Monday, September 15, 2008

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Marcus Yallow is a 17-year-old at Cesar Chavez High School in San Francisco. But he's not a typical senior. He's a hacker known as M1k3y. He's not a criminal, just someone who loves solving puzzles...especially puzzles like unbreachable security systems.

Then Marcus's life changes. Terrorists bomb San Francisco and Marcus and his closest friends are among those taken in for questioning by the Department of Homeland Security. They break him down for no other reason than they can. Then they let him go home. Home to a San Francisco that's been turned into a police state in the name of national security. A place where DHS is watching everything and everyone and civil liberties are a thing of the past. The injustice of it all turns mild-mannered Marcus into M1k3y, a hacker with a mission to bring down DHS.

This was an amazing and exciting thriller. Though full of techno talk regarding hacking and the way computers work, it was still extremely readable for those, like me, who can barely manage Windows Vista. I suppose it would be classified as science fiction, but it felt very plausible. Working on the premise that the United States government is fighting terrorists by restricting the lives of all it's citizens, it reads like a warning. Marcus/M1k3y is a brilliant hero and underdog. Hopefully there are thousands like him watching our backs.

No comments: