Marcus/w1n5t0n is one of the decades most promising hackers. Too bad he can't come up with anything more interesting than jamming the school so he can play his favorite game with friends. But that all changes when his beloved city, San Francisco, is attacked by terrorists and Marcus and crew are found in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are rounded up by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and taken away to a secret headquarters, where they are brutally questioned and their rights are violated. When our hero is once again released into the city, everything has changed. Everyone is a potential terrorist and subject to a loss of privacy. Marcus realizes the power of the DHS as corrupt and must struggle with the complete faith of some citizens as well as the mindless rebellion of others.
Finally putting his skills to good use, Marcus constructs an entire society using a version of an X-Box Live. In the new underground resistance, M1k3y (Marcus) begins to take down the DHS from the inside out. And soon, he has started something that will change all the people involved forever.
Cory Doctorow is a relatively new voice in young adult fiction. And I certainly hope that he continues to write the equivalent of Little Brother. Although, I'm not sure the quality and sheer awesomeness of this book is even reproducible. I COMPLETELY loved it. Allow me to tell you why.
The characters are fantastic and three dimensional, their actions acting complexly together to create a web of coincidence and occurrence. If Joe has a secret, Suzy has a bigger one that could potentially endanger Joe. This novel went head on with split loyalties and double-agents, as well as discerning between righteous anger and adolescent rebellion. The protagonist struggles with basic problems (girls, friends, parents, etc.) while creating a new society, almost single-handedly. Plus, he is humorous and extremely likable (especially because the book is in 1st person).
What to say for the plot? It was one of the most creative and intriguing/intense things I have read in a very long time. It wasn't shy to use the very real fears of today and turn them into a possible future. Think the 1984 of 2008 (Wait? You haven't read 1984? Gogogo!). Mystery and suspense combined with lots of very cool tech-talk, plus a slight bit of romance.
What else to say? I really loved this book. Completely typhonic. I grant 7 out of 7 lightnings! (+ Far too many sound effects to count).
Reading it again *sheepish*
7 months ago