Complicating matters—or perhaps, ultimately, simplifying them radically—is this determinedly realistic espionage novel’s surprising spiritual component, hinted at by the title, which finds Leda experiencing a possible vision in the desert. That element, though, will likely power the later books, as outside of some portents Red Dragon mostly concerns the earthly, depicting the world of international spycraft with an attentive eye towards process, planning, schemes-within-schemes, and all the duplicity it takes to achieve a long-term goal while balancing many different interests. The novel’s hefty length and tendency to summarize events rather than dramatize full scenes, though, diminishes its narrative momentum, despite a compelling central arc and captivating hard-edged protagonist.
Still, there’s much that’s engaging here. That sense of convincing complexity, paired with Leda’s practicality about sex and violence as weapons, lends the material a toughminded fascination. “The only thing that corresponds to the movies’ idea of an agent is that they were able to turn into a completely different person in two hours,” Wladowsky writes, persuasively, taking pains to show readers the work.
Takeaway: This epic novel of international spycraft (with a hint of the mystic) engagingly digs into the practicalities of espionage.
Great for fans of: Mishka Ben-David, Jonathan de Shalit.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-
This book does not offer the instant thrill of the carousel and shiny lights of the blockbusters, but it demands from the reader concentration and dedication.
It is like an avalanche forming from a snowflake.
The reward is when you are pulled into the mesmerizing world of intrigue, espionage, and Judaism, where nothing is as it seems at first sight, and you are freed from banality, false morality, and political correctness of the modern world.
New insights are revealed each time the book is read, each time on a more mystique level.
To know Leda and her mission is to read between layers of action and love veils, to examine one’s own ethics, morality, and values,
to stand in awe in front of divine beauty and tremble in front of the horrendous killer. This is divine nature, and this is our nature too.
It happens gradually, just like in real life; you must dedicate time and effort to know someone.
Leda is a mirror of all of us, and everybody has a light and dark side in themselves, even if they don’t want to admit that.
Style is vivid, dense, rich, sharp but does not bother the reader with unimportant decorations and tedious descriptions,
and at the same time, it offers the vast possibility to learn new things and expand own views. On the other hand, it almost seems autobiographic because the narrator does not bother to ask permission from her characters when to speak.
Fundamental movers of the human race have always been sex and death, and in this book, you will have plenty of both of it. But you will have more than that – the epic love story that will shake you to the core.
If you let Leda enter your heart once, she will never leave you again. You will be her pawn, and she will be your queen, and together you will start the final Tikkun Olam – repairing the world.
And the Almighty? He is smiling at Leda.