Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Informationist - Taylor Stevens

Title: The Informationist
Author: Taylor Stevens
Paperback: 307 pages
Publisher: Broadway/Crown/Random House
Published date: March 2011
FTC: Received to read and review from Publisher

When I first heard about Taylor Stevens' book The Informationist I was intrigued.  My Master's degree is in Information Science so the title was very appealing.  This is Stevens' first book featuring heroine Vanessa Michael Munroe who deals in information gathering for her clients.  I absolutely enjoyed this book and can't wait to read her next book The Innocent.

Back of the book:

Vanessa "Michael" Munroe deals in information. After escaping a traumatic childhood in lawless central Africa, she is now sought after by corporations, heads of state, and private clients who can afford her unique brand of expertise.

When a Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who has vanished in Africa, Munroe finds herself back in the darklands she once knew so well, fighting mysterious forces determined to keep the fate of the missing girl a secret. If she has any hope of getting out of the jungle alive, Munroe must finally face up to the demons of the past she's tried for so long to forget.

My thoughts:

I throughly enjoyed The Informationist and will definitely be reading more of Stevens' books.  I don't think it was so much the character of Munroe (who goes by the masculine name Michael and who IS really a kick-butt character) but rather the African setting.  I can't say that I've traveled anywhere like where she was in Africa but the book was so spot on regarding certain things that it reminded me of when my husband and I traveled through Egypt.  Munroe goes through Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea and I was so absorbed that I was getting out Google Earth and seeing where she was and what rivers and cities she was traveling through.  Stevens was spot on, I thought, regarding customs, language, and just uniqueness of African life.  I would love to learn how she knows so much about Africa (Ah ha! Here's an article about that).

The story and Michael Munroe's character were interesting - but it really was the Africa setting I loved. I've read some reviews where people were disappointed that too much of Munroe's back story was revealed in this first book - but that wasn't my opinion at all.  I am much more interested to see where Stevens takes this character and how she evolves through subsequent books.  I would also love to see her story adapted into a movie.

I've heard this book and protagonist Munroe compared to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Lisbeth Salander.  I really can't compare since I've never read that series and have only seen the Swedish movie.  I'm definitely going to have to pick it up now and see if it compares at all.

For fun:

I thought I'd share just a few random photos from our trip to Egypt back in '08.

Felccua in Aswan
Fast food cart
Felucca guides in Aswan
Cairo traffic
How you cross the street in Cairo

Alternate cover:

Also Reviewed By:

Book Magic
S. Krishna's Books
Number One Novels

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