Educated by her imprisoned hacker father, and dumped on her grandparents’ doorstep by her distraught mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Carson brings big problems to small-town Ellisville, Missouri. Rooted in a broken family and conflicted by her own awakening femininity, she fails to recognize that help is all around—a caring community, a musical prodigy named Jereme, and loving grandparents.
As if family problems were not enough, Elizabeth’s curious nature finds more trouble. She brings her father’s hacking program, the Stingy Minion, back to life, and soon finds herself staring at a highly classified NSA blog site used by the president of the United States. Trouble escalates to danger when a power-hungry investment firm tries to steal the Stingy Minion and threatens her life and the lives of newfound friends.
In over her head, Elizabeth continues to hack and discovers a plot to attack Iran’s nuclear development sites. The world is on the verge of nuclear war. With hired thugs on her tail, only time will tell how long she and her friends will remain safe.
Having not read a book about hackers for a very long time, this one caught my eye and I thought I would give it a read. I didn’t have any real expectations of what would be waiting for me within the covers, so I didn’t leave myself open to any disappointment that might have been waiting but I wasn’t disappointed, in fact I found it quite and enjoyable and fun read.
With the internet, and hackers being a big part of everyday lives now I found the characters to be very realistic. They had a depth to them that is often lacking in YA fiction, and there were none of the ‘perfect’ people in this novel that seem to be the norm in many books. The main protagonist, a 16-year-old female, is full of all the insecurities and anger that seems to be the norm for young adults but, rather than it becoming annoying and whiny, the Author is able to pull on all the characters different personality traits and the problems encountered at this age and make them work, creating a character that the reader can relate to and care about. I usually find teenage angst to be an irritating and over used back story in YA novels, but it actually adds to the book in this case.
The plot in the book is very real world too, and could almost have been taken from the news headlines. As expected in a book about computer hackers there is a lot of computer terminology which some readers may find a little daunting if they are not familiar with it. Rather from detracting from the novel though, this adds yet another dimension to the book which makes it more gritty and realistic. T he reason behind the three thumbs rating is that at times the book seemed rather childish, aimed more at the middle school age group rather than the young adult; overall though it is a fun light read.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little different, or a reader interested in the hacking world.