Saturday, April 5, 2014

Homeland (Little Brother #2), by Cory Doctorow (author), Wil Wheaton (narrator)

Humble Bundle, March 2014 (original publication February 2013)

Marcus Yallow, at just nineteen, already has a past as a cyberactivist, exposing embarrassing secrets of the US government. But now the harrowing events of Little Brother are behind him, and he just wants to enjoy the Burning Man festival and then find a job--job-hunting having been unsuccessful since the previous year's events forced him to drop out of college.

His past catches up with him at Burning Man, though, producing on the one hand an offer of a job as webmaster for the campaign of an independent candidate for the California state senate, and on the other hand, a bittorrent file containing hundreds of thousands of documents revealing the darkest secrets of the US security establishment. And on the last night of Burning Man, he sees the woman who gave him the file and the key to it being kidnapped by a nightmare figure from his past, Kerry Johnstone.

The next few weeks plunge Marcus and his girlfriend Angie back into cyber-intrigue and dodging both government and private sector goons. Along the way, he learns the strength of friendship and the limits of political idealism.

I haven't read Little Brother, but I found I was able to pick up enough about previous events to follow what was going on. Marcus is convincingly nineteen years old, idealistic, still inexperienced in many ways despite past events, very bright, and extremely likable. The independent candidate he goes to work for is almost, but not quite, too perfect. The conflict between working for his candidate, who might make a first step toward challenging the corruption, and getting the secret files out is developed very exquisitely and painfully. Wil Wheaton, who has an excellent and very expressive voice, does the reading.

Recommended.

I bought this book.