WHAT WORKS: I think I actually "get" FATE now, in part because of the author's writing and examples, and in part because of my experience with ICONS, which really does work as an "introduction to FATE". The author does a great job, however, especially with providing examples and with laying out the functions of SWING...the part about Sections and what they do in and out of the field is just great work. I admit I'm not up on my Spy-Fi, so I know I missed some references in the SWINGers chapter, but the ones I did catch were pretty great. The art, when used, is pretty evocative of the tone and never overwhelms the book.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: I'm still not sold on FATE as being something me or my normal players would be huge fans of, but that's a personal preference and not a knock on the writing. Really, my biggest complaint is that I think it could have been organized better...especially when you have things like a two page list of Stunts...and later a list of stunts with a quick description...and then a whole chapter devoted to explaining each of the stunts...and then a handout with all those stunts on it. I like quick reference, but that felt excessive. Ultimately, it is a minor complaint as the book never feels "padded" and is certainly not overpriced, in my view. That said, I would have liked a sample treatment on Supernatural and Extranormal adversaries, since a whole section of the Agency is devoted to them.
For my full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blog--
CONCLUSION: I think it says a lot that FATE is considered "rules-lite", but the author got nearly 20 pages of handouts out of the system. Personally, I'm still not sold on FATE outside of the "beginner's version" found in ICONS, BUT this is a well written incarnation that remains focused on what it is trying to do (with the Spy-Fi genre). As mentioned above, I would have liked a few examples of using supernatural type opposition, since there is a whole Section of the Agency dedicated to it, especially for GMs who have little prior FATE experience to draw from.
[5 of 5 Stars!]