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The Exphoria Code

(Brigitte Sharp #1)

by
4.07  ·  Rating details ·  180 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The long-awaited first mainstream novel from Antony Johnston, creator of Atomic Blonde!

The first book in a major new techno-thriller series featuring cyber-espionage specialist Brigitte Sharp, a brilliant but haunted young MI6 hacker.

"Very possibly the definitive espionage thriller of the early 21st century."
— Alan Moore

Bridge has been deskbound and in therapy for three y
...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published December 14th 2017 by Lightning Books (first published November 16th 2017)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  180 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Rachel Bridgeman
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: august
A confession-I have not completely read a political, espionage thriller before. People like John Le Carre, Ian Fleming...I have tried and just not been able to get the twisting, labyrinthine plots; the attacks and counterattacks left my head spinning and doubtful of every character that I read.

That is not to say that 'The Exphoria Code' is a paint by numbers book, even its heroine announces early on that she did not join MI6 to be 'Jane Bond'-this is a female protagonist led spy thriller which i
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Dan Moren
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Johnston crafts a taut, tense techno-thriller with a protagonist who is flawed, but immensely likable nonetheless. I'm a sucker for a well told spy story, and I particularly love how this one dips into both classic spy craft of the Cold War as well as modern technological espionage. I found I had to pace myself from burning through the last chunk of the novel, because all I wanted was it for to last longer. Looking forward to Bridge's next adventure.
Mark Annabel
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book, glad to see this is labelled as #1 as I hope that there will be many more books written featuring Brigitte.
Dave
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent start to a new series. I'd have happily jumped into a second story featuring Brigitte Sharp. Fun from start to finish with a ton of modern cyber spyfare and the odd piece of old school tactics mixing in quite nicely.

Who needs dead drops when you can place a coded message out there for all the world to see and yet not notice?

Looking forward to more books and who knows, one day we might be lucky enough to see Brigitte Sharp up there on the screen along with Lorraine Broughton from ATO
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William McCormick
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A techno thriller for the 21st century, The Exphoria Code stars Bridgette Sharp, a hacker/spy/reformed Goth girl sent to flush out a mole in a software development facility in France. The software, a joint creation of the English and French, is used to give greater control range and more dexterous operation to military drones. And someone is stealing that code. We know from the opening scene (no spoilers here) that the thief is male, works at the development offices, and is under the thumb of a ...more
Yvonne Davies
I have not read a techno thriller in awhile, mainly because nothing has taken my fancy. However when I read the blurb, this grabbed my attention.
Brigitte Sharp works for MI6, an ex hacker who had lost all confidence after her last mission went fatally wrong. Spending most of her time in chat rooms, chatting with like-minded people she felt more a home behind a screen. After coming across some strange posts, that looked like artwork, her and closest friend Ten get embroiled in what they think is
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Colin Murtagh
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I seem to be reading more thrillers lately, and I'm rather glad I picked this one up.
Brigitte Sharp is anglo/french, working for MI6 as a reformed hacker. After some strange posts start turning up in Usenet groups (yes I am old enough to remember using them), she ends up getting dragged into a mole hunt for the UKs latest development.
There's a lot of nice touches in here. A "reformed" goth, which isn't done as heavy handed as I’d expected, the use of Usenet, and even the methods used are all d
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Milele
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After meeting Antony Johnston online (where he's friendly and funny!) I had to order this book on PAPER because it didn't seem to be available on Kindle and wait for it to arrive. Then I lost it for two weeks maddeningly because it didn't have a Tile on it like my Kindle. Finally, I had to turn the pages one by one like in prehistory!

Heh. Just channeling my twelve-year-old there. Seriously it was worth it, this book is smart and moves fast, modern and touching. I really love the combination of
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Jack Bates
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent techy thriller with goth details

An exciting and well written spy story with all the complexity you could want and a great protagonist in Brigitte Sharp.



Only criticism - ‘I should coco’ does not mean ‘yes’ or ‘of course’ - it’s sarcastic, and essentially serves the same purpose as ‘yeah, right’.
Andy Theyers
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Absolutely cracking. Bridget is the perfect modern spy. Fast paced, high octane thriller; more Fleming than Le Carré, but there's nothing wrong with that. Honestly I think this will be a touchstone for a new generation of thrillers. For me to read 400 odd pages in 4 days says it all.
Gerry
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a gripping and well written spy thriller that appeared to me (admittedly without much in the way of inside knowledge) to be very accurate on the technical side of both the spying and the technology. I greatly enjoyed it and will read further additions to the series.
Ian
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A slick and satisfying thriller.
Andrew
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Exphoria Code has all the elements I want in a thriller: a good mystery, punchy page turning writing, and believable, interesting characters and plot. Choosing to set a contemporary spy thriller around current technology is challenging, but Johnston has succeeded, and in doing so created a fresh and engaging protagonist in Brigitte Sharp. I'm looking forward to the followup.
Nikita
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful spy thriller that is probably going to be a series. Short chapters hold you in constant tension, which is great for a book like this.

In mood it seems close to The Coldest City and Atomic Blonde (the movie), being from the same author. So, if you like it, give it a go!
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Jason
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller
This one was a little slow to start, but once it picked up steam I enjoyed it very much. Bridgitte Sharp is a most interesting character as a techie who becomes a reluctant field agent. The writing clear and descriptive, and the pacing (aside from the aforementioned bit at the start) is well-handled and consistently kept me engaged. I'm looking forward to reading more of Ms. Sharp's adventures, and I suspect Johnston has some solid plans for how she'll develop as the series progresses.
FORSSELL JOHAN
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read which I enjoyed. The story was good and the characters where good.
The language could have been less straight forward, a bit more poetic.
Paul Dumont
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Antony Johnston’s debut novel spotlights Brigitte ‘Bridge’ Sharp, a young IT analyst/hacker for MI6, who snags a case from an online friend via uk.london.gothic-netizens. Bridge was once an OIT (Officer in Theatre) but has barely recovered from the post-traumatic stress of a disastrous operation in Syria. Her boss (this being MI6, rather inevitably named Giles) is keen for her to go back undercover, and when the trail leads to a French IT company – not many miles away from her sister’s husband’s ...more
David Jin
Nov 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Johnston's espionage-thriller spends a lot of time telling, in order to keep his audience up to speed on the techno background of his protagonist's actions, but despite the slow pace, he manages to tell an interesting spy story. Brigitte Sharp is a solid enough leading character, though the book doesn't seem to follow through on its early indication on fleshing her out as the awkward, but technologically brilliant MI6 analyst. The second half of the novel jerkily reverts her into some female-ter ...more
Gordon Johnston
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good techno-spy story. Brigitte Sharp is a great new character, an SIS analyst with a past. Plenty of technical skills but previous field experience has burned her. Now she finds herself chasing down a mysterious enemy who uses old school spy tricks to conduct a high tech operation.

The plot is complex but engaging. There is enough technological detail to make this a believable and modern plot, but not too much so as to overwhelm the reader. The pace is fast, as Bridge tracks her quarry t
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STUART DUKE
Enjoyable with only 1 small gripe...

Enjoyed the book, loved the geeky tech side.
Only issue is that when held at gun point by an ex KGB huge soldier, bridge gets away by turning grabbing an aerosol can and squirting it before he can fire a shot , and then this geeky tech little girl overpowers this giant russian soldier , it didn't ruin the book for me but was highly unbelievable
Simon Billinton
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Exphoria Code didn't hit my particularly sweet spots but the author writes in an engaging and streamlined style that makes for an easy read.
This modern tech spy thriller does the essentials right but the characters and story felt a too low key and low stakes for my tastes. The only critique I would make is that the back story of the main character and her excursion later in the book didn't make much sense to me.
Snoakes
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-or-blagged
The Exphoria Code is a well-crafted high-tech thriller from the creator of Atomic Blonde. Bridge is a believable protagonist - brilliant but self-doubting, hard as nails but vulnerable, reluctantly returning to the field after a mission that didn't go to plan. The plot centres on the theft of the code for a new generation of military drones and takes us from Britain to France, with elements of old-school tradecraft alongside the technical geekery.
It's a real page turner, intelligent and fast-pac
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Wdmoor
Really 3.5 stars. I wanted to give it a five. It started off with a bang and was thoroughly enjoyable, then it got bogged down in the weeds of storytelling and lost momentum. It was still an enjoyable read.

Librarians...I will be recommending this to my male patrons.
Dean Illsley
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
The first time of reading an Antony Johnston book. It took a bit of concentration as i listen to it as an audiobook. It took a little while to get going but as i went along it became more enjoyable . If spies and the like are your thing give this a go. A new character is emerging.
Iain
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining spy fic with a couple of twists: ultimately fun, but inconsequential. Will happily read the next, though.
Allison Lock
Review

I still can’t work out how to avoid providing a review in order to move on to a new book
Clare
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly readable spy novel.
Nguyen Duy Pham
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
I did not finish this book. Made it to chapter 13.
It’s... a fine book. It trudges along. There’s nothing offensive bad about ti.
I just failed to find any excitement at all.
Iain Fielding
I liked the book and will probably read the next one. Did seem a bit like a young adult story. Hopefully as the series progresses the main characters will be fleshed out a bit more.
Ann Behan
rated it did not like it
Nov 01, 2020
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Antony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling writer and podcaster. The Charlize Theron movie ATOMIC BLONDE is based on his graphic novel; his BRIGITTE SHARP thrillers are critically acclaimed; and DEAD SPACE, his first videogame, redefined its genre.

His productivity guide THE ORGANISED WRITER has helped authors all over the w
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Other books in the series

Brigitte Sharp (2 books)
  • The Tempus Project (Brigitte Sharp #2)

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