Publication date: August 27th 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
YA cyber thriller, ReWIRED, by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which offers a fresh and exciting new take on the genre, and could be described as Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY meets THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens.
Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.
It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all–the version of herself Ada likes best–the Dark Angel.
With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER, ReWIRED delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWIRED is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off.
I received an ecopy of ReWired from Xpresso book tours for an honest review. Everything that follows is my own opinion. I was not compensated or coached on what is said in this review.
ReWired is a young adult thriller book about about hacking, rehab, and the loss of someone important. The main character and narrator, Ada Lovelace, lives a double life. In real life, she is a senator’s daughter and online, she is Dark Angel. I found her a character I could relate to. She has her own strength, can be cocky at times, but ultimately has her heart in the right place. Everything she does seems to be for someone else. However, her execution may not seem to be the best.
I liked how real the world of ReWired seems to this world. SocialNet is obviously inspired by Facebook and possibly Twitter together. You have the Orwellians, a hacking group, who are named by the 1984 author, George Orwell (great book, by the way). And then there is the joining of old and new. ReBoot, the rehab for tech addicted teens, pays homage to Sarah Winchester’s odd home and life.
If you don’t know about the Winchester Mystery House, it is a strange house made by an old woman. It’s in San Jose, CA and my dad used to see it all the time too. Apparently, I’m distantly related to the Winchester family. Or at least, a Winchester family. Not sure if Sarah is related to me by marriage or not.
Anyways, that wasn’t the only cool detail that I loved. Oh, no, the big detail is Ada herself. The historical Ada Lovelace is a writer and mathematician from the 1800’s. Ada Lovelace is known as one of the first pioneers in the mathematical works for the computer. She is known as being one of the first computer programmers.
In all, the book itself was great. I was hooked from the beginning. There was action, science, and enough intrigue to keep you wanting more. The ending is a strong one, but does leave enough that a sequel could happen. Either way, the book was a good one and I will definitely be reading a sequel if one comes up.
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.
Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.
Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with hEnglish-accented husband and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.