Rummanah Aasi
Description: November 1989. Communism is collapsing, and soon the Berlin Wall will come down with it. But before that happens there is one last bit of cloak & dagger to attend to. Two weeks ago, an undercover MI6 officer was killed in Berlin. He was carrying information from a source in the East -- a list that allegedly contains the name of every espionage agent working in Berlin, on all sides. No list was found on his body. Now Lorraine Broughton, an experienced spy with no pre-existing ties to Berlin, has been sent into this powder keg of social unrest, counter-espionage, defections gone bad and secret assassinations to bring back the list and save the lives of the British agents whose identities reside on it.

Review: When I picked up The Coldest City I was expecting an action-packed graphic novel starring a female spy much like what was shown in the trailer for Atomic Blonde (which is based on the graphic novel) starring Charlize Therone and James McAvoy, but what I got instead is a slow, spy noir a la John Le Carre. Once I got over my hurdle of disappointment, I had to buckle down and read it.
 The story is slow going as our protagonist, Lorraine Broughton who is neither blonde nor atomic, is assigned to hunt down a list containing all the spies working undercover in Berlin at the height of the Cold War. The story and its plot twists relies on the characters, which is quite hard to do because the graphic novel is cloaked in black and white illustrations and shadows.  Although these artistic choices add to the noir and mysterious atmosphere, it also hinders the reader for getting a good grasp on the graphic novel. Overall, The Coldest City is a mediocre graphic novel that I would only recommend to those who enjoy espionage and spy stories.      

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and violence. Due to the slow pace and political context of the graphic novel I would recommend it for adults.

If you like this book try: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre
5 Responses
  1. Well that is a disappointment. You would expect more action.

  2. Kindlemom Says:

    Nothing worse than being disappointed in a read and having to soldier on. Glad it did get better for you though.

  3. Unknown Says:

    When I read the description, like you, I thought the book would be filled with action, fights, clever lies, and red herrings. From your review it sounds like the book is the exact opposite. Hmmmm. Well, thanks for the review.

  4. This sounds like it had so much potential and just didn't live up to it. Too bad.

  5. Hmm. Think I will skip this one.

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