1. Hi Traci - May I offer you a historical novel galley for review consideration? Please email me at
    Be well!