Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Reader's Diary #1754- Antony Johnston (writer), Sam Hart (artist): Atomic Blonde

I was excited to see a spy book with a female lead though in hindsight, I've never been a huge fan of the genre and so I'm not entirely sure why I thought having a female protagonist would change that.

My biggest issue has never been the sex of the spy but that I tend to find espionage plots confusing. This was the case with Atomic Blonde as well. I started off okay; the initial plot involves an MI6 officer named Lorraine Broughton (who isn't blonde by the way, the title was changed from its original The Coldest City to capitalize on the recent film adaptation starring Charlize Theron) heading off to East Germany in 1989 to get back a list that threatens to blow the covers of all the good spies. Then it turns out there was no list and a couple of double crosses and questionable motives later and I was thoroughly lost.

So, after I was done and still scratching my head, I decided to see if someone else online could explain it to me. It turned out it wasn't just me and my usual trouble with spy books, but plenty of others were left bewildered by just what the heck happened in the second half of the book.

I did diverge somewhat from other reviewers though as it seems plenty of others also didn't enjoy the art. I actually did. It's heavily inked in black and white but still without a lot of detail. It looked at times like wood prints. The cold effect created by such a stylistic choice fit the setting, fit the plot heavy (vs character driven) story, and any more detail would have been too distracting for what was already a difficult to follow tale.

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