Sunday, May 3, 2009
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
A smart seventeen years old kid, Marcus, heavily on internet and computers is arrested as a suspect for terrorist attack in San Francisco due to circumstance he happens to be after the attack. He is ruthlessly interrogated for several days, and then released with threat that he will be imprisoned indefinitely, if he ever talks about what happened to him. Meanwhile his home city is taken over by Department of Homeland Security's Nazi-like troops, who try to monitor about everything happening to find suspicious behavior. Trouble is, that they find very many things suspicious…
Marcus then uses his hacking and networking skills to fight back to return the civil liberties for the common people.
This very good book, which should be read by everyone. It is written very well, and pace get faster and faster all the time. There some problems with the book, but they are very understandable as the book is marketed as a “young adult” book. At places, especially at the beginning, there is pretty heavy info dumping about several things, among them networking, larping and cryptography, at worst a few pages where those concepts were explained in detail, and all the action stopped. Come to thing about it, the explanation of a few things, like larping, was meant for the more clueless adults readers.
Also, the stupidity of the adults and ingeniousness of teenagers is pretty much emphasized, but that of course has been typical for YA novels for all time.
This is a second book of this year’s Hugo-nominated works I have read. (The another is The Graveyard Book by Neil Geiman) Both are very good books, but I think I would put this ahead of Geiman’s book. This is a book I am going to recommend for my fifteen years old daughter.