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on February 23, 2012
Bourne's book is so exciting. I literally did run into people in the streets around Kendall Square and MIT on the way to work, because I couldn't stop reading it. If you are interested in any of the following, you'll love this book: great thrillers, homeland security, 9/11, entrepreneurs, terrific characters, counterterrorism, IPO's, internet billionaires or books you just can't put down. I wish she would write a sequel with any of the characters from this book in it, or just a book that focuses on any of the events that Edwin Hoff was ever part of -- part of making happen, or better, part of keeping from happening. He is a true hero who saved millions and never took a bow.
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on June 7, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed Edwin Hoff. A.B. Bourne's writing skill is multifarious, which is to say that she can weave exciting action scenes as well as slow things down and "talk shop" through the authentic dialogue of tech moguls. I was impressed with the book's tension buildup as the plot deftly jumps from character to character and balances their perspectives against one another. Looking forward to book two!
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on March 12, 2012
The First Secret is a terrific book. Actually, Annie Bourne had me after the Prologue and the rest was a roller coaster of icing on the cake. I didn't put this down until I had finished; I simply ignored my family and other responsibilities for a long day so that I could get to the last page.
The really neat thing about this is that it's hard to describe to you who the protagonist is, there are so many intriguing characters and plot angles. Sure Edwin Hoff is the title character and he gets a lot of the air time, if you will. But there are at least three other very important lead-type characters. My personal favorite is Marly, who doesn't even matter in the first third of the novel.
Bourne does really well in mixing a variety of expertises. She has some first hand knowledge of the whole explosive dot.com world but has done her homework well for the rest of it. (To look at her on the book jacket, I can't imagine that she has actually done Navy Seal training, for example.) Edwin Hoff himself is a sort of Jason Bourne-like character, without that paranoia of most Ludlum novels. There is lots of action, high-tech gadgetry, chase scenes involving different elements of The Law. And there are twists that you don't see coming (but that then make sense after Bourne has brought them out.) You can actually ask yourself, "I wonder if this really happened?"
Do yourself a favor; get this book. And then block out a chunk of time because you'll need it. Other parts of your life can take a back seat for a little bit.
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on September 8, 2011
I can't wait for the second secret Edwin Hoff! Bourne had me glued to this thriller that moved along a face pace, weaving characters in and out of the plot and taking me deeper and deeper into their web but especially allowing me to come to know the main character, Edwin Hoff, who I look forward to following in his future missions. To know that this character was inspired by a real person and real events gave the story that much more intrigue. I am hooked on Hoff.
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on April 4, 2012
Don't even think of buying this book unless you have some available time for the next few days! For if you find you need to sleep, have impending deadlines, and so on, you will find them totally overridden by the compulsion to continue with this amazing novel.
I stayed up far too late, missed far too much work, neglected far too many things--when two days later the book ended and released me from its jaws. Great characters, plot line, totally engrossing, 100% recommended!
And I'm also very glad I read it. Most enjoyable!
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on March 1, 2012
This book was worth every moment of stolen time it took to finish. I am a big fan of the genre and found Edwin Hoff has a rare combination of very human and believable characters with enough 007-ish gadgets to give it an edge, as well as making it both realistic and remarkably entertaining. Bourne added a fair amount of historical details from the late 90's and clearly had an insider's view of the dot com world at the time, which for me served as a mini-education for a world I knew very little about (always a bonus to learn something while you're having fun). I found I was completely immersed while reading Edwin Hoff and could not stop thinking of the characters for quite a while after I finished. Living in the Boston area, it was also great fun to picture the scenes of action engagingly described in the novel. Now I just have to wait for the sequel...
Bottom line- get this book and read it, now.
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on May 2, 2013
This is a heart-stopping, spaghetti bowl of a thriller. Smart, complex, graceful and filled with the type of insider information (the tech world, government intelligence, Jihadist hierarchy) that drives me, as a reader, to distraction.
The story takes place at the turn of the millennium and centers around the title character - Edwin Hoff - a mysterious and brilliant leader in the tech industry. One of a handful of Ivy League wunderkinds who became an overnight billionaire during the tech boom of the 1990s, Edwin is anything but the frivolous materialist. Unlike a certain other young billionaire from a different franchise, he doesn't need to distract himself with a chorus of babes and an array of unusual sex practices. Nor does he need to work through his ennui - a now painfully clichéd side effect of having too much too soon, or so we readers have been told.
On the contrary, Edwin hides a dark and secret past and carries the weight of the world on his muscular shoulders. Instead of offering on-premise sushi bars and other perks to his already spoiled team, he gives inspiration, the chance to make history, and he delivers unapologetic discipline - moral and otherwise. His own indelible character takes root inside those around him, bringing out qualities they didn't know they had. Or had not existed before Edwin came into their lives. In short, Edwin Hoff is a leader - the kind we ache for.
And Edwin Hoff is also something else.
Edwin Hoff, we learn, is a spy of the highest caliber.
From the dizzying heights of the high tech revolution to the terrifying events of 9/11, The First Secret of Edwin Hoff shows us that nothing is as it seems. A.B. Bourne takes us not only through the evolution of the characters she's written, but the reinvention of the world as we know it, and with a skill that's uncommon for a first time novelist. She's like Daniel Silva in a dress, and writes with a classical notion of masculine valor, yet one imbued with the unmistakable touch of a woman.
The First Secret of Edwin Hoff is well worth the read, and will undoubtedly leave you eager to get your hands on an advance copy of the second secret. All in good time, Edwin Hoff might say.
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on January 23, 2012
This thriller was impossible to put down- even with my toddler climbing all over me while I read it at times! The suspense of Edwin's next move kept me on the edge of my seat. Characters who initially seemed inconsequential to the plot came back with a bang. The references to Boston brought me back to a fascinating time in the historic Internet boom. I look forward to seeing what's in store for Edwin in the Second Secret. LONG LIVE EDWIN!
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on August 9, 2012
I agree with the other reviews. I thought the depth of plot and character development was phenomenal and the way the book was structured built up the suspense. It always left me wondering to the point I couldn't put it down and then didn't want it to end. The book is at the same time an uplifting book if you remember that Edwin is based on the co-founder of Akamai Technologies, Danny Lewin. It's given me pause for thought.
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on September 24, 2011
This book, with its serious and sad background story, has all the ingredients of a classic action/crime thriller and that alone makes it a fun and entertaining read. However, what makes this book memorable to me is the way ABBourne describes Edwin as such a multitalented and multifaceted character. What an inspiration the real-life inspiration of this fictional character must have been, what a mentor and shining star. This book makes me wish I could have met him.
Another aspect that I really enjoyed was the description of the dot.com, the world surrounding MIT and its' technology spin-offs/start-ups. As someone who's lived that life herself, I can only say ABBourne does an amazing job capturing it and giving people a glimpse into that world. Really fun and what a debut. I can't wait for the sequel(s)!!!
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