The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi

reviewed by Elvira Sanchez Kisser, Woodburn Public Library

doubtfactoryAlix Banks lives a privileged teenager’s life: she goes to a premiere private school, she is a top student, she spends her time going shopping and talking about boys with her friends, watching after her mischievous brother, while her father works too much and mother worries too little. Then a mysterious intense activist, Moses, steps into her life and accuses her father of killing others through his company and her life gets turned upside down. Alix must discover the truth about her father, Moses, and the world she lives in.

A contemporary thriller that is filled with conspiracy facts based on headlines, action sequences, hacking intrigue, security dodging and even a bit of romance. The most notable scene from a librarian’s perspective is when Alix begins to do her own research in order to make up her mind and at first sees nothing unusual when she does a cursory search. Then she begins to dive in deeper in verifying the sources of the information and the web of intrigue grows.

The story is fast paced and focused on exposing the reader to the idea of how misinformation is used in our society.  At times the narrative stalls while information is laid on the reader all at once and could have been handled better by incorporating the information throughout the novel. On the other had I liked the use of real companies and situations that can be easily verified with a bit of research.  As for the characters, they are shallow and stereotypical so as not to lose focus on the plot. Overall an entertaining way of looking at a heavy and controversial subject