- Series: Hackers
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (October 16, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780316474412
- ISBN-13: 978-0316474412
- ASIN: 031647441X
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Phantom Wheel: A Hackers Novel Hardcover – October 16, 2018
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*"Deebs pulls no punches in this high-octane yet character-driven plot...Japanese-American, Colombian-American, and mixed-race identities as well as on-the-page asexual representation all effortlessly feature among this black-hat group. A must-read for every aspiring hacktivist."―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A propulsive blockbuster of a book...Cinematic in scope and delivery, this offers an exciting ride with a heavy geek vibe."―Booklist
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I'd rate more as 4.25 stars.
Okay, I kind of really loved this book?? I was really intrigued by the synopsis- 6 teen hackers, 1 bad corporation, a high-stakes digital catastrophe if they don't succeed in stopping it- YES, sign me right up! I've haven't read any of the author's previous works, but this one was so much fun and I'm looking forward to more books in this series. It's like a contemporary/sci-fi mix, set in modern day, and so very relevant in today's world, what with our dependence on technology, the power of corporations, big data, and the threat to our privacy- what we give up in exchange for convenience. I liked how certain things in the book seemed plausible in real life, but I will admit that I thought certain details were highly unlikely to happen in reality, but hey, it made for a fun and wild ride.
I loved each of the 6 hackers and their dynamics. We only get to read 3 of their POVs- Owen Heath, Issa Torres, and Harper, but I liked the other 3 whose minds we don't get to see into as well- Ezra Hernandez, Alika Izumi, and Seth Prentiss. I thought Harper's nicknames for the rest of them were so funny and apt, and I liked the humor in the old movie references, and the dialogue throughout that kept things light and humorous even in high-tension situations. Each character is interesting and unique. Issa- she's got a tough-girl attitude, but loves and cares greatly for her family. Harper- quiet and observant, but not afraid to do extreme things. She's wary, but opens up to these unexpected friends. Alika- she seems perfect and nice, but she's also got a badass side to her that you wouldn't want to mess with. Ezra- he seemed like an arrogant, spoiled, rich boy, and yes, while he can be those things, he's also extremely intelligent, charismatic, and can be caring and thoughtful. Owen- athlete, hacker, intimidating-looking, but morally good despite black-hat activities. He brings everyone together on the mission and does what needs to be done. Seth- oh my goodness, he was so good and precious. I loved him and his sweetness. All of them together make for one hell of a team and friendship.
There's lots of tech lingo, computers, references to coding and hacking in the book (as expected), and while a lot of it went over my head, I still enjoyed the story despite that. There's some romance, and while I felt like things could've been taken more slowly and developed over the series later on, I didn't mind the inclusion of it. I would've been okay with no romance at all, but it does add to the complexity of the relationships/the plot. Overall, I enjoyed the story and it was a fun and fast read into the world of hacking.