wurdnurd, February 18, 2010 (view all comments by wurdnurd)
A paranoid trek through post-terrorist attack San Francisco in a not-so-far-fetched future, with the city is under siege by US forces in the name of Homeland Security. Like The Fourth Realm trilogy, this story is about the battle waged between subversives and a corrupt power, with the battlefield occurring in the streets, in the media and, especially, on the Web. The message is clear: we must take an active stand in our governance, otherwise the power-hungry few will terrorize the conservative many, and completely marginalize the powerless. Taught, suspenseful and completely believable, this will appeal to marginalized, tech-savvy and forward-thinking teens and adults.
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Shoshana, April 11, 2009 (view all comments by Shoshana)
A fun young adult dystopia, though it doesn't seem like enduring fiction of the sort that warrants a Hugo nomination. Marcus, a 17-year old gamer, has trouble with an authoritarian school and culture. However, these difficulties pale beside those he encounters when terrorists blow up a bridge in the Bay Area, providing the grounds for Homeland Security to swoop in and begin abrogating civil liberties. Subjected to the sorts of intrusions, threats, and indignities with which Americans have become increasingly familiar, Marcus vows to take down Homeland Security. His attempts to do so are engaging, though sometimes for a smart adolescent he doesn't think through consequences well. The narrator's tone never seemed quite natural to me, and the concluding sequence was fast enough to be somewhat flat. If you like to learn your science from hard science fiction, you should be reasonably satisfied with this quick but entertaining read.
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zenninja, March 25, 2009 (view all comments by zenninja)
1984 has always been my favorite book. Now all of the sudden a new book comes at me with full force, I now have a new favorite book "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow, its a Cautionary tale about what could happen if we let our government get to much power and take away all of our rights. It's Genuinely frighting and believable. I finished the book in one sitting and want more.
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Tor Teen -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"SF author Doctorow (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom), coeditor of the influential blog BoingBoing, tells a believable and frightening tale of a near-future San Francisco, victimized first by terrorists and then by an out-of-control Department of Homeland Security determined to turn the city into a virtual police state. Innocent of any wrongdoing beyond cutting school, high school student and techno-geek Marcus is arrested, illegally interrogated and humiliated by overzealous DHS personnel who also 'disappear' his best friend, Darryl, along with hundreds of other U.S. citizens. Moved in part by a desire for revenge and in part by a passionate belief in the Bill of Rights, Marcus vows to drive the DHS out of his beloved city. Using the Internet and other technologies, he plays a dangerous game of cat and mouse, disrupting the government's attempts to create virtually universal electronic surveillance while recruiting other young people to his guerilla movement. Filled with sharp dialogue and detailed descriptions of how to counteract gait-recognition cameras, arphids (radio frequency ID tags), wireless Internet tracers and other surveillance devices, this work makes its admittedly didactic point within a tautly crafted fictional framework. Ages 13-up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by The Washington Post,
"Cory Doctorow tackles timely issues, including the erosion of civil liberties in the name of national security."
by Children's Literature,
"This smartly written novel has the potential to launch powerful classroom discussions and change the way young people think about government."
"As with 'Big Brother' in George Orwell's 1984, this book will motivate the reader to contemplate free speech, due process, and political activism with new insights."
by School Library Journal,
"Teen espionage fans will appreciate the numerous gadgets made from everyday materials."
Big Brother is watching you. Who's watching back?
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. WHOS WATCHING BACK?
A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller
Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until shes offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. Shes charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it's too late.
Part medical thriller, part social justice commentary, Charisma will have readers on the edge of their seats.
"Ford's The Cipher is a thrill-a-minute ride. A very cool read."--David Baldacci
You think your emails are private?
Your credit card number is secure?
That stock trades, government secrets, and nuclear codes are safe?
Robert Smiles” Smylie is not a genius. He feels like hes surrounded by them, though, from his software mogul dad to his brainy girlfriend to his oddball neighbor Ben, a math prodigy. When Ben cracks an ancient, real-life riddle central to modern data encryption systems, he suddenly holds the power to unlock every electronic secret in the world—and Smiles finally has a chance to prove his own worth.
Smiles hatches a plan to protect Ben from the government agents who will stop at nothing to get their hands on his discovery. But as he races from a Connecticut casino to the streets of Boston, enlisting the help of an alluring girl, Smiles comes to realize the most explosive secrets dont lie between the covers of Bens notebook—theyre buried in his own past.
Eerily close to reality and full of shocking twists, this techno-thriller reveals how easily the private can become public, and just how dangerous it can be to encrypt our personal histories.
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