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on November 24, 2015
Since this is a second edition, it's much cleaner in terms of mistakes. Some people may think the book is over the top, but broad satire is just that. My 2 favorites are Pox News and General Bach Choy. I laughed myself silly throughout the book. So much satire, so little time...hated for the book to end...but glad it did so I can start the second one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2015
I actually read – and loved – the sequel, The Lafayette Campaign, first. I liked it so much, I rushed back to buy this book. I was not disappointed. It features the same engaging protagonist unraveling a really scary enigma in cyberspace. While it, too, is a cautionary cyber-thriller about how easily our dependence upon digital data could be used against us, it is so absorbing that I read it straight through well past my bedtime. I read a lot of books, but I review very few. Except for C. G. Cooper, this is the first time I have read two in a row by the same author and reviewed both. I am looking forward to more adventures of Frank Adversego from Andrew Updegrove.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2015
Thank you so much to the author for giving me the honour of reading this book in exchange for an honest review.

""Thank you for your contribution to the Alexandria Project" is the message cyber attackers leave behind as they delete crucial data from computer networks across America. It's not long before the nation is on the verge of collapse as Wall Street, the transportation system, government agencies, and the rest of our internet-based economy all fall victim to the attacks of unknown assailants. As the public outcry builds, Frank Adversego, a brilliant but conflicted cyber security expert, finds himself under suspicion as well as trapped in a power play between the FBI and the CIA. Only by tracing the Alexandria Project back to the source can he clear himself. What follows is a fast-paced, satirical tale of cyber sleuthing, international espionage, and nuclear brinksmanship that accurately portrays our increasing vulnerability to cyber attack. The surprise ending will leave readers both ready for the next Frank Adversego thriller, as well as concerned about where our headlong rush onto the Internet may be leading us."

This thriller absolutely TERRIFIED me. The thought of a thriller being based around the internet, something we all rely on so heavily, and it having real life implications is honestly horrific, and I think this is one of the many reasons that this novel is so effective at achieving its goals. It highlights the brilliant, yet terrifying, reliance on technology we are developing and really makes you think about what exactly can go wrong. And the fact that that can happen to anyone is what is so scary about this.

The most appealing thing about this novel, to me, is the plot. It's a very intelligent book that some readers may struggle to understand (I was one of them, and I don't consider myself an unintelligent person!) until they get to grips with what's going on. I'm not all that versed with computers so sometimes it went over my head a little, but I still managed to grasp what was happening and follow the story which was great. What's not to love? This novel has family, conspiracy, fear, crime, attempted murders... Everything about this plot is thrilling and I couldn't wait to find out what happens next!

As well as the plot being incredibly intelligent, the writing was also. It's not exactly the most fast-paced thriller. But that's okay, it doesn't have to be, because even on the slower parts you are kept engaged. There are some really moving moments between family members and I found them a touching break to the rest of the action in the story, and they were written delicately and well. I think the balance of fast paced and slow paced was done perfectly.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development within this book, as the main character is a little bit flat in some places, but I can totally overlook this because of the excellent writing. Hopefully as the series progresses, we see a bit more development for Frank. I still cared enough about him to want him to be alright in the end and catch the bad guy, but he could have had a little bit more personality in parts.

Overall I'd rate this an easy 5/5 stars and can't wait to read the next in the series!
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on October 12, 2015
Writing about the contemporary technology area is extremely challenging. Those who are well-versed in the field will be demanding regarding accuracy and depth when speaking about technology itself. Those who are lay-people to the field will require support to understand the assumptions and possibilities inherent in the current state-of-the-art. This book seeks to find a middle ground by explaining largely feasible technologies and developments while using a "lone wolf outside the system" thriller framework to carry the plot forward. In doing so the book manages to avoid being too cumbersome while also making some interesting points.

Taken on its own I would find the human aspects of the plot too biased towards wish-fulfilment (escape to the wilderness in an improbable technical toy, a family reunion at just the right moment). The same would apply to the technological side of the book if it was a thought-experiment and an essay. However, the combination was compelling enough to read over a couple of days and into the evening, and I also started reading the next book in the series the next day. I guess that says it all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2015
Full disclosure -- the Andy Updegrove is a colleague. He first mentioned The Alexandria Project to me in late 2012. I kept putting it off, and I'm glad I did. Had I read it back then, I would have said "no way". Too far beyond belief. But events of the past two years (I won't tell you which ones... it would spoil the outcome) have proven the author a seer of future problems in ways that I didn't think would happen. Did life imitate the book exactly? No, but is the book on the mark for some of the technological problems we could face one day? Absolutely yes. If you're looking for a good beach thriller this summer, pick up a copy and enjoy the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2015
For me this is a very classy thriller. Superb opening to the story and what follows is an intriguing story of espionage with the cyber security expert Frank at the centre of the story. But it is much more than that. I loved Frank, a wonderfully flawed genius who I warmed to immediately. The author is skilled when it comes to characterisation across the board but Frank is the perfect example of how a writer needs to give depth to their creations. The narrative is strong and consistent and the writer shows off his technical knowledge without detracting from the story or losing the reader. He clearly is more familiar with the world of computers than I am and it is a complex book in terms of plot strands and the actual technical background information. However Andrew Updegrove brought me along with him every step of the way. I never for one second felt overwhelmed by this side of the book, a tribute to his knowledge of the subject matter behind the storyline and his great story telling ability. I am not generally a fan of books about espionage, cyber terrorism or conspiracies for that matter, but I was completely engrossed in this book from start to finish. There is a great sense of style here. I believe that having read this book that I know exactly what to expect from his next one. Thriller writers often revert to cliché and can be lazy in terms of recycling the ideas of others. Not so in this case. I found The Alexandria Project to be original and it carried a strength of voice that appealed to me greatly. This is a gripping, funny, clever and above all entertaining read. I am officially an Andrew Updegrove fan and cannot wait to read his next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2015
I found Mr. Updegrove's book from a posting on the Passive Voice website. I've found several good books written by indie authors on this website. This was an exciting thriller with well developed interesting characters involved in a timely cyber-terrorism attack. Updegrove knows his subject well, so the information about Internet security or the lack of it has been presented clearly and woven skillfully into his story. I found myself jumping to Wikipedia and Google Maps to dig deeper into the setting and movements of his characters as well as read further about some of the information Updegrove used to develop his plot structure. I look forward to his next book and encourage anyone seeking a well written contemporary thriller to give this book a read. You will not be sorry. Jeff Dwyer
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on January 4, 2015
A novel that could be pulled from today's headlines, but so much more fun.
Intelligent writing, but not so technical as to where an IT degree is needed to understand it.
Humorous, with a very likeable, interesting protagonist Frank Adversego, who I'd like to see more of in future books by Mr. Updegrove.
Nicely paced, with lots of plot twists, will keep readers on their toes.You won't fall asleep with this one in your hands.
Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good novel. Even if technical thrillers are not your usual cup of tea, give this one a try - an all around great book sure to please.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2014
This is a book which offers two reasons to buy it. The first is the content; which is rich with detail, and pretty interesting. It appeals straight away to someone like me, who enjoys reading non fiction as well as fiction. Then there is the story; it is rich, and complex like a good espionage novel should be. However this is not a standard espionage novel. Think Dan Brown, and you will be closer to understanding the enjoyment this book can bring.
The plot picks up pace, and stays exciting to the end. The writing style is fresh and sometimes amusing, as the author sometimes uses observational humour to express a character’s true motivation.
I have to declare an interest here which is that my employment has been within the fields of I.T. and investment finance. For me reading the Alexandria Code was like preaching to the converted. The depth of knowledge in finance, inter-government agency, and Information Technology is demonstrable, implying that the author probably has worked in these fields.
The war between hackers and crackers is exciting as a concept, but it can be mundane in reality. This author makes it absorbing as he paints it against a background of a covert cold war which is being currently raged across the world between nation states, military organisations, and pseudo anarchic organisations.
This knowledge however is juxtaposed against a stream of classical knowledge which also seems inherently understood, rather than quickly researched on Wikipedia. This is why I keep referencing Dan Brown. If you enjoy reading his factual plot driven books, then the Alexandria project will right up your street. I usually read most of his books twice; the first time to follow the plot line and story, and the second time to digest the detailed content. I have just finished reading this book and I really enjoyed it. I know that I will probably read it again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2014
Espionage written effectively is an engrossing theme and anyone who reads this piece of work will be entertained. In a tale that on more than one occasion was reminiscent of Tom Clancy’s style and pace, I was impressed by the level of knowledge and the research done.
There are passages in which the industrial terminology of high-level business is introduced and then there are similar passages which detail the world of computers and the Internet. If you happen to be a technophobe there’s no reason to think this is not for you - because all you have to do is trust the author.
Likewise, when reading of the US Government’s departments and the high-ranking personnel who have access to the ear of the US President, there is no need to worry - trust the author. You are invited into this world of intrigue, trust and distrust, so the best thing to do is take it as it comes, which is pretty rapid at times. The ingredients of this story are wide and far-reaching, but I think the writer’s ability should be applauded.
You will find traitors, heroes, villains, car chases, nuclear missiles, government agencies at loggerheads, and egotistical politicians who are capable of making incomprehensible decisions.
There are personal relationships, international relationships and actually a few laughs, but above all else, there is a feasible plot which makes for an entertaining read.
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