“She waved her hands assertively as she spoke, as if she was a choreographer directing ballet dancers, or a conductor leading a symphony orchestra. Remey realized he was standing next to someone who possessed a higher degree of intelligence than he could attain, even with his expensive, privileged education at Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University. He decided right then and there that hers was an aptitude light years ahead of his and one he could never, ever hope to match. He had always thought he was clever, but now he realized he was merely an amateur, listening to a genius.”
Princess, Miss, Missus, Duchess, and Mademoiselle Jane Doe; with all of these courthouse acknowledgements one could imagine that we were dealing with royalty that happened to have an identity complex. Although a sole identity may be hard to determine, one things for sure, for the authorities she has been nothing short of a royal pain-in-the-ass. Zaydee is an espionage, a femme fatale who assumes an address book of aliases and is widely-regarded as one of the most successful computer hackers in the world. Despite a troubled childhood that she managed to get through with the help of her mentally ill twin sister Liz, she utilized these obstacles to reserve emotion, withhold personal relationships and develop a set of skills that would literally pay dividends for her in the future. Putting the past behind her, she went about her life the only way she knew how. Along with her hacktivist friends, numerous pseudononymous monikers and a motley crew of criminal chums she had the ability to make life hell for anyone that got in the way of her achieving her goals. With friends like Maria “The Clutch” Espinosa, KGBLana, Wheelchair Sally, and an inside woman in Officer Lopez how could anything go wrong?
Zaydee had the type of intelligence that could achieve any goal she constructed in her mind. She didn’t possess your prototypical nefarious take over the world type of mentality. Zaydee simply wanted to use her accrued knowledge to escape a world that was dead set on congratulating the conformance to other popular images and ideals and live far away from the cookie-cutter lifestyle filled with cookie-cutter people. She wanted to surround herself with like-minded individuals where she could have a sense of freedom and a justice that is impartial to uncommon conventions. Zaydee’s only option was to buy an island and start her own country with her own flag, currency, heads of state, legislation and elected inhabitants. For this to come to fruition she understood that she would require high visibility in the public and a significant amount of money with little time in hand and a tiny present problem of getting out of a federal detention centre. Lucky for her, problems were only puzzles for the analytical mind.
Pippi Longstockings, Satoshi Nakamoto, Ester Bilderberg; I have read a lot of comparisons between the lead protagonist Zaydee and that of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander. Sure, the use of aliases, sexual orientation, next level computer hacking, seemingly-beautiful young women, the use of sex as a means of getting what she wants, shaved heads, twin sisters and Scandinavian influences are all sufficient. Okay, okay… The similarities are endless, however; Lisbeth would never use Pippi Longstockings as an identity and until Zaydee rips the heart out of an immoral evil-doer than she will remain a more cartoony, palatable version of Lisbeth. For me I like my woman to be more complex and more compelling from a psychological point of view while being a little tougher to swallow and Zaydee seemed a little a more social, predictable and less badass for my liking.
The peculiar aspect of this book for me, was that there was no set plot with few ranges of tension. The book seems to flatline from start to finish. The basic idea of starting your own country, getting the money to fund your Holy Grail heist and preparing to escape from jail seems to travel from book-to-book in the County of Monte Cristo series and did not offer a lot of excitement for me. The best parts involved Lynora in the Bahamas with the hired actors and the trouble that kept finding Detectives Binder and Whitehead. The individual and isolated story in The Anonymous Girl centered on a young man who travels across the country to ensure his father’s research stays his father’s research. The problem with this was that it was easily solved with little fight or inner turmoil. I think a lot of people will like the author’s style. It is quite engaging with pop culture and current event references which tend to give the reader a nostalgic feeling as well as another frame of reference. The author is able to mix in humour, romance, action, and advanced knowledge in a lot of areas to keep the readers on their toes and begging for more.
“The plot had gone beautifully, and if all continued to go well she knew it would drive certain people crazy that she could pull such a heist off while in federal prison. With a little more press and media coverage, she would likely continue to draw more admirers, some of whom she could use strategically. If nothing else, they could be potential investors for and inhabitants of her new country one day.”