Janus is not just an ordinary teenage girl; she’s a major brain with a growing network of computer friends adopted from private information secured from hard drives pocketed from Assured Destruction, her mother’s hard drive destruction business. Spending numerous hours behind the counter of Assured Destruction as the only child of her single mother who also suffers from MS, Janus copes with the abandonment by her father and lack of family through the use of her online networked personas, known as Shadownet. Unfortunately, someone has hacked and attacked Shadownet and is targeting Janus and the original owners of the hard drives. Janus faces a huge challenge in convincing her mother, the principal, and the police that she’s in big trouble, especially since some of the leaked information identifies her as the guilty party!
Assured Destruction is a fantastic, suck you in young adult read. The female leading character, Janus, is refreshingly self-confident and skilled, yet filled with just enough boy crazy and teenage angst to be believable. Despite her criminal actions of stealing hard drives, she shows strong moral fiber, responsibility, and independence, while tracking down the true villain of the story. The plot is exciting and focused with turns and bends that keep the reader sitting tight for just one more page. The ending does not disappoint and manages to leave the reader duly satisfied at the ending and hungry for the next book in the series!
Wanna know what hooked Me? The official summary:
Sixteen-year-old Jan Rose knows that nothing is ever truly deleted. At least, not from the hard drives she scours to create the online identities she calls the Shadownet.
Hobby? Art form? Sad, pathetic plea to garner friendship, even virtually? Sure, Jan is guilty on all counts. Maybe she’s even addicted to it. It’s an exploration. Everyone has something to hide. The Shadownet’s hard drives are Jan’s secrets. They’re stolen from her family’s computer recycling business Assured Destruction. If the police found out, Jan’s family would lose their livelihood.
When the real people behind Shadownet’s hard drives endure vicious cyber attacks, Jan realizes she is responsible. She doesn’t know who is targeting these people or why but as her life collapses Jan must use all her tech savvy to bring the perpetrators to justice before she becomes the next victim.
Reasons to Read: I read Assured Destruction in one single sitting. I took a peek when the baby went down for the night and forgot to stop reading! When I hit the ending page, I was grateful to hear this was just the beginning of the series. I found the writing smart, witty, and overall enjoyable for adolescent and adult readers alike. I will say that for me, personally, if I had neglected to read the description and looked only at the cover of the book and the title, I might have missed a fantastic read, mistaking it for a futuristic science fiction fantasy or anime novel. This couldn’t be further from the truth – this is 100% young adult mystery using completely plausible circumstance. My own personal addiction to blogging and social media utilization only fueled my enjoyment of the book!
Reasons to Pass: Assured Destruction is perfectly placed in the young adult genre, so if that is not your cup of tea, pass. If you don’t enjoy a good mystery or suspense, pass. Those without at least a cursory understanding of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter may initially feel a bit overwhelmed by the jargon, but could still follow and enjoy the story line.
Category: Young Adult Mystery
Suggested Rating: PG There are adult topics discussed in this book such as chronic illness, divorce, and theft. There are a few brief romantic interludes of the main character with boys in her school, but in no way did I find the wording or the actions of the characters offensive or inappropriate for the age group classified as young adult.
Wanna know more about the author? Me too! Read below –
Michael F. Stewart‘s Bio:
After crewing ships in the Antarctic and the Baltic Sea and some fun in venture capital, Michael anchored himself (happily) to a marriage and a boatload of kids. Now he injects his adventurous spirit into his writing with brief respites for research into the jungles of Sumatra and Guatemala, the ruins of Egypt and Tik’al, paddling the Zambezi and diving whatever cave or ocean reef will have him. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and SF Canada, and the author of the Assured Destruction series, 24 Bones, The Sand Dragon, Hurakan, Ruination and several award winning graphic novels for young adults.
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I was given this book in exchange for my review.
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