Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jenn's Review: The Informationist

Summary:  Fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher will love Vanessa Munroe--a resourceful loner who grew up overseas and has combat training, a wry sense of humor, and plenty of sex appeal. Vanessa Munroe deals in information--expensive information--working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. A Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. Pulled into the mystery of the missing girl, Munroe finds herself back in the land of her childhood, betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead. If she has any hope of escaping the jungle and the demons that drive her, she must come face-to-face with the past that made her who she is.

Review:  The Informationist is one of those novels that was nearly drowning in hype when it came out. Though I didn’t love it quite as much as Julie, (Julie’s review), I found it to be a compelling, hard-to-put down read.

This book draws heavily on the Taylor Stevens’s knowledge of Africa and her ability to make it come alive. Her unique perspective made it possible to create characters who belonged nowhere; both Munroe and Francisco were adrift because of their minority status in a continent that didn’t consider them native and a Western World where they just didn’t fit in. If anything, I craved more about her characters and less about Africa.

The narrative was fast-paced with lots of close calls and plenty of plot twist. Although I had solved some of the mystery, it was intriguing to watch the characters unravel it and gratifying to be right. By no means had I solved the whole thing though and there were still plenty of surprises to be had.

The biggest draw back for me was that I was unable to connect with Munroe. Her character is reminiscent of Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium Trilogy, but somehow I had a much easier time connecting with Lisbeth than Vanessa Michael Munroe. Both are a product of their horrible childhoods, but Munroe chose the criminal world and Lisbeth was forced into it by circumstances beyond her control. While I’m not saying Munroe deserved what happened to her because of her choices, I think it made it harder for me to understand her. For most of the book, I wouldn’t say I disliked her but I can’t say I enjoyed her character. It isn’t until ¾ of the way through the book when Munroe displays a glimmer of humanity, that I began to find myself drawn to her. I like the idea of her, and now that I’ve warmed up to her a little, I think the second book, The Innocent will be far more enjoyable for me.

Final Take:  4.0/5

Julie's interview with the author, Taylor Stevens



Anonymous ,  November 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM  

I'm halfway through this one and really enjoying it.

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