Monday, September 6, 2010
Brainjack by Brian Falkner
Walker Books Australia
(c) 2009 / 438 pages
Winner of the Sir Julius Vogel award for YA fiction
Deciding to test the YA waters myself (as a writer of fantastical stories), I thought I should read some YA first. I am glad I picked up Brian Falkner’s book. This is the first YA book I’ve finished, and basically couldn’t stop reading. It was the prologue that got me reading the book and deciding to purchase a copy. Here’s the first few lines: Right now, as you are reading this prologue, I am shifting through the contents of your computer. Yes, your computer. You. The one holding the book.
Brainjack is a cracker of a read for a YA book. It is intelligent and fast paced. It is a very plot focused book, but that’s not a bad thing. We meet young Sam who likes to hack into unhackable places. Wanting a couple of new laptops and Nuro-Connectors, Sam hacks into Telecomerica and gets arrested. Locked up, Sam wants out and finds out there is a computer in the library. It is locked down with several protection decides so hackers won’t have access to temptation. But Sam is no ordinary hacker. He’s a natural and a locked down computer has a work around.
Having broken into the computer he makes plans for an escape. He almost doesn’t make it. Hitting the city he jumps in a cab and discovers everything he’s been through from breaking into the White House for a convention and breaking out of jail was all part of a job interview. The CDD want Sam working for them.
A couple of months later, a cyber attack introduces them to a phantom on the Internet. The phantom takes out the cyber terrorists and then spammers the very next day. The phantom is taking out the things it believes to be wrong or bad and the CDD needs to find it and take it out. They are worried that the phantom might take out anything it sees as bad or a threat.
Soon enough a war breaks out between Nuro users and non-nuro users.
Set in the near future, this book tells a tale where being online is the main way of life. It’s engrossing with techno terms described in a way everyone would understand. The writing is straight to the point and runs smoothly from paragraph.