Sunday, July 15, 2012

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Sunday, July 15, 2012 with 3 comments
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.

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.

This book is amazing - no joke, this is definitely one of the coolest books I have ever read, and the best that I have read all this year (I had no idea that anything was going to bump The Fault In Our Stars to the number two spot). What I loved about this book was that I hadn't read anything like it before, especially not in the YA genre. 

Honestly, reading this book made me feel a lot of anger. I could not believe how Marcus was treated by the Department of Homeland Security, and how they started monitoring the entire city's every move. It pissed me off! I was glued to every word. It also scared me a bit, because what if these things were to really happen? Right now, people seem so afraid of terrorists that some of the things in this book that are done for "our country's security" seem very plausible. It really makes you wonder how far our country would go....

But I have to add that it was really the plausibility that made this book so interesting - especially when it came to the hacks. The author even includes a list of resources in his bibliography that have more information on hacks like the ones used in the book. I even Googled a bunch of them and saw how they could be done. I love it when an author goes through a lot of heavy research to ensure that what they write about is accurate - it shows that they care not only about their writing, but their readers. Plus, it was a lot of fun to read about how these things were done - even the simple things (such as when Marcus fooled the cameras at his school, which could identify people by their gaits, or how they walked, by putting small rocks in his shoes).

I'm pretty good with computers, but I'm not very familiar with hacking. It was cool to read about it, though, and to read a book where I would literally cheer on the main character the whole way through as he tried to outsmart the DHS. There were moments where I had to set the book down just so I could calm down.

I've read negative reviews on this book by people who claimed that the tech-terminology was too much, and made the book either too difficult to understand, or too boring. I really did not have that problem at all. In fact, that was what made the story cooler - I even felt a bit smarter reading it. Yes, there are detailed descriptions of the hacks that Marcus does, but I felt the author did an amazing job writing them - he broke everything down, and I was able to follow along with everything easily, despite having very limited knowledge on the subject. 

I encourage all of you to give this a chance if you are a fan of suspense, action, thrillers, technology, gaming, or even the state of our country's security. I know I'll be recommending this to everyone I know from here on out, and will probably be gifting this to a few people I know on their birthdays.



  1. I've seen this book around before, but it wasn't until I read your review that I grew interested in this book. The hacking and technological details sound so amazing, and I'm really glad the author writes the technological details in a manner that is easily understandable. Great review:)

    1. Thank you, much! Glad you're interested in reading it - I'm sure you'll love it! And thanks for the follow! :)

  2. I read this book last summer (actually listened to the audiobook) and was blown away. I was so amazed at it. There was so much in it, and much of it was serious, yet it was still so entertaining.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are truly appreciated, and I always try to respond to each of you at your own blogs. Have an awesome day! :)