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As always, I love the work of Taylor Stevens. This is quite different from the Vanessa Michael Munroe series but just as gripping. She has set up a new series in a unique new setting that is exciting and shows great promise for the unfolding story. I can’t wait for the next one.
After releasing five novels and a short for her Vanessa Michael Munroe series, with this book Taylor Stevens has introduced what appears to be a new series, the Jack and Jill Thrillers. In the eight years she has been a published author and a podcaster/blogger on writing she has obviously learned/earned her chops. I tried out her first novel, The Informationist, when it came out in 2011 and while I found it well written I did not particularly care for it. Since then I've dipped into the Kindle samples for her subsequent releases and still was not drawn in. That changed when I checked out Liars' Paradox. Realistic and sympathetic characters mixed with tight world building and Steven's normal fast paced and well written work convinced me to read the whole book. Liars' Paradox opens with a pair of 26 year old twins, Jack and Jill, who are having trouble adjusting to what passes for reality in most of the white western middle class. Their mom was a veteran of years of clandestine activities presumably for an unmentioned three letter agency, when suddenly she became a top entry on that agency's hit list. This lead to a life on the run with her two twins in tow. To survive she did things she would find regrettable but necessary. For her children's protection, or so she tells them, they must learn all the skills she displays with such competance-manufactured identities, expertise in a variety of weapons, escape and evasion, disguises, secure communications, hideouts, covert stashes-you get the idea. They are raised from infancy with a thorough grounding in how to handle a rifle or garrote a larger opponent, alter their appearance at the inversion of a hat and basically wreck havoc. Both kids are brilliant in their own individual ways and become adept at being invisible with the potential of extreme lethality when needed. As a matter of survival many aspects of a normal upbringing were skipped, such as how to be normal, have friends, pursue happiness, trust other people or just to relax and enjoy themselves. You can probably guess that both Jack and Jill carry some serious baggage. Since Mom cut them loose at 18 Jill uses drugs and random sex to tamp the demons down where Jack pretends to be a hyper responsible, strait laced nerd (or Mom's bitch as Jill so sweetly puts it). Interplay between the two is one of the delights of the book. The twins love/hate relationship with each other extends, of course, to Mom but that doesn't stop them from coming running when she calls at the beginning of the book. One thing cascades into another and they are soon on the run for their lives while searching for their mother with multiple highly skilled assailants on their trail. A well written story with plenty of action (perhaps one firefight too many but that's a minor point) let the pages unroll smoothly for quality escape entertainment.
I get a real kick out of reading this type of book, the assassin-for-hire adventure thriller. I had not been aware of the Jack and Jill Mystery series so was very interested in trying out this first book. And, boy, am I glad I've read Liars' Paradox. This is action packed from first page to last with very good character development and superb plotting. Anyone who reads this type of novel knows that the exploits of the characters is going to be over-the-top but that doesn't mean the authors can get away with sloppy action. Taylor Stevens has kept her characters as believable as possible under the circumstances and still give readers an action packed story.
Jack and Jill (maybe their real names, maybe not) are twins who grew up under incredibly difficult circumstances. Their mother had been an active espionage agent before they were born and her paranoia kept her teaching and training them from the time they were five or six to evade government hunters who might want to use them to get back to her. Later the training moved into the tradecraft of assassination and all the deception relative to staying off the radar of anyone looking for them. This is a fast moving story with the question of who to trust always staring this young (26 year old) team in the face. I am certainly looking forward to reading Liars' Legacy due for release December 3, 2019.
I just finished Liars' Paradox and all I can say is I am still a bit shell-shocked. I loved Taylor Steven's Vanessa Michael Monroe novels but Liars' Paradox really blew me away.
It is rare that I read something that evokes such involvement in the characters and story line as LP has for me. Terrific characters, an outstanding plot, excellent suspense, all bound together in incredible style make this a book not to be missed. The ending was spectacular and I really look forward to many more in this series.
I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great thriller!
Taylor Stevens has done it again with some new and compelling characters. A fun, intense thrill ride that, for me, had an extra does of interest - a cold war element to the story. I love cold war spy novels and was a fun surprise. If you're a fan of Stevens' Vanessa Michael Munroe series then you'll be a fan of what I hope turns out be another series with these characters. Stevens' talent is just plain fun to read - thrilling, intense, page-turning - all the things a thriller is supposed to be!
A good read and very interesting characters with several twists and turns. Has elements of Bourne (old spies and buried secrets) and Hannah (highly trained offspring with mysterious parent) but avoids following the same path. Gives an insight into the difficult life of agents with no gadgets but constantly looking over their shoulders.
I eagerly await each of Taylor Stevens’ books! This one is a stand alone, although I think there may be more Jack & Jill books in the future! I enjoyed the book and read it quickly! I think the Jack & Jill characters need to be fleshed out a little for a 5 star from me. I WILL read what ever Taylor comes up with next tho!
I love Taylor Stevens. The Informationist is probably one the the 5 best books I’ve read in the past 10 years and VMM in the top 3 characters. I knew a new story was coming and maybe I’m just bummed and missing Michael. However, in all honesty, there just wasn’t enough story here. I get all the “identity” changes, but along with not adding much, it just added confusion. And although there were not many characters, there was still very little fleshing out of what made them who they are. Maybe this was a set up for more to come, and since it’s Taylor, I’ll jump on again, but if anyone hasn’t read The Informationist, get it. Now.