Publisher: Random House
Release Date: April 8th, 2008
Format: Audiobook narrated by Kirby Heyborne
Summary Via GoodReads
My Rating: ★★★★
Marcus, a.k.a w1n5t0n, is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works - and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.I was totally ready to not enjoy this book, because I wasn't really into the last Cory Doctorow book I read. Little Brother; however, made me feel a lot of things. Mostly anger...which I think was the point.
But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they're mercilessly interrogated for days.
When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.
The gist of this story is that Marcus gets mistaken for a terrorist and when he is finally let go he starts an uprising of computer nerds to try to beat the government at their own game. This book is very heavy-handed with the politics, so if you don't want that, I would suggest passing on this one. I'm usually not one that is really into that sort of stuff, but maybe it's because of the state of my country right now that I really needed to read this book. This book is basically talking about the Patriot Act, and how we just allowed the government to take away some of our freedoms in the name of the war on terror. It's pretty messed up, and the more I read this book and what was happening in Marcus' world the more I got angry.
I think it's also a shot at the media, and how they twist things around to make the wrong type of story. At one point in this book Marcus has an interview with some reporters to set the record straight so they can answer why his group is trying to disrupt what the DHS was doing. What he says is perfectly reasonable, but the quotes that get taken out of context and put into news reports paints him as a straight up terrorist. It made me so freaking angry, and I think that was exactly the rise that Doctorow wanted to get out of me.
I'm not really tech savy, so some of the stuff in this novel went over my head. It does explain in great detail about about online security and why it's important to keep your stuff secure. There were a lot of things that I didn't really know about, so I found getting educated on this to be super interesting.
This is a pretty realistic dystopia that could be a plausible future us, so for that I really appreciate this book. If you are looking for a new dystopia book, I would recommend this one. It feels more like 1984, but with a different twist to it. I also think most readers would find it more relatable, because they could see this world actually come to fruition in their lifetime.
Have you read this book? What are you thoughts?
Happy Reads Everyone!