February 19, 2013

Third Novel by Taylor Stevens: The Doll review

The Doll by Taylor Stevens
Now Available! June 2013
I first "met" NY Times best selling author Taylor Stevens in an online discussion group several years ago. The way she arranged words resonated with me and as our interactions grew and we learned more about each other, I asked her if she ever considered writing a novel. She told me she actually had and was trying to find a publisher for it.

As our friendship grew, she trusted me to read the draft of her first effort, which became the sensational best selling novel The Informationist, and recently was optioned by film director James Cameron, of Avatar fame.

Taylor and I have continued our friendship and had a few opportunities to also spend time together in person. It's a true honor to witness her success up-close. Admittedly, I like to brag that I was one of the first 10 people in the world to read her first novel.

That I am a fan is an understatement that must preface my review. I will however also say that if there were any reason I didn't think this novel was riveting or interesting, I would not publish a review. I pride myself on integrity as a writer and PR person.

I opened up my Advance Readers Copy (ARC) with anticipation. One of the things that I've grown to like about Taylor's style is that it's a slow build to the fast and frantic action. The story began slowly with very little detail. In a literary sense I unfolded my napkin in my lap and prepared to dig in. I wasn't disappointed.

Taylor has a unique ability to bring the most horrifying slices of humanity to our lap, without sending us from the table. Her story about human trafficking drew us into a world we'd not see or know otherwise. While the tales are fiction, they are so alive, the reader feels authenticity with each phrase. You aren't just reading the story, you are there.

I really enjoyed the depth and emotion she brought to her protagonist, Michael/Vanessa Munroe. We saw a softer side of her heroine. It didn't make Michael less strong, it only made her more human. The alliance forged was surprising. To say more would require a spoiler alert.

If you've been fascinated with Michael Munroe, that won't end with The Doll. In fact, you'll want to know more. Taylor has the ability to draw even the most timid reader into her stories of a rough and ready heroine, who suffers fools lightly and takes names while she kicks them to the curb. It's a vicarious thrill for the reader to walk in the shoes of such a strong star.

Three is either a curse or a charm. I wondered how it would unfold for Taylor's story. What I've learned is that this author has an unlimited imagination and can put her character in any situation and bring it to life.

Congratulations, Taylor.

Three is a charm.

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