Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The World is Wired: Brain Jack

Another Cybils book!  Although I'm quite pleased at how hard it can be to get my hands on these things.  I was originally going to read The Call, but it's been confiscated by first the 6th grader and now the 4rth grader.
BrainjackI fell back on a YA title, Brian Falkner's Brain Jack.  We follow Sam, a gifted teenage computer programmer who knows how to hack the world's biggest computers.  He's not malicious, although a little theft doesn't bother him, but he hates the idea of finding places on the 'net he can't go.  And he's very pleased with his latest technology toy -- a neuro, the electronic beanie that lets him connect directly to his computer with his brain instead of a clumsy keyboard or mouse. But if brains can connect to the 'net, what can connect to his brain? DUH duh DUH.

Sam doesn't have much depth, but he's usually too busy infiltrating secret fortresses or running like crazy from people annoyed at said infiltration to worry about it.  His friends are even thinner, but since some of them don't make it, perhaps that's just as well.  I had to swallow hard at some of the descriptions of programming, which often took a metaphor and then rode it kicking and screaming into the hills, but once I got over it the ride was exciting and swift.  The ending seemed unexpectedly ambiguous; (SPOILER) they spent the last bit of the book fighting against control by a sentient web but did not succeed in stopping one. And I thought the magic hand wave that saved some key players cheated a bit. I'm going to offer this to my 6th grader and see what he thinks. B

PS.  He thinks it was worth reading in a day, so that's a thumbs up.

5 comments:

Ms. Yingling said...

My fifteen year old son loved it, and it was action packed!

Carl V. said...

Sounds like it isn't bad and definitely sounds like a good YA book to recommend to younger boys. I'm always looking for those kind of books to recommend to friends for their kids and for my nephew as so many YA books seem to be geared more towards girls...or at least that is a complaint I often hear, regardless of it being true or not.

contemplatrix said...

read a review on this at guyslitwire and have been trying to get a hold of it since, but the Library only has The Tomorrow Code, which I heard was good too.

thank you for your take, very helpful review.

~L

Charlotte said...

I liked the Tomorrow Code lots, and hadn't realized till recently that this was by the same author! So it's pretty high on my tbr list right now...

Charlotte said...

And I'm gratified that The Call is proving popular in your house---I was on that Cybils committee, and thought it was a very fun book!