Little Brother X by Cory Doctorow Review

Marcus aka “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, his injured best friend Darryl does not come out. The city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: “M1k3y” will take down the DHS himself.”

   Little Brother X was a very entertaining book that focuses on a topic that is even more important nowadays. It follows Marcus Yallow, a genius hacker, who, along with his friends, gets kidnapped by the DHS during a terrorist attack in his hometown of San Francisco. When he is finally released and the city turned into a police state, he decides to take on the government.

   It has a very cool premise that it does deliver on. Marcus is a likeable main character. You get his motivations, you get why he is doing what he is doing. He is not the deepest character ever, but he is very relatable. His internal struggles of doing what was right vs what others wanted him to do provided a nice use if internal conflict. The supporting characters were well developed and a bit charming. Angela is the main supporting character and she provides a nice complement to Marcus and I found their relationship well done, never sacrificing plot for some relationship drama which some books do. 

   The book is non-stop, always keeping the plot moving.  I liked how the author included a lot of hacker vocabulary and explains them. It does drag the book down a bit, but it is still a nice touch and clears up much of the confusion. The book touches on a topic that is at the fore front today which is how much the government controls and watches over us. I see the book as a bit of a modern version of 1984. And that’s pretty good. It’s not afraid to ask a big question and gets you thinking. I surely found myself asking questions throughout the book. Although, it does get too caught up in its message at times becoming a bit too preachy but it does not drag the story down.  The book also touches on some mature subjects which surprised me in a young adult book. Sex, doing what’s right vs what other people want you to do, etc. the book has some mature topics

   Overall, Little Brothers X was a very entertaining and powerful book. It really delivers on its cool premise and causes you to think about the world we live in today.

Rating: A Must Buy


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