by Michelle Gagnon
Plot Summary:Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.
Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa's talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation called AMRF threatens his life in no uncertain terms.
But what Noa and Peter don't realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who'd stop at nothing to silence her for good.
Review:This was a wonderful, captivating thriller. The pace never let up as I was thrown into Noa and Peter's struggles against a mysterious and powerful organization. Both Noa and Peter were great protagonists because they were so different from each other - Noa is tough, experienced and very analytical while Peter is likable and idealistic. And they're both smart so it's exciting how they approached undermining an organization that seemed way too big to take down.
The author obviously did a lot of research into the logistics of computer hacking and made it very visually descriptive so that I found it easy to understand. And I identified with the hackers in the story as a noble-minded community trying to right wrongs - there was a great sense of family with them because they are willing to help each other out and that made me root for them even though it's scary how much power they have in their hands.
The story switches perspectives between Noa and Peter which again highlights their differences in attitude as well as their similarities keeping the story fresh and engrossing. Their back story was seamlessly integrated with the action, which kept the story moving quickly while the development of the characters progressed in the background. It's a fine balance and perfectly done. There were other characters that I also felt I knew very well from their interactions with Noa and Peter - Cody in particular was a scene-stealer, and such a sweetheart! With Noa and Peter there is just a hint or a romance which totally applaud because the main focus for these characters is getting out of danger and I'm glad the Noa and Peter's interest in each other will have a chance to grow and develop more.
I really enjoyed the roller coaster ride this book put me on - there were so many suspenseful, tense scenes - chases, threatening figures, and the horrible reality of what the AMRF were doing - that it was impossible to put this book down. Even scenes when Noa or Peter are just hacking into something on their computer were as tense as the chase scenes - probably because they were enhanced by the paranoia in seeing how dependent we are on technology and how much of our information is out there. There's also the urgency of needing to see Noa and Peter succeed that kept me turning pages. This is such an exciting read! I can't wait to get started on the second book!