YA cyber thriller, ReWired, by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which offers a fresh and exciting new take on the genre, and could be described as Ally Carter's HEIST SOCIETY meets THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens.
Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she's hacking into a "secure" network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone's recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she's a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father's career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens...the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.
It's bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone's suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of "accidental" deaths and "suicides" occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can't leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about--her dad's career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all--the version of herself Ada likes best--the Dark Angel.
With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow's LITTLE BROTHER, ReWired delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWired is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off.
Published August 27th 2017 by Coleman & Stott
This was an amazing YA thriller. Techno thriller at that but high on the suspense side. Why are there so few thrillers for this genre? This was really well written and the premise was uniquely woven into an exciting mystery / thriller read. Kudos to S. R. Johannes.
The description of the book sums it up really well. What I did not expect were all the twists, turns and challenges Ada, the main character of the book, faced when she enters ReBoot Academy. First of all, that mansion for the academy is creepy. Second, all the kids with different cyber felonies are thrown together to overcome hurdles or challenges in a world without electronic devices. It basically is a boot camp for addicts.
The message stands out. Almost incapable of confronting some of the challenges, the kids are faced with their own fears, have to solve riddles daily and in some cases start to turn on each other. Coming partially from broken homes or other tragedies, these kids need to learn to cope as well as face the consequences of their actions and direct their smarts into useful ways. Sounds like the real world?
None the less, without getting boring or falling into an expected cliché, this mystery of why the kids that are released from ReBoot are dying, takes a pact of Ada and her new friends and foes outside the walls of the academy after disaster strikes and more people are dying mysteriously along the way, to solve.
Very engaging, fast paced and altogether a great suspense read. Try it for yourself. It does not fall into the current hyped YA fantasy genre, but almost stays true to an old fashioned mystery with a modern world take and earns its place at the top.
I received a digital copy of ‘ReWired’ from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you!