The Spy With the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

*Spoiler free*

feat. cat paw

Siblings Ilse and Wolf hide a deep secret in their blood: with it, they can work magic. And the government just found out.Blackmailed into service during World War II, Ilse lends her magic to America’s newest weapon, the atom bomb, while Wolf goes behind enemy lines to sabotage Germany’s nuclear program. It’s a dangerous mission, but if Hitler were to create the bomb first, the results would be catastrophic. When Wolf’s plane is shot down, his entire mission is thrown into jeopardy. Wolf needs Ilse’s help to develop the magic that will keep him alive, but with a spy afoot in Ilse’s laboratory, the letters she sends to Wolf begin to look treasonous. Can Ilse prove her loyalty—and find a way to help her brother—before their time runs out?

The Spy With the Red Balloon is a companion novel to The Girl With the Red Balloon, but they can be read completely separately! I really enjoyed Girl, it had such a haunting tone to it, so I was excited to see what Spy would hold!

I almost stopped reading a handful of times. It takes a bit to get acclimated with the world and the science/magic can get very confusing very fast. I kinda just disconnected from it and stopped trying to make sense of it all and that helped!

After a bit, things start to pick up and the story really gets going. You have all the points to need and ZOOM! we’re off. It took me awhile to get warmed up to Isle. I just had a hard time connecting with her and I only found myself really invested in her story towards the end. I didn’t have that problem with Wolf. I was hooked into his POV right from the start.

This book does take place during WWII and there is a lot of heavy stuff happening, but this book is just… more than that. There was plenty of queer characters and punching Nazis to go around. I loved it.

One of my favorite things would have to be a plot twist. It is so masterfully done that it’s such a complete shock. I loved it. You are lulled into a false sense ‘oh, duh I know what this is’ and then you are completely thrown off guard by what actually happens. It was brilliant.

I’m not sure how I feel about Isle’s romance arc. She is bi and she does have a crush on a girl and I loved it! It just felt a little rushed and I don’t feel I got enough interaction between the two characters to feel completely invested in their feelings. But, there I feel like there is a story off the page happening and that is good for me.

It loved seeing the connections to Girl. It was so fun seeing how this book ties into that one! They are more like Easter eggs, so if you haven’t read Girl it’s no big deal. You will understand everything that is going on!

I thoroughly enjoyed Spy. It was so awesome to see this book twist together and to get to know these characters!


The Spy With the Red Balloon comes out October 2nd, 2018!

You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order in the meantime!

Thank you for reading!

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