Title: Little Brother (Little Brother #1)
Author: Cory Doctorow
Publication: Tor Teen
Release Date: April 4th 2008
Genre: Science Fiction
“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.” [Goodreads]
So Little Brother is basically a book with a warning, that government surveillance doesn’t always protect yet. When there is a terrorist attack in San Francisco, Marcus and his friends are at the wrong place at the wrong time and they are treated like they are the terrorists. Before the attack there was already a lot of surveillance in the daily live of Americans, but after Homeland Security basically takes over the country and things go from bad to worse. Without really meaning too, Marcus starts fighting back the police state that America has become.
The characters in this novel were good and interesting. They were realistic and relatable and I really appreciate that, however the characters are not the main focus of the novel. In my opinion they are not fully developed and they never seem to really come to life. It didn’t really bother me, because I feel like character development is not the main focus of this novel. It is more focused on warning people, then on the characters.
The plot was very suspenseful and I liked it a lot. I read this novel quite quickly, because of the suspense and I also liked the explaining parts. You learn a bit about internet stuff and even though there was a lot of this informative stuff in the novel, it didn’t annoy or bore me at all. I think that was really well done, because it is really hard to explain these things in novels without it getting too boring.
The writing style was not very special. It wasn’t bad, but also not very good, so I’m ok with it, but not I’m impressed. The book was well written and the writing style didn’t bother me, but I really can’t say anything more positive about it.
All in all, I would recommend this novel to any teenagers (or others) who are interested in internet stuff and who would like to read a novel that both explains stuff and is still suspenseful. However, the focus in this novel is not really on the characters and on writing, so if you’re not into that, then I won’t recommend it.