Saturday, October 20, 2018

REVIEW: Phantom Wheel by Tracy Deebs - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Little Brown Young Readers and The Novl. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 Publication Date: October 16th, 2018
 Genre: YA Sci-Fi
 Recommended Age: 14+ (hacking, the digital apocalypse, some language, some romance)
 Pages: 403

Believing they have been recruited by the CIA, six teen hackers arrive in LA for a hacking aptitude test with the promise of a college scholarship and a job with the CIA after graduation. But one of the teens, Owen, walks out, refusing to participate. The other five decide to stay and complete the tests. When they finish, they leave feeling equally accomplished and unnerved.
Then silence-until they receive a text from Owen: You’ve been played. He’s uncovered evidence that the hackers created “Phantom Wheel,” the most devastating virus ever made. Jacento, the corporation behind it all, plans to use this virus to gain unprecedented access to personal data. And that’s just the beginning of the devastation. Can the teen hackers stop Phantom Wheel-and protect their own secrets from being revealed-before it’s too late?

Ever since being with my husband I’ve developed a fascination with hacker novels. I love asking Ethan if stuff in the books are possible or not and what his opinions on things are and this book wasn’t any different. For the most part, I enjoyed the book. I loved the dynamic between the cast of characters, I loved how developed each of the characters were, and I felt that the plot was intriguing enough to keep me interested throughout the book. I felt that the pacing was level throughout the book as well.

The only things that concern me about this book are the time jumps. At times they seem uneven and awkward. The way the kids talk about different computer things and hacking items can be confusing to people who aren’t into that or who haven’t read books like this before. There’s no explanation to the stuff they talk about or do. There are also things the kids do that don’t have an explanation to them and the way their written can be confusing. For example, at one point the kids break into a building with a plan to gather something (trying to not be spoilery). The heist goes off like how it would in a movie, but there’s no prior explanation to the readers, which is a bit confusing at first. It’s like you’re an outsider looking in throughout this book and at times it works, but sometimes it really doesn’t.

Verdict: A excellent hacker novel that makes you want to binge.


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