Little Brother - by Cory Doctorow

"Welcome to America; please hand over your freedoms."


       That could have been the motto of Marcus Yallow, a 17-year-old technology whiz and star of the book Little Brother. Written by Cory Doctorow, this is a tale of technology, subterfuge, rebellion, and the occasional laugh. Marcus knows his way around the system, forward and backward. Unfortunately, the system knows him too. Caught in the aftermath of a terrorist attack after playing his favorite ARG (Alternate Reality Game), Marcus and his friends are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security. He becomes M1k3y, unwilling leader of geeks all over the city who fight for freedom.

Doctorow does an amazing job of explaining technical knowledge and intricate plans throughout the entire book. I followed along with the paradox of false positives, aphid, jamming and the DNS SMTP. He keeps the characters deep and intimate with the reader as you follow events thorugh Marcus's eyes. The plot moves steadily, twisting and turning on its way to the conclusion. It gives a sense of urgency to the most mundane things, all watched by the DHS.

To write a good book, you must have a solid story line, a cast of believable characters, and a steady pace, all encompassed by a sense of realism. Thankfully, Doctorow has all of these in his bag of tricks. I joined in Marcus's circle of trust, attended his video game press conference and ran through screaming riots of protestors along with Ange, Darryl, Van and Jolu. The page-turning never stopped, because I was hanging on every one.

This book gives insight to the techno-rebellion of the future, while referring to the past. In a 1984-esque situation, Marcus uses the right to rebel to its fullest. Rallying techies, he shows the DHS what real freedom means. I strongly recommend this book to folks who like their books serious, funny, action-packed, and good. Read this book, before the DHA sends you to Gitmo!

    - Luke P.