The Shadow Mission (The Athena Protocol, #2)
Jessie Archer faced down death to prove her dedication to Athena, the elite organization of female spies she works for. Now she’s back on the team, in time to head to Pakistan to take down the man whose actions spurred Athena’s founders to create the secretive squad.
But his connections spread farther than anyone knew, and when a girls’ school in Mumbai is bombed, a shadowy far-right organization reveals itself—and its evil plans to continue attacks.
When someone close to the investigation turns on Athena, Jessie knows that their time to save everyone is nearly up. Once again, she’ll have to risk everything to protect the vulnerable and prove herself.
This book is full of twists and turns as well as tons of action, investigation, and all the awesome spy-related thrills you would expect from this series. I found that this sequel moved faster and with greater purpose than the first book. The plot is well composed and it takes on a procedural style as we follow the clues with Jessie and the other girls/women working for Athena.
What I loved: As someone who enjoys suspense and procedurals, I really enjoyed following this case and the high-stakes thrills of the Athena spy network. I also really love that all the spies, hackers, and others working for the organization are girls/women. It is so fun to see a teenage spy who knows what she is doing and does it so expertly. Jessie is highly trained and gives us interesting insights into the case, but she does not work alone and has a great team behind her. The book manages to mix in a little humor here and there when she is trying to relate to and work with Riya, who is a new character that I also really enjoyed. Riya is invested in the case because she could have been one of the girls in the school and she has a dedication to solving the crime, reluctantly working with Jessie. As the book continues, they must learn to work together.
This book is really fast-paced, so there is a lot going on and a lot of action throughout. If you like fast-paced spy reads, this would definitely be a good one to pick up. While we get some minor character insights and development, this is definitely more action/suspense than not. The book really focuses on the case and so the plot drives the book forward quickly.
Final verdict: A solid and engaging sequel, THE SHADOW MISSION is a great YA action/suspense read with strong female characters and high-octane crime solving.