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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Book Review: ReWired by S. R. Johannes

This is an engaging YA suspense focused on computer addiction/hackers.
by S.R. Johannes
File Size: 382 KB
Print Length: 316 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Coleman & Stott (August 27, 2017)
ASIN: B0752Z6V3W
Genre: Teens, Suspense, YA
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

16-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Technology Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy.
Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.
It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker, Fisher, who gets under her skin, and most of all–the Dark Angel.
With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow's LITTLE BROTHER, ReWIRED delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data.
ReWIRED is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off.

Ada Lovelace is the daughter of a busy senator father and society busy mother who tend to be preoccupied with their own lives and affairs. Ada is immersed in the worlds of computer gaming and online community with few friends in real life. Ada is still trying to recover from the apparent suicide of her best friend, Simone who was caught hacking and sent to ReBoot, a rehab facility for hacker teens. Shortly after being released, and without sharing with Ada, Simone was found dead.

Ada, known online as the Dark Angel, is involved with a secret group that challenges its members to hack important systems. Ada is one of the best in the competitions and sometimes tries to protect the victims of the hacks from the others whose goals might be more malicious. The group is betrayed and Ada ends up being forced into rehab at the ReBoot facility.

The place is beyond creepy, not to mention it is off the electronic grid. All of the kids have different ‘antisocial’ tendencies and histories of computer addiction. Ada isn’t sure if she wants to become friends with any of them as she resigns herself to her thirty (30) days of imprisonment. As Ada begins to make contact with the others, she learns that too many former attendees have died shortly after being released from the facility. Now Ada is intent on discovering what Simone did while she was at ReBoot that might have led to her death. Ada finds secret rooms in the old building and knows that she is on to some strange behavior especially after repeated near death accidents during the academy ‘games’. Can Ada uncover a dark plot before she becomes a victim too?

I enjoyed the different characters that the author created to share this story, even referring to them as “The Breakfast Club of the Cybersphere”. Some are darker and more insular while others are more like regular kids who have gotten sucked into the world of technology. There are several twists that made the story interesting and helped me skim over the teen angsty elements (that were appropriate to the characters but not my thing). The pacing and suspense is good so that the story moved along well. There is a touch of romance too that develops through conflict and is handled nicely. I do hope the version I read was an ARC version as it was absolutely full of grammar and typo errors.

I appreciated the message this story may have especially for young people (and their parents) as the teens become more involved with and reliant upon cell phones and computer life. I know myself how easy it is to lose hours of time while visiting social media or playing online games. The author provides a message that it is important to stay in live contact with family and friends. I recommend this to readers who enjoy YA issues in a story that includes technology and suspense elements.

I was invited to read this by the author who provided an ebook copy. My review is based solely on my own opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. This sound like an interesting story. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this story with us.


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