Marcus is a technology savvy, video game loving teenager who spends his days finding new ways to beat his school’s gait recognizing cameras. His life is turned upside down when terrorists blow up the local bridge, and he is arrested in the aftermath. Mistaken for a terrorist, he is imprisoned and tortured by his own government. When he is released, he pledges revenge on his captors, the Department of Homeland Security. Can a simple teenager take down such a high enemy?
I had a hard time writing this review because there is so much to talk about. Boiled down, I came up with 3 main themes: technology, terrorism, and romance. I will try to be brief about each topic, because otherwise I could go on as long as the book.
Technology plays a large role in the book. Marcus’ life is surrounded by it. His school has gait recognition cameras that monitor who is walking the halls. RFIDs are everywhere: in library books, ID cards, toll-road transponders. Marcus is an expert at video games and computers. All the technology in the book is available today, and the idea of it being used like it is in the book is scary.
Terrorism, and the government’s reaction to it forms the main plot in the book. Thinking about teenagers being arrested and secretly imprisoned and tortured is terrifying. It was interesting to see how some of the characters attitude changed as the government’s actions first affected only others, and then was aimed at them. This makes sense, because it’s how most people think: something is okay as long as it isn’t directly affecting them.
The relationship and romance between Marcus and Angie was a sweet relief in such a serious book. It felt very real and took me back to the days of being a teenager. It had all the ups and down as a real relationship, with the sweetness of a first romance.
Overall, this was an amazing book. It may be in the YA genre, but it has appeal to all readers. It has some very serious and political messages, but it is still an engaging and exciting read. I learned a lot about technology reading it, while being thoroughly entertained.