Thursday, September 20, 2012


by S. J. Kincaid

Grade: 3 1/2 stars
Story: A bunch of kids get computers stuck in their brains in order to fight the enemy's kids with computers stuck in their brains (it's WW III, actually). It's a little like a mix between Brain Jack and a much lighter version of Ender's Game (which is one of my favourite books, as you might be able to tell from the extremely succinct review).

Thoughts: There are computers in their brains. Simultaneously totally creepy and totally awesome. I love computers. I love brains. I love clever kids fighting battles of wits with other clever kids. So this was decidedly right up my alley.

The characters were fun. They went in slightly different directions than I expected. i.e. When I first met the possibly-Aspergers Wyatt, I immediately thought, "Why couldn't she be his girlfriend instead of that silly, beautiful whatever-her-name-is. Wyatt's actually cool." Then it turned out Wyatt was way more important than whatever-her-name-is. (I really do forget her name...she was boring, ok?) Maybe or maybe not his girlfriend, but that's a spoiler, isn't it?

Small, unimportant nitpick: There is a little bit of suspension of belief necessary. Actually, it did answer a surprising number of questions. I'd think, "Haha! But what about this!" and then a chapter later, it would explain it, at least to a certain extent. But still, a couple things bugged me. Like, they're supposed to be fighting as far away as Jupiter sometimes, right? But doesn't it take 11 minutes for signals to travel from Mars to Earth? So they'd get the "your ship's about to be blown up" signal 11 minutes after it was already disintegrated. And then it would take another 11 minutes for them to send their "maneuver away from imminent source of explosion" signal--22 minutes too late. It would be impossible to have this kind of high intensity battle. (NOTE: I feel like I'm missing something really obvious here. But this is simply one example. There are numerous small instances of disbelief, so my point still stands.)

I will wait impatiently for any further sequels (and there's gotta be some--he didn't even get to the highest security level yet!) for more computery-brain goodness.

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