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The Informationist

(Vanessa Michael Munroe #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  10,089 ratings  ·  1,550 reviews
"Vanessa Michael 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. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respec ...more
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by Crown (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I'm only halfway through this but I have absolutely no idea why this book is rated so highly everywhere. Not to be "that guy" here but did anyone else READ the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?? First of all, the main character Michael (who is actually a woman named Vanessa) is such an almost painfully blatant poor-man's version of Lisbeth Salander that it's almost ridiculous. HOW IS NO ONE CALLING THIS OUT?? And ok, not that every intelligent, super gifted, socially inept main female chara ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
Overall, a bit weird, a bit different though engrossing. The strategic part was with way too much emphasis. And the emotional line rather crazyish:
You get employed by a guy #1
> You run from him
>> You screw lots of guys (implied)
>>> You screw some stranger somewhere on a business trip (#2)
>>>> You turn to guy #1 for help
>>>>> You use the guy #1
>>>>>> You manipulate the poor SOB #1
>>>>>>> You love the #1
>>>>>>>> You get into a love triangle with the initial, brainy, #1 guy and another, hulk
Maureen Carden
I've read The Informationist at least four times and just finished listening to the audio tape. Let me take a moment here, Hillary Huber narrated the audio and did a fantastic job. I might actually listen to The Bible being narrated if she was doing it. Okay, back to the The Informationist,
Vanessa Michael Munroe (VMM) burst out of the jungle, smuggled herself into the US (even though she was born here) and reinvented herself as an almost normal person.
A chameleon, she could take on the colorati
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Bought this book because of the reviews and it's title. Started and stopped couple times. Vanessa character is one hard woman, learned somethings about Africa. But overall story didn't much entertained me. Parts were really slow and bloody. As always money and how to deceive someone to get what they have. ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
The Informationist has one of the most daring and distinctive heroines I've personally read about. Vanessa Michael Monroe is practically a force of nature. Her personality is hard to pin down, even if you know her very well, which few people do. And she makes a very bad enemy. While some characters might go to Africa to run away from their past or to define a new life for themselves, Monroe is the opposite. She was born in Africa and raised there. Although she is Caucasian American descent, Afri ...more
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Absolutely absorbing thriller. At times, Michael's character is just ludicrous in her abilities but that's okay. This was still one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year. Dark, violent, kind of sexy. That's what's up. ...more
I'm reviewing the audiobook version and although I threatened during the experience to tear my stereo from my car, I am happy to report that it is still intact within its housing.

What would push a gentle person such as myself toward such automotively destructive fantasies? a)commuting in general b)an author who uses the same descriptive phrase for every character's posture while sitting over, and over, and over again! WTF? Where's the editor ? How many times can a person sit with their forearms
She’s a tool. A weapon. Like Jason Bourne or James Bond. Able to blend into her surroundings. She speaks 22 languages, and she’s damn near deadly with a knife. And she’s androgynous. She’s Vanessa Michael Munroe. Or Michael for short.

Revenge might as well be her middle name, though. She reminded me of Lisbeth Salander with the way rage completely consumed her. And yet she still managed to show some heart, or at least her slightly abbreviated version of it. Emotions seemed to fill her, consume he
Lisa Sansone
Mar 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Women who have fantasized about being a butch, callous mercenary with super-human abilities. :)
I can't say that I liked it. I thought that it was boring, over-written, and unbelievable -- to the point of being silly. To be honest, I couldn't even enjoy it on the level of "fantasy" or escapism.

It reminded me of your standard, second-rate, mildly-ridiculous gun-for-hire novel - only this time written with a tormented female lead, instead of a tormented male lead.

I'm guessing that one is supposed to like the book largely because of the gender-switch. If you enjoy silly, poorly written fanta
aPriL does feral sometimes
This is the worst book ever. The writing is boring, the plot is brain-dead dumb, and the character Vanessa Michael Munroe is the stupidest 'genius' I've run across since the biker Eric Von Zipper in the 'Beach Blanket Bingo' movies starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Munroe, the main character, unfortunately, is the dumbest one of all. No one is SUPPOSED to be dumb in 'The Informationist.' This is supposedly a serious thriller. Really. Really? This novel is such a stinking piece of du ...more
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of action adventure/action heroines (with a warning about bad language)
Recommended to Werner by: My Goodreads friend Danielle gave it a good review
Note, Sept. 14, 2017: I just edited this review to correct a slight misspelling of one word.

The Goodreads description for this book simply quotes the first paragraph of the jacket copy, which gives the impression that our heroine's adolescent career as part of a gang of gunrunners lasted for years. It didn't --she fled from Africa at the age of 15, after about a year with the gang. (They also weren't mercenaries, and their smuggling operations included drugs as well as guns.) Otherwise, the info
Woman Reading
2.5 ☆ the origin story of an anti heroine

I am so glad that I didn't jump into the Vanessa Michael Munroe (VMM) series here. The Informationist suffered a case of the first book overkill syndrome. Symptoms included a character with near supernatural abilities who can repeatedly survive episodes of danger against all odds and who can enthrall all the male characters into falling in love with her.

VMM has made a living since age 20 as a spy for hire. She wasn't presented as a thief who steals infor
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Carol by: review sources
Shelves: fiction
I picked this one up for several reasons. First, I love the title and the picture it evokes. An Informationist, someone who deals in information. In this case this person is one Vanessa "Michael" Munroe,. That's the second reason I picked up the book. Reviews depicted Vanessa/Michael as one strong female,a character trait I like in my reading. Third reason; reviews called it a gripping, fast paced, high octane thriller. And lastly, I picked it up as it is debut fiction, always a treat for me.

Apr 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it
I think The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has spawned a new genre of the novel -- girls with abusive pasts who grow up into emotionally crippled, gender-ambiguous women. The novel is set in Africa and that makes up for a lot; the detail is good and it seems well researched. At times this book teeters on the edge of a romance novel. It was a fast read, entertaining enough for a plane ride, and who knew one could purposefully dislocate a thumb to escape handcuffs. Reading really expands my horizons.
Paul Pessolano
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not until now has there been a heroine that could rival Lisbeth Salander of "The Girl with the Dragon Tatto". That girl is Vanessa Michael Munroe and she is "The Informationist".

Michael, as she is called, comes from a missionary family that was based in Africa. Her family had little to do with her and she became strongly independent and became ver familiar with the language, customs, and culture of the many African tribes.

In her teens she became involved with Francisco Beyard. Beyard made his li
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
WOW, what a ride!!! Very similiar to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo... took a little while to get into, but once you do... what a ride!!! Hope this is the first in a series... would love for it to continue!!!
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I’ve taken the time to write a review for a book. I’m generally a word-of-mouth “reviewer”. But I believe this book is worth sharing an opinion. I’m not a voracious reader (like I was in my early youth) but I do read a lot - just an ordinary guy who likes to read thrillers, espionage, adventure, and variations thereof. I also dabble in early American history and American military history.

I came across this book via my local indie bookstore weekly email. The dust cover des
Andrew Montooth
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kismet, from the Turkish qisma, or fate. I buy too many books to keep track of where they come from or how I heard about them or even what attracted me to them. This book was sitting there after I’d read my Christmas stack and before I made another book run. I picked it up and was surprised to learn that she was an apocalyptic cult survivor. Hey, me too! Kinda. My childhood cult was a bunch of wacky architects who worship Frank Lloyd Wright. Better deal? Maybe. Anyway, I figured, OK definitely g ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Taylor Stevens' debut novel The Infomationist came out last year, I was aware of the buzz, but never got around to picking it up. Well, this New York Times bestseller is newly released in trade paperback, so I picked it up - and had a hard time putting it down. Wow - what a non stop thriller!

Vanessa Michael Munroe grew up in Africa, rebelling against the upbringing her missionary parents envisioned for her. Instead she made her own way, creating her own niche as an 'informationist'. Her 'un
Joey Comeau
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book at first, and the problems I had might not bother other readers at all. I found the setting and characters compelling for the first half. But it slows down 2/3 of the way through, and it was at that point when the writing finally got to me. To be honest, I don't often judge thrillers based on the writing itself. I'm not looking for flowery prose or beautiful descriptions. I just want to know what's happening and who the characters are. But there were parts of the book where t ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Well....if you love this/these books please forgive me. I just could not get involved or even interested in it. The character(s) left me cold. This includes the protagonist.

I just didn't get into the book at all and finally laid it aside. I decided "back when" that if I "quit" a book I'd go 1 star.

Now I know many people love these. In a way I get this. I can tell it's well written. That said, I'm just not the intended audience for the book. The odd thing is the subject seems very interesting. It
Ronald Roseborough
Every reader who craves action and adventure will love this book. It is nonstop from cover to cover. The heroine, Vanessa, who goes by as many names as she has personae, is a kick-ass force of nature. She can be as fierce and deadly as a black mamba snake or as elegant and smooth as a high paid call girl on the make. She is multilingual, highly intelligent and lethal. Her preferred job is collecting highly sensitive, often obscure, yet very valuable information, which she sells to high paying cl ...more
May 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Okay, it was a real page-turner, and it kept me entertained in fine style from Santa Rosa to Denver. And, it depicted darkest Africa in an intense way that leads me to have no desire to set foot in the more dangerous countries. But other than that, not that great.

The complaint I have is the protagonist is too much super-hero. I'm getting a little tired of this already - Joe Pike (Robert Crais), Jack Reacher (Lee Child), John Rain (Barry Eisler), do they think everybody's got to be unrealistical
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Informationist: the title grabs me like Noah Wylie's The Librarian, promising adventures of a someone like me. Nothing could be further from the truth of Michael (Vanessa, Essa) Munroe. She's the epitome of an informationist, researching a region or country, boots on the ground, sniffing out unwritten data, a super observer and synthesizer. A young girl who went missing while a tourist in Africa lures Munroe from usual assignments to a hunt for information on a trail, four years cold.

This is
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
I gave this book 4 stars because I am quite intrigued by Vanessa/Michael's character. She is seriously screwed up but somehow manages to live with herself...some of the time.
There have been comparisons made to Lisbeth Salander but having read all of Lisbeth's books and only the first book about Michael, I would venture the following early assessment:
I do believe that these two characters are very different. Their similarities are their childhoods were somewhat messed up. However, I find Lisbeth
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It can be hard to know where to turn after the final pages of the Stieg Larsson trilogy. I say leave chilly Scandinavia behind and embrace the oppressive African heat presented in The Informationist. Stevens’ protagonist, Vanessa Munroe, incorporates the physical acuity of Jason Bourne with the analytical mind and deceptively petite frame of Lisbeth Salander. Who could ask for more in a heart pounding thriller?

Read It Forward
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Jason Bourne + Lisbeth Salander = Vanessa Michael Monroe. Can't remember the last time I met such a kick-ass heroine! What makes Taylor Stevens' debut so remarkable is that it's a page-turning thriller filled with plot twists you never see coming and characters so compelling they'll haunt you long after you read the last page. So good, so so good. If you're a big fan of Stieg Larsson, look no further. Put THE INFORMATIONIST at the top of your list. ...more
Krystin Rachel



And sometimes that can be a good thing when it comes to action-thrillers, as long as they don't take themselves too seriously. They know their place, know that they are over-the-top and completely removed from real life, so they play it up and make it big, and have some fun. But in the case of The Informationist...

It was too long, way over-written, and tried too hard to make the main character of Vanessa Michael Munroe, damaged and dark, leaving her annoying and emotionless with
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
I haven't finished this yet, but it is one of those books that once you start reading, it's nearly impossible to put down. I am listening to to audio as well, and it is very well done.

Vanessa Michael Munroe was raised in Africa by indifferent, missionary parents, left to her own devices, and as a young, rebellious teen, fell into bad and brutal company due to her unusual gifts of observation, liguistics, and analysis. When she escaped from Africa, she put those same skills to profitable use. As
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Munroe or Lisbeth Salander? 11 94 Apr 17, 2018 03:56PM  

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TAYLOR STEVENS is a critically acclaimed, multiple award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers. Her books, known for high-octane plots populated with fascinating characters in vivid boots-on-the-ground settings, have been published in over twenty languages. THE INFORMATIONIST, first in the Vanessa Michael Munroe series has also been optioned for film by James Camero ...more

Other books in the series

Vanessa Michael Munroe (5 books)
  • The Innocent  (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #2)
  • The Doll (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #3)
  • The Catch (Vanessa Michael Munroe #4)
  • The Mask (Vanessa Michael Munroe, #5)

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