December 10, 2009

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow's Little Brother is the story of 17-year-old hacker Marcus who gets hauled in as a terrorist suspect by the Department of Homeland Security after a major terrorist attack on San Francisco.

This story is set in the not-so-distant future, maybe 2-5 years from now with a similar political climate and better technology. Marcus spends his free time trying to beat the system (face-recognition has been deemed unlawful, but gait-recognition hasn't...yet) put in place to monitor the students every move and playing an alternate reality game with his friends. That is, until the game puts them in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading DHS to hauling them in and holding them for questioning in inhumane conditions.

Once released, Marcus seeks to fight back, working around the bug placed on his laptop by wiring his XBox (a future version) to run on the Internet without a trace, and setting up a network with others to allow for free communication. His goal is to take on DHS and win. This book is full of geeky knowledge, and can tend to get a bit bogged down in these explanations in spots.

Other than the unnecessarily-explicit teenage sex, this book is a winner. It's a fascinating read and uses history, politics, and technology to fuel the plot, increasing interest in these subjects. While it's message is a bit too can't-trust-adults, it's also a message that encourages teenagers to think for themselves and take action.

1 comment:

  1. I just returned this book unread to the library. I didn't have enough time to read it. I'll definitely check it out again. Great review.


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