Review by Jenn256
Okay, so lets jump right in. Hope you all got a chance to finish the book.
When we last left our heroine, she was sent to a rock concert. Wilson sent her as a congratulations gift from SD-6 for being recruited so quickly. While there Sydney was asked by Wilson to take pictures of the concert with a bangle bracelet with a small camera in one of the stones. After the concert Sydney was escorted backstage and was told that the rock star himself, Raul Sandoval had wanted her to come back and party with him, and was not exactly asked, but told to go backstage. There she follows along, but starts to feel uneasy about things and sneaks off from the group. She tries to find her way out of the stadium through an underground maze of tunnels and hallways. It is at the end of one of these hallways that she sees Raul Sandoval himself talking to a man that Sydney recognizes. Then she realizes that the man is one of the lead palyers from the "Bloody Black Market", a group of former Cold War operatives who now kill operatives and sell their severed heads to the country with the highest bid. Sydney had read and studied his file not long after coming to SD-6. Being the great agent we know she is, she takes a picture of Sandoval talking with this man with her bracelet. This is when it all starts to become clear, this was no ordinary congratualtions concert, SD-6 had sent her on her first mission- without any backup or warning of what she may be up against. Then the lead security guard that Sydney had eluded finds her and chases her down the hallway. Again Sydney comes up with some amazing moves that any trainer would be proud of and again somewhat surprises herself, but alas she is knocked out by Sandoval himself.
Sandoval takes Sydney backstage to his dressing room and ties her to a chair (why do they always tie people to chairs?) Sandoval begins to question Sydney as to why she was in the hallway and who she works for? Sydney quickly comes up with a story that she wasn't doing anything wrong and just got lost (we see how quickly she can think on her feet). However, Sandoval doesn't buy it, and tells Syd that the concert hall is empty and that if she doesn't tell him who she works for that he will kill her. She of course manages to loosen the guitar strings wrapped around her wrists and whips them across Sandovals face, and the chase ensues. She grabs the dagger that he was threatening to kill her with and makes a run for it. Sydney scrambles under the stage through the trap door, if she can get it to work she can get up on the stage and out the door, but Sandoval catches up to her. Sydney begins to panic, this is how her lofe will end, her first mission, and she's going to die. But as quickly as the panic began, her new skills as an agent take over. In one foul swoop, she takes the dagger she had grabbed from the dressing room and cuts the cables to the trap door. She takes the sparking end, slightly electricuting herself in the process and throws it against the steel beam Sandoval was leaning on. Sydney sits in astonishment and horror. She just killed someone. She just took another human life, and even though he was about to take hers, she is taken back by this.
Sydney runs out of the arena, not sure what to do or who to call. She couldn't call Francie, and she was feeling rather unimportant to SD-6 and Wilson, since they had just dumped her in the middle of a mission without bothering to give her any type of debriefing, or sending anyone to help her. She sees a payphone (still unsure about who to call) when a black van comes screaching around the corner and she is swept up into the van. She tries to fight back, but sees the hunky agent she had spotted previously at SD-6. The man reaches out and turns over Sydney's bracelet to examine it. Sydney tells him that the pictures are all there, getting more mad that it seems to be the only thing the agent cares about. When he explains that one of the stones she had lost was a tracking device, she realizes she was not alone in this mission. And not only that, but there were multiple agents with her in the concert arena, but they lost her when she was ushered backstage by Sandoval's men. He tells her that this concert was a test to see how capable she was at handling a mission. SD-6 has had an eye on Sandoval for some time and knowing he was always heavily guarded, and the only way to get closer to him was to send Sydney in. Sandoval has always had only one weakness- women.
The agent also explains that SD-6 was afraid to tell Sydney that this was an actual mission, because they were afraid her attitude and demeanor may tip off Sandoval. They needed to see how she handled herself in the field. Sydney realizes that SD-6 did care about her, and that they were worried about her safety. Then the hunky agent introduces himself as NOAH HICKS!! Yes, that's right, the Snowman himself!!
At the end, Sydney and Francie are walking through town when Sydney is approahed by Dean, the snotty college guy who blew her off and laughed at her with his friends when she asked him to a party. He acts like they have never met and even introsuces himself to her, and then asks her to go to a club on a date. She then finds that she is no longer nervous around this guy, and isn't even impressed by him anymore. She then replies one of the best lines I think I have ever heard, "No, I'm going with other people. I'm not sure who yet, but someone else." I love it. She gets her revenge and at the same time, shows how much she has grown up and matured since taking the job with SD-6. This is a whole new Sydney Bristow, one that is excited about the world and her place in it.
Now, I was a bit surprised to see Noah pop into the picture, but I am happy that the book will explore her relationship with Noah. We weren't given much information about their relationship other than what was revealed in the few episodes that he was discussed in. Noah was a huge part of Sydney's life, and her first real love, but how will they write him out? Will they just re-write the sript with the Snowman storyline? And at what point does she meet Danny and Will? What did you think of Sydney's character, and how she reacted on her first mission? What were some of the other differences in her character and demeanor from the beginning to the end? What did you think of the book? True to the show or not?