Monday, 9 February 2015

Jessica Cole Model Spy: Code Red Lipstick and Fashion Assassin

Code Red Lipstick
Models, spies and lipstick gadgets... When Jessica's father, a former spy, vanishes mysteriously, Jessica takes matters into her own hands. She's not just a daddy's girl who's good at striking a pose; she's a trained spook who knows how to take on MI6 and beat them at their own game.

This reminded me of a cross between Geek Girl and Agent Cody Banks. I might have been a bit too old for it, but it was an enjoyable and quite clever story with a really interesting and fun main character. I really liked Jessica from the off; she had just the right balance of not too full of herself or her abilities, stubborn but not reckless. She obviously would do anything to save her dad and she worked with that, as did her enemies.

There were some surprisingly complex characters, from her dad - ex-MI6, recently diagnosed with MS, now in serious trouble - to the MI6 agents sent to protect/distract her in Paris. I never knew where I stood with those agents, which is great writing but also really annoying! With all this talk of an inside job and double agents, I was never sure who to trust. As for the actual story, it was almost James Bond-villain-esque the evil things the bad guys had planned. The nanobot explanation was obviously dumbed down but still appropriately elaborate and well thought-out. 

Ooh, the gadgets! Jessica had some awesome tech to help her break into places, escape by the skin of her teeth and catch the bad guys. From laser lipstick to an x-ray app on her tablet, Jessica gave the impression she knew what she was doing but after dropping them, forgetting how to operate them, it was actually endearing to know she wasn't supergirl! I cheered Jessica on throughout and her bravado was so impressive; I held my breath a couple of times near the end, when things were looking tough, but Jessica was stubborn enough to pull through and save the day. Definitely a girl you want on your team!

Fashion Assassin
Models, spies and lipstick gadgets in this fast-paced teen series. Supermodel Jessica Cole has no intention of ever spying again after she was nearly killed by an embittered ex-model and a rogue MI6 agent. That is until she's blackmailed into posing undercover as bodyguard to a very rich fellow model. What seems like a simple job aboard a luxurious yacht in Monaco soon turns into a deadly mission to stop the most dangerous weapon in the world falling into the wrong hands. Jessica will need every gadget in her make-up bag if she wants to get out of this one alive.

Jessica is off on another jet-setting adventure, this time on a millionaire's yacht in Monte Carlo, protecting fellow model, dangerous guy's daughter and most annoying young woman in the world. Good lord, Kat was a horrible person-  spoilt, flashy, loud and incredibly overbearing - but so well-written that I couldn't help but look for something more. As I realised from Sky's first book, characters are rarely as they seem and yes, Kat was awful but much cleverer than everyone gave her credit it for.

Jessica was tasked by one and only bad-guy who tried to kill her in the first book! Let's just say trust was not in large supply. When Kat's father receives death threats and holds a critical position in the up-coming election, Jessica has to protect Kat with her life. However, there seems to be more than meets the eye going on on this yacht and Jessica has to find out the truth before the most dangerous and world-changing weapon is released onto the black market. 

I think this was better than the first: on a bigger scale, a more confident protagonist and more secrets, Sky had definitely gotten into the swing of things with writing this one. As Jessica held a bit more confidence in her abilities, and the stakes were a lot higher, I found this one a much more entertaining read. From a disguised enemy hiding in plain sight to trouble back home with her best friend, Jessica had a lot to deal with in this adventure but she handled it like a pro, I thought, despite cutting a little close sometimes!

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