“I… took advantage of a… loophole”
– Tracy Alexander, Hacked
It was hard to remember when Dan started hacking for real, but free cinema tickets were the first illicit results of a hack. By the time Dan is befriended online by the mysterious Angel he is keen for a new challenge, something so complex that it will test his skills to the limit.
Things start to unravel when there is news of a missing UAV drone over Germany. Finally realising he has gone too far, Dan desperately tries to halt the drone’s path towards London — but Angel has other plans.
And besides, once the US government gets involves, Dan’s hands are full just trying to prove his innocence.
Well I have to say that this is not like anything I have read before – as a person who is a little incompetent with technology I find the idea of a sixteen year old hacking anything completely amazing! I wouldn’t know where to start!
The story begins with Dan Langley hacking the local phone company to put credit on his girlfriends phone. Soraya is not the only one to see the benefits of a computer nerd and soon Dan is hooking up all kinds of people with bonus credit. This sets Dan down a journey where each of his actions are like dominoes, paving the way for his downfall. While playing online one night he is invited to a chat room where it is decided he should try and hack a drone as a part of his initiation. After some research, spaghetti bolognase and a little girlfriend stalking, Dan manages to hack the drone for a few seconds. “It was a rush. You don’t need to take drugs to get one. Hijacking part of the world’s greatest power’s defence system works just as well.” While riding the high Dan shares the codes with Angel, the chat room leader. When the news reports there is a drone missing with threats being made against London, Dan does everything he can to try and stop Angel and the drone. Unsurprisingly, the British and US governments get involved and soon Dan finds himself in a huge amount of trouble. Will the Internet be Dan’s downfall or will it come to the rescue?
I was quite divided with this book – I didn’t like the writing style at all. It really got in the way of the story and I was tempted to put the book down at several points. However in saying this, I really enjoyed the way the story developed. I liked the way the author showed the good and bad side of the Internet and the consequences of our actions. I liked the way the power shifted from person to person and the way voice is explored. The author showed it both ways – a single voice has the power to make people listen yet many voices have the ability to make great change. The Internet can be the destroyer or the champion and I think it is a really important message for teens to hear! It’s a little like a technological fairytale – hackers beware…
AUTHOR: Tracy Alexander
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Australia
PUB DATE: April 2015
Thank you to Scholastic Australia for sending me a reading copy in exchange for an honest review!