Brainjack - Brian Falkner


Synopsis:

The next world war starts in cyberspace.

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.


My Review:

After reading "The Project" and "The Tomorrow Code" by Brian Falkner, I was eager to read this one. It was a little disappointing though because there were a few unnecessary "stuffs" in it which didn't make it as clean a read as the previous ones. However it was a very satisfying read, and although the ending was slightly mystifying, it was still worthwhile.

Age Stamp:
Pros:
I love it when a science fiction book is written believably. This one definitely takes the cake for that. There is so much computer technology jargon in it that I was almost bogged, but it definitely served to make this book feel really real. You definitely can understand the lure of wanting to find truths in the world through the eyes of this computer hacker. It also kept you wanting to know what was going on. What was the evil force lurking behind the computers. 
Sam is also an admirable hero, trying to do the best thing for the people around him. He also put himself on the line for the sake of many others.

Cons:
There was a jesting reference to a character's gender preference, which was unnecessary and detracted from the book. There was also scattered language throughout the book, nothing terrible but nonetheless distracting. When people are getting "brainjacked" the descriptions of their reactions are slightly disturbing, but nothing horrific. There is also a random person in the crowd of a football game who was found to be having an affair.

Publisher info, Other Versions, Series Titles & Curriculum:
This book is published by Random House Books for Young Readers 2010. It's not a part of any known curriculum.

My Ratings:
Violence:[#] [#] [#] [
Fear Factor: @ @ A fair bit of tension.
Romance: <3 one kiss, and a slight romantic sense between two characters.
Language: [!] [!] [ A fair handful, but nothing vulgar or explicit.
Christian: (No)
Mature Themes:X X X There are a few references that were unnecessary.
My Rating: ****

The Project - Brian Falkner

Synopsis:
It begins with a book, the most boring book in the world, a book so boring no one could ever read it—the perfect place to hide a dangerous secret.

When best friends Luke and Tommy volunteer to help move books from their library's basement to higher ground during a quick rising flood, they discover the only surviving copy of the most boring book in the world: Leonardo's River, lost for over 100 years. The book is connected to Leonardo da Vinci and is worth millions, so they return that night to steal it. Unfortunately, they're not the only ones with that plan. . . .

Brian Falkner, author of Brain Jack and The Tomorrow Code, delivers another page-turning thriller with heart-pounding action—this time, with a secret from Leonardo da Vinci that could determine the fate of history.

My Review:
Woah. The first book I read of Brian Falkner's was "The Tomorrow Code" (review coming soon) and the time factor in it was epic. However, this blew things out of the water! From beginning to end, you never see where this book is going, and yet once it gets there, it's perfect. Action packed, awesome heroes, twists and turns you absolutely never see coming, this book was purely awesome!

Age Stamp:

Pros:
Apart from making you think, I really enjoyed the plot of this story, and the enlightening to a some of the reasoning behind the followers of Hitler. The absolute conviction the boys have in what is right and the wrong that should not be upheld was commendable. I also loved the uniqueness to the whole "travel back in time" factor. There have been so many clich├ęd ways to do this, and I found this new and refreshing. The history to be learnt in amongst the story was also fascinating. This is the kind of book that you wish with all your childlikeness was real.

Cons:
Hm... I'm having trouble thinking of any for this one. There may have been some very mild language, but apart from that, this book gets two thumbs up for me. 

Publisher info, Other Versions, Series Titles & Curriculum:
This book was published 1st October 2010 by Walker Books Australia Pty, Limited. It is a standalone book, and is not part of any series or curriculum I know of.

My Ratings:
Violence:[#] [#] [ It has some war descriptions, nothing graphic.
Fear Factor: @ @ There is more tension then scariness. 
Romance: None
Language: [!] maybe a few very mild ones...
Christian: (No)
Mature Themes:X 
My Rating: *****

Question: What would be your favourite time travelling novel?

Synopsis:
They're not hard to recognize... they're the ones you can't find. They're a mysterious team cloaked in secret identities and classified assignments. Blink and you'll miss them. They could be anyone, anywhere... even the person walking by you right now.


They're The Veritas Project team- but only a handful of people know who they really are. Elijah and Elisha are teenage twins who, along with their parents, have been secretly commissioned by the President to investigate strange mysteries, crimes, and unusual occurrences. Their job is to find out not only what happened, but why-the veritas (Latin word for truth) behind today's hottest issues.


The Veritas Team has battled otherworldly forces before, but never have they found themselves in a situation where reality is so twisted- or deadly. In Nightmare Academy, Elijah and Elisha's faith is pushed to the limit as they are swept into a "reality" where up is down, evil is real, and right and wrong have lost all meaning. They soon realize they're trapped within the gates of a world gone mad. 


My Review:
I found this a highly intriguing read. What would the world be like if there were no absolutes? No right or wrong to base one's opinions on? It was a real eye-opener with an engrossing story line. Humourous, scary, nerve wracking, and exciting, this book really delivers a punch!

Age Stamp:
Pros:
This book explores thoroughly and explains in detail why a world without absolute right or wrong is so bad. It's enlightening to readers who would have a hard time grasping the consequences of this. Elisha and Elijah exhibit great faith, courage, and maturity in all their actions; acting as though their parents were with them at all times. Chapters ended on cliffhangers that keep you wanting to read more. 

Cons:
They go into a bit of detail on mind control, and brainwashing. I'm not sure what some people's views are on those topics. There are some descriptions that may be disturbing of how it was to be in a virtual world, e.g. brainwashing through the eyes of the victim. It's a bit violent in places, where students go on raids in the dorm rooms at night, and people end up with black eyes, but nothing too over-the-top.

Publisher info, Other Versions, Series Titles & Curriculum:
This book is the second in the "Veritas Project" series of two books. The first being "Hangman's Curse". I may do a review on "Hangman's Curse" later on, as it's a little more graphic than this one. 


My Ratings:

Violence:[#] [#] [#]
Fear Factor: @ @ @ It's a bit scary.
Romance: None
Language: None
Christian: (Yes)
Mature Themes:X 
My Rating: *****

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