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The Alexandria Project: A Tale of Treachery and Technology
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
An entertaining read. It helps to have a little understanding of computer and network technology but you can enjoy the book without it. Throughout the story there are seemingly minor characters introduced - almost too many - that become very significant towards the end. It pokes fun at venture capitalists, politicians, and the protagonist while building up to a good climax, followed by a full-closure wrap-up of the various sub-plots at the end. The first printing of the paperback had some editing problems but most weren't too distracting. I reported them to the author and hopefully they'll be fixed in the near future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
Updegrove's books is a fun cyber-thriller. It's very accurate with respect to the technology and the politics (foreign and domestic). It had an easy fast pace to pull you along through the story. The business discussions and ideas with respect to the venture capitalists are hysterically funny. (I especially loved and was simultaneously at the idea of selling derivatives to venture capital fund investors.) Despite the technology base, the story is clear and there were lots of small educational moments along the way without dragging the story down. I look forward to the next book from the author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2012
What an amazing story and an eye-opener! I don't know whether it should be categorized as a thriller or a horror story. The scary thing is that this concept seems entirely plausible. I'm not into technical stuff and thought the subject of cybersecurity a little daunting but the book is well written and I was able to follow the concepts easily. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2012
This eBook would be a bargain at three times the price. Andy Updegrove reminds me of Michael Crichton an author who was able to both entertain and educate at the same time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2012
This book was very interesting and entertaining. I'm in the security field and know first hand how insecure most organizations are. This book tells a story of a nefarious group taking advantage of these security oversights and although it is fictional, I could definitely see a scenario described in this story coming true.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2012
In the spirit of Vincent Flynn and Tom Clancy, this cyber-security thriller is a great read. Compelling characters, great detail and an an unsettlingly plausible scenario add up to a real page-turner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
I'm somewhat jaded by thrillers where the plot twists are obvious long before they actually happen. No fear of that with this book! Updegrove has managed what many attempt but few can execute: a plot that is both credible and surprising. As with the best genre books, I learned quite a bit about the way technology works by following Frank's adventure, but without the heavy preaching that some authors find necessary. The story moves so nimbly that it's final twists are startling; that said, the vulnerabilities in our system that Updegrove exposes are all the more upsetting because the source is so credible. A great read - I can't wait for the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2014
"The Alexandria Project" is a fascinating mystery thriller that begins when file directories are being compromised at the Library of Congress (LoC); a flaming image and a thank you note left in their place. When Frank Adversego, a disgruntled but brilliant cyber security expert at the LoC becomes the CIA's chief suspect, he decides to investigate and finds a connection to international espionage and a conspiracy to annihilate two major American cities. What he doesn't expect is to become of the target of an FBI manhunt.

Andrew Updegrove 's narrative looks not only at IT architecture, but its security and the impact a lack of safety could have on military/weapons deployment. It is well-researched and technical in places but as the plot progresses, it quickly heats up as Frank Adversego not only uncovers the identity of those involved in the Alexandria Project but also the far- reaching consequences of the hackers' intrusion into computer networks across America. Within the narrative Andrew Updegrove has woven subplots that deal with a contest of wills between the FBI and CIA, an intelligence leak and a missile crisis. All converge in a climax that's not only explosive but has shocking implications.

The characters are well-developed and multi-faceted especially Frank Adversego Jr., the anti-social, highly intelligent cyber guru who's concentration is absolute when solving a problem. Although at work he's considered an unreliable genius and bull-headed, his redeeming qualities include a loving and forgiving heart as well as a wry sense of humor. Marla Adversego is the opposite of her father; sociable, posed and self-assured. She's very protective of her father and in her dealings with the CIA tends to be perceptive, shrewd and feisty. Agent Carl Cummings seems self-important, arrogant and proud, but in his job is dedicated and reliable. George Marchand, Frank's boss is an innate leader who's secretive, but supportive and trusting. I especially liked Lily, the obese overly affectionate Corgi who seems to undermine Frank's boredom with her energetic spirit and Frank Thatcher, the amiable and wily retired FBI agent. All the characters in the novel add strength and colour to a story that's riveting with all its twists and turns.

I hope in future novels we'll see more of the indomitable Frank Adversego, a refreshingly flawed hero. I thoroughly enjoyed this cyber thriller and highly recommend it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
I should begin by stating that I rarely read the work of writers who are still alive (I also don't listen to music past the early 90s). That being said, I was most impressed by Andy Updegrove's The Alexandria Project. Not was it well written without being verbose or self-conscious in prose style, but there are also little bits that are very clever and funny. Now, normally don't read thrillers of the Grisham or Baldacci type (I find them banal and pedestrian, and I'm not French), but this book is an intelligent read. The plot is well structured, there are twists and turns, and the story unfolds itself in front of you. As noted in my review title, I would classify this as X-Files meet William Gibson: you have the conspiratorial and shadowy men in government positions as well as the cybernetic setting, a la Gibson, but without leaving you nauseaus as you would in reading Gibson because he moves the plot along into very abstract and complex levels too fast. Updegrove is careful to make sure the reader follows through expository conversations, and the ideas aren't 'dumbed down'. Another thought that occurs to me is that if Hitchcock were still alive he'd probably snatch up the movie rights damn fast. The Hitchcockian elements can be seen in the basic plot of an ordinary man who begins to uncover a complex plot that threatens the nation. Also, as in Hitchcock films like Vertigo or North By Northwest, the hero's character flaws become assets.
I would highly recommend this book to almost anyone.
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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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