Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Marcus is your typical 17 year old techno geek. He can hack into almost anything and has built multiple computers by himself. When him and his friends skip the final hours of school they become part of the biggest terrorist attack the States has ever seen. No, they didn't do anything, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Department of Homeland Security, or the DHS, has apprehended both Marcus and his friends and taken them to a secret prison and continues to interogate and semi-torture them for days on end. When Marcus is finally released he is released alone. Hoping for the best he returns to find his parents in a mad state because they thought he was dead and can't even bring himself to tell them of his experience with the DHS. Then when Marcus realizes that Darryl, his best friend who was injured before the DHS took him, hasn't returned and the city has turned into one big security check point he vows to get even and get everyone's freedom back. This starts a whole chain of events which Marcus becomes the leader of. From creating a spy proof internet hubb to jamming the tracking system. Will Marcus and his followers be able to bring the DHS down and return freedom to the people of San Francisco, or will he be shipped out by the DHS never to be heard from again?

This was definitely an interesting and thought provoking book. I really wanted to love it because it totally tunes in to the reader's inner geek, but it just didn't absorb me like I thought it would. It was easy to walk away from and I didn't find myself eager to sit down and read it. The potential for a great story was definitely there, but at times it was majorly confusing. Especially when Marcus went on to explain all of these technological processes that I couldn't even begin to imagine. During these parts of the book I felt myself skimming through them because I couldn't even begin to wrap my head around what was going on. Other than that though I loved the quirckiness of the characters. I felt like they were all original and I hadn't met them before in some previous book. I think my favorite part of the whole book was the author's ability to make me feel such deep dislike for the DHS. At the end I felt myself getting so worked up and angry about the way the DHS was treating people. There were many times that I felt like throwing the book down and storming off, but then everything would be okay. The ending was definitely the best part of the book and definitely redeemed it in many ways. Overall I liked this book and would recommend it for both guys and girls, but think that guys would probably get more out of it.


PJ Hoover said...

Also on my list!

Tasha said...

I agree, Little Brother is a thought provoking book. Like you, though, I didn't feel completely absorbed. My mind wandered during the lengthy and enthusiastic passages about the inner workings of a computer, and I sometimes found it difficult to find my way back into the story after leaving it.


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