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Book Reviews
January 6, 2010 posted by Katie

Brain Jack – Brian Falkner

It would take a very special person to crack the computer systems of the White House.

An expert. A genius. A devil. All of the above, some would say.

Someone like Sam Wilson, brilliant teenage computer hacker. But Sam’s obsession is about to lead him into a dangerous world. A world of espionage and intrigue; of cybercrime and imminent war.

A world where logging on to your computer could mean the difference between life and death.

Sam Wilson is just your average teenager. At least he looks like your average teenager. What is different about Sam is his ability with computers. Sam can access nearly anything that is on the internet. He has written his own computer programs to allow this and just recently pulled off one of the biggest hacks the world has seen – with a few side effects. Sam hacked into Telecomerica, got himself and his friend a new computer and neuro-headset, but in the process, caused the majority of the United States of America to lose power. For a few days.

Of course, if you ask Sam, none of that was meant to happen but he needed to blow off his trackers somehow. And as Sam successfully gets his new computer without any obvious form of detection, Sam is ready for his next challenge – NetH@ack. The secret convention of the most skilled hackers on the net. With belief in his ability that he can’t be caught, Sam almost succeeds. That is, until the Cyber Defence Division of Homeland Security knocks on his door.

Transport to a containment facility, Sam is destined to be a prisoner for the rest of his life. Seemingly forgotten by all but his mother, it is the worst situation Sam could have ended up in. Constant security, no internet access and limited computer time on a computer so ancient and riddled in security protection, that it seems impossible to get through. Apparently. But if you know what Sam does, then it seems like biding your time is all that you have to do.

Making one of the most daring escape attempts in the history of Recton Hall, against all odds, Sam succeeds only to be picked up, again, by the Cyber Defence Division which seems like it was waiting for this exact move, somehow knowing that Sam would try to escape. Once Sam reaches CDD headquarters, everything that he thought he knew, gets turned completely on its head. Sam is given a lifetime opportunity – if he can survive the probation.

And when the next war begins, it starts in cyberspace, and Sam is part of the front line of defence, and it’s up to Sam to stop the internet taking over the world.

Brian Jack by Brian Falkner is a fast moving action thriller that kept me turning page after page, wondering what is going to happen next. When I started reading, and I found that Brian Jack was based in cyberspace, I was worried that it would become too technical, that I wouldn’t understand the language being used, but quite like his previous novel Falkner provides a way that you don’t need to be a tech-savvy person to understand and enjoy the novel. The feeling of being in over your head only enhances the understanding of the stakes the characters would be going through. The development of Sam from a teenager who believes he can do anything into a person who understands the implications of what one single action will have on the world is believable and engaging from start to finish.

A good read with a fast plot and an action thriller for all ages.

Pages: 438

Publication Date: 2009

Rating:: ★★★★☆

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  • This is a very good book i would recomend it to everyone of all ages. although there are some words that are hard to understand but im pretty sure that if you are a computer nerd then you can understand every word in the book.

    This has to be my favorite book ever.

    • I hated this book…

    • Really? I loved it.

  • It started out pretty fine, although the technical terms didn’t make much sense. However, by the middle and the end, it fizzled out. It began to feel like an overly-used cliche movie script. It had potential, but it was getting too predictable at the end.

    • what the heck…? the book was great the whole time… i was waiting to finish the whole time… wanting to read the next page as soon as possible!

  • Just finished this book today, loved it, whished it didnt end. Being a tech person this hit me just right. The ending was the worst part, not because of the story, but just because it was the end. They need a movie from this, I would watch it 30 times over, prolly buy 2 or 3 copies, incase something happens to the first ;P.

  • brain jack was intense from the beginning to the end. I couldnt stop reading it so i finished it in a couple hours, i go to school so i dont work meaning i have the time. Great book and everyone should read

  • I read it over two weeks ago now …
    I liked it but I didn’t. The story itself was pretty good, but the ending was really confusing. Whose side was telling the story? Besides, I felt the ending kind of cheated on me, because no side really won. :(

  • Just finished the book a few seconds ago.
    I must say, if I was to rate this book (1-10, 1 being I will never be able to get that crap out of my head and what a waste of brain space), it would get a 7 to 8. 😉 No lash-backs on the rating for those of you who loved it to pieces, I’ll explain.
    The opening sequence, was, AWESOME. Nothing beats a teenage genius (or is he more prodigy?) having one up on the goverment. More-so, nothing beats a REALISTIC teen who STILL can’t be held down.
    However, I feel like this story was… too small. It’s plot was confined into something too short so that it couldn’t reach it’s full potential. If this had ended more so with a terrorist attack, a small part of the world involved instead of all of it, I think I would have liked it more. It would also have left him with room for a sequel, there’s going to be next to no chance that he can top this.
    Nonetheless, it’s given an interesting peak at what our future could hold, and there’s something to be said about a ‘real life’ imagination. The Vegas scenario, the debate about outlawing certain games and game addictions becoming as real as anorexia or obessity, these were all true strokes of plot genius.
    Thanks Mr. Falkner for publishing it so we could read it!
    Oh, and yes, this very well, given a good director, could be one EPIC movie. 😉
    Ally Marton

  • I am a computer user, not necessarily a techie, but I’ve been called it.
    I found this book very enjoyable. The end of every page always left me wondering what would happen on the next one. Some nights, I would forget to sleep while reading, and it would end up being 2am before I put the book down!
    The ending of the book, however welly it fit into the situation, could of been done a bit better. Instead of Sam waking up to a crowd of people and Dodge, it would of been much more satisfying to have Vienna present, as her feelings towards Sam weren’t mentioned too welly after she kissed him , around two-thirds of the way into the book.
    I was craving for this book to have a sequel, or at least for it to have been longer, when I finished reading. The ending seemed to fit, yet it didn’t seem to fit at the same time. If I could of changed anything, I would of made some of the main battles and escapes be more focused on small-scale events. This way, the book could have enough wiggle room to fit in a not-as-long sequel, or an extension that would merge with the last 8 or so chapters, that would basically answer all unanswered questions, and expand on some of the important questions. Something that scares me more than anything, is that if this were to be made into a movie, the director would skip over more events than what had already been skipped to begin with.

    Overall, Brain Jack was an enjoyable book, that ended a bit too early, leaving split ends.

  • Simply amazing, Brain Jack is the most epic book I’ve read in months.
    One thing – it’s Neoh@ck. Not NetH@ack.

  • can anyone tell me who the characters were ive been reading this for 2 months and it is not getting really into me. i preffer books by darren shan but its an ok book its just that ive had it to long. can anyone please explain the characters for me cause i have to do a book report on it. thanks

  • is trhis book any good hav just started reading it

  • This is the best book I have ever read!
    At the end of every page it keep me wondering what would happen on the next.
    So if you don’t have a good book to read I recommend this book to anyone because it is a great page turner.
    I hope Brian Falkner comes out with a sequel because I believe this would be extremely successful.
    10 out of 10 for you Brian!

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