Narrator: Robin Benway
Series: Also Known As,
Also in this series: Going Rogue
Published by Brilliance Audio on 26 February 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Espionage, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Parents, Social Issues, Thrillers, Young Adult
Length: 6 hours 58 minutes
Buy on Audible
Also by this author: Going Rogue, Emmy & Oliver
Place(s) Traveled To: Reykjavik, Iceland // New York, New York
First Line(s): I cracked my first lock when I was three.
Also Known As by Robin Benway is the sort of book that I always wished that Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls books were. Also Known As features Maggie a teenage girl who is the daughter of spies and as a result she was raised to be a spy as well. Unlike with Cammie we aren’t constantly told how amazing she is but instead we are shown all the little ways that make Maggie a great spy. But throughout it all we are faced with her doubts and her anxieties as she’s torn between being a good spy and trying to live a normal life. Something which has always been denied her because of the lives that her parents live.
The story is fast paced and entertaining and I loved meeting Maggie, Roux, Jesse, Angelo and Maggie’s parents. Though Maggie’s parents did bug me a lot because they refused to see the things that their daughter was missing out on so that they could live the life they wanted. They were selfish and would dismiss Maggie when she said that she wanted some stability and most of all, friends. Both of her parents lived a normal life prior to becoming spies and while there are great opportunities that Maggie had and she saw some amazing things she missed out on a lot as well. This is something she starts to realize as she attends school for the first time, makes her first friend, and begins to fall in love. Maggie’s struggles between what she knew and what she wants were real and heartfelt and really showed growth and change as the story progressed.
Also Known As is a fun read and I liked the humor and mystery of it all. I could have done without always being told that Maggie was an excellent safe cracker and that made her super special because to me I didn’t see how just that one skill made it so people wanted to kidnap her. Now if she was a talented hacker like her mom and had the language skills of her dad coupled with her safe cracking ability I could understand it more. But just safe cracking? I just didn’t see it.
The mystery in Also Known As wasn’t the most complex and the clues weren’t laid out the best but the mystery portion is almost secondary to Maggie’s journey. Its Maggie that made me fall in love with this story and the humor that she brought to every day situations. I loved her friendship with Roux and I loved seeing Roux blossom as she got to know Maggie. Prior to Maggie’s arrival Roux was once the school’s queen be but then she made a mistake and became the victim of bullying (and still is in the book) which affected her greatly. And then there was Jesse Oliver, Maggie’s love interest, who is really just too sweet for words and I loved listening to these two fall in love.
Also Known As is one of the first books that I’ve listened to that was narrated by the author and I have to say that Robin Benway did an excellent job bringing her story to life. Benway’s narration was better than some professional narrators I’ve listened to and I never had any issues knowing who was speaking when. All the characters had distinct voices that it was easy to picture them as I listened to this audio. For me, Benway became Maggie and Roux and Jesse and I found myself wanting to listen to this audio every chance I could. Because it was a fun story and it was told well.
If you are a fan of the Gallagher Girls series and looking for something to check out next then you’ll want to pick up this book. And if you are a fan of audiobooks than I highly recommend listening to this one. You’ll laugh and you’ll cringe and you might cry a little as you laugh some more as Maggie and her friends run around New York trying to save the day and survive high school all at the same time.