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Since his childhood, Brian Falkner has been surrounded by computers. His older brother built one out of spare parts, and Brian was programming it at a time when nobody could imagine the PC revolution that was to come. As computers developed, so did Brian's love affair with them. His first major in college was computer science. Brian has been fascinated by the gradual emergence of the cyberworld alongside the real one. When he read the first articles about neurotechnology, he was hooked, seeing this as the start of the convergence of those two worlds. In the real world, Brian lives in the beautiful country of New Zealand, in the South Pacific. In the cyberworld, you can find him at www.brianfalkner.com.
Gr 7 Up-Seventeen-year-old Sam single-handedly hacks into a large telecommunication company (thought to be impenetrable) and inadvertently takes out the world's infrastructure in his attempt to cover his tracks. He is recruited by a secret government department staffed by former hackers to protect the Internet and is taken to San Jose, CA. They find a malicious presence on the web that could destroy the world and must work as a group to preserve life as we know it. The story takes place in the near future, and the technology has some interesting new enhancements, most notably neuro helmets that allow one to control a computer with one's mind. On occasion the author provides too much detail about San Jose. Occasional use of non-American slang by American characters also detracts from the dialogue: "mates" is used instead of "friends," food is described as being "tinned" rather than "canned." Still, the nicely paced plot and well-crafted story arc make this a title worth recommending, particularly to boys who like technology or science fiction. This book will also have broad appeal since, despite the age of the main character, the content is appropriate for younger readers.-Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.