My Rating: 3/5
Source: Scholastic Australia
Buy: Book Depository
Dan had been diagnosed as ADHD as a child. He quite liked the ritalin, but then he got into computers, and for his parents a geek was better than something feral. It was hard to remember when the genuine hacking started; but free phone credit was the first illicit, tangible "real-life" results of a hack, though not the last.
By the time Dan is contacted online by "Angel," he is eager for the challenge laid before him - creating tricky bits of code. But Dan begins to suspect that something more nefarious may be planned for his code than he thought. He will have to decide what truly matters more - protecting his anonymity and freedom or preventing a deadly terror attack ...
It took me a seriously long time to read this book and I read it in two parts, months apart.
The first portion of the book was fast paced. It introduced the characters and the hacking ability of the protagonist Dan, which was surprisingly easy to understand.
The book slows down considerably in the middle and this is where my bookmark lived for a few months.
It was during this period that I found Dan quite irritating and immature (he is quite unbelievably 16 years old). He couldn't make up his mind whether to turn himself over to the Police or not after one of his hacks goes way too far and his indecisiveness took way too long.
I really liked the thrilling suspense of it all. The American Government were the main antagonists (other than Angel, Dan's hacking rival) in this book which I thought was rather unique.
The romance in this book felt out of place and I think this was mainly because I had to keep reminding myself that these characters were 16 years old and not much younger as they seemed.
The writing style was rather basic and for that reason I would recommend this book for middle grade readers rather than young adults.