Monday, November 17, 2014

The Silence of Six (which is not a Pittacus Lore book)

I've got a backlog as long as my arm for things I need to review (not really, it's just far too much fun to be dramatic!), so I'll kick it off with a book that rather confused me.  I have to wait for the full launch of the book to see if I really am as much of an outsider as I seem to be at the moment.

The Silence of Six by E.C. Myers came recommended via ... some journal or other, or maybe a blog, or maybe it was just the lure of NetGalley, but before requesting it, I checked the ratings on Goodreads.  Obviously, the book isn't out yet, so there's not a wide sample size, but it had excellent ratings.  In the 4 star range, which is pretty rare.  So I requested it.  And I started it.  And then I went back and checked the stars again.  Still 4 stars and up.  And I asked myself, "Am I just not getting it?"


I suppose my main quibble is that all of the characters don't sound like actual teenagers.  At first I thought perhaps they sounded too adult, but what it really boils down to is an adult trying to sound like a teen.  One person (high schooler) actually says, "WTF?"  I do not know any kid who, in using WTF, wouldn't just right out and say it.  You only say WTF when you're writing it.

The other thing is that the tech involved is far too similar to what we have now.  Panjea is basically like Facebook, and the idea of a social network making money off of what you post online isn't exactly new.  Facebook already does it.  I'm not condoning it, but it's to be expected when a company is for profit.  The main character, Max, is a quasi-legendary hacker, so much so that when he revisits his old online haunts, people are like "Whoa, dude, it's the famous hacker!"  They start talking about doxxing Evan, the person who set the whole story in motion.  Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought doxxing was done with the intent to reveal the person's personal information.  If they're just digging up info without the intent to broadcast it to the world, is that really doxxing?

I also found it mildly amusing (heh) that Max's super-secret-hacker-hideout is in The Deep Web, like that's a place you can "go."  "The hidden hacker chat group was still alive in the so-called 'Deep Web,' the intricate network of unpublished IP addresses on the internet.  No search engine crawled through the Deep Web indexing webpages.  Like the most exclusive clubs, you had to know it existed before you could go there, and you had to have an invitation."  Okay, that's mostly true.  The Deep Web is indeed a thing, and most search engines don't have their bots index it because it's either made up of dynamic web content (i.e. constantly changing search results/database queries), pages that don't have backlinks, or more obscure content that can only be accessed via a specific website with a specific keyword within a specific time frame.  It's not necessarily a bad thing.  I think what the author was getting at is the Dark Web, which is different.  That refers to the Deep Web being used for clandestine and possibly nefarious purposes.  Also, I learned about the Deep Web in my first semester library science class, so it's not like an "exclusive club."  I mean, there's a How Stuff Works article on it.

I'd rather read a techno-thriller in which the main character is old enough to legally drink.  Everything about this made me feel all Rhett Butler-y.

I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley.

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