I really wanted to like this book and I would say I enjoyed it for the first half of the book, but, it took a turn for the worst somewhere. The main ..Show More »character has too many skills and her flaws are her actually psychological problems. In other words, she is very hard to relate to, sympathize with, root for, insert whatever else that a reader feels for her main character. Don’t get me wrong, I like strong female characters as much as the next person, but I struggle with calling her strong female character. She is not strong but overpowered.
Vanessa Michael Monroe has the ability to extract information from what often seems like thin air. She uses her many skills and does whatever is necessary to learn what she needs to for her clients. Sounds cool so far, right?
Well, my issue is that Michael has too many abilities that enable her to obtain this info. She can fight with guns, knives, her hands, can kill, speak 20 something languages, obtain fake ID’s and passports in whatever country she’s in, ride a motorcycle from Dallas to Colorado Springs, disguise herself as a man, dodge the many bullets that are fired at her in this book, survive in the jungle for a couple of days with no shoes or food, get our of handcuffs by dislocating her thumb, survive almost drowning with a boat anchor tied around her feet, and I could go on. She’s also moody, mentally unstable, untrusting, manipulative, all while having multiple lovers. Personally, I’m not really sure what the guys really saw her.
Overall, this was all just too much for one character. It wasn’t believable and started to get funny after awhile. To describe Michael and develop her character, the author uses many chapters. In my opinion, many of those chapters could have been cut out and the book still would have been long. I wished the author would just pick a few things and be done with the character development. Your character doesn’t have to do and be everything. I will admit Michael did show weakness from time to time and I was grateful when she did. It showed she was human.
Another challenge I had with this book was the violence. I normally can stomach violence (I enjoyed Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) but this book made me a little queasy. I wished there was some warning before I bought the audiobook saying, “Warning: This book contains violence, sexuality, and sexually related violence.” I still don’t know if that would have warned me enough. It was too much for me and I kind of wish I could ‘unhear’ this book.
I won’t be reading or listening to another Vanessa Michael Monroe book. She’s not my type of heroine and Steven’s stories are just not for me.
My understanding is that this is the second of a trilogy that Taylor Stevens is writing that features the character Munroe. I read The Informationist ..Show More »(book one) and thought it was entertaining enough to go another round. "I wanted to like this," sounds like an idiotic thing to say--of course you want to like anything you read--but alas, wanting didn't make it so, and I reluctantly have to say this was a bit of a stinker. Definitely several notches down from The Informationist. You can't say the author doesn't know her material (having escaped her own cult upbringing), but aside from her lucid observations of the cult mentality, the story stumbles, fettered by cliches and predictability, and falls flat. Had narrator Hillary Huber not made this such a smooth and painless listen--I probably would not have stuck it out.