Read Brain Jack by Brian Falkner Online


Las Vegas is gone—destroyed in a terrorist attack. Black Hawk helicopters patrol the skies over New York City. And immersive online gaming is the most dangerous street drug around. In this dystopic near-future, technology has leapt forward once again, and neuro-headsets have replaced computer keyboards. Just slip on a headset, and it’s the Internet at the speed of thought.Las Vegas is gone—destroyed in a terrorist attack. Black Hawk helicopters patrol the skies over New York City. And immersive online gaming is the most dangerous street drug around. In this dystopic near-future, technology has leapt forward once again, and neuro-headsets have replaced computer keyboards. Just slip on a headset, and it’s the Internet at the speed of thought.For teen hacker Sam Wilson, a headset is a must. But as he becomes familiar with the new technology, he has a terrifying realization. If anything on his computer is vulnerable to a hack, what happens when his mind is linked to the system? Could consciousness itself be hijacked? Before he realizes what’s happened, Sam’s incursion against the world’s largest telecommunications company leads him to the heart of the nation’s cyberdefense network and brings him face to face with a terrifying and unforeseen threat.Brian Falkner, author of The Tomorrow Code, has created an action-packed and thought-provoking science fiction adventure in which a brilliant young computer hacker fights to prevent the human race from being deleted.Fans of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and M. T. Anderson’s Feed will love this high-octane techno thriller....

Title : Brain Jack
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781921150951
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Brain Jack Reviews

  • Ms. Yingling
    2019-06-25 16:21

    Ha, ha! I checked this book out of the public library, so the warnings at the front of the book about how hackers can find out everything about me in ten minutes from my purchase of the book and get into my computer are groundless. Well, until now, since I've posted this. And since I spent Christmas morning removing a "Security Sheild" virus from my computer, I'm willing to take this chilling tale to heart!Sam spends a little too much time on computers, and draws the attention of the Homeland Security Cyber Defense Division after some spectacular hacking. At first, he thinks he is being thrown into jail, but when he manages to break out, he is recruited for the division. Neuro-headset technology is the newest thing, but the effects are omninous-- now hackers can get into people's brains, and the headsets work to create a huge network that starts attacking the defense division-- and pretty much everything else. With pulse-pounding urgency, Sam and the defense division try to stop the network, nicknamed Ursula, but are thwarted by people who are wired into the neuro-headsets and brainwashed into attacking those who are against the headsets. Will Sam and his friends manage to save the world?Strengths: Really, very edge-of-the-seat stuff, and the cover is distractingly shiny as well! I had to put this book down several times because it was just so intense. I didn't understand half of the computer references, but it didn't really matter. I wanted to put together a whole list of books about computers, but I can't think of any I have-- what a great subject for boys! My son read this after I did and loved it. It was a good choice for older students without being inappropriate for younger ones. Awesome book, but definitely explains a little about why I think Facebook is just creepy.

  • Beth
    2019-07-12 18:15

    Compelling theme but slightly awkward execution. That's how I'd summarize this one. The premise is clever, if a bit overt in the wish-fulfillment department at some points, and a few plot twists are genuinely unexpected. But the writing is too abrupt and the transitions are too choppy (usually when the author incorporates technical explanations), so the story doesn't flow well. The introduction and the epilogue are a little too cutesy. And the main thrust of the plot - going up against a massive collective consciousness - is weakened when the protagonist actually meets that consciousness. Because there are no words, it seems, to describe how terrifying and all-encompassing that would actually be. And therefore the antagonist's strength is lessened, which cripples the thrust of the story. There's also a show-don't-tell problem. The protagonist never feels like a brilliant teenager; he feels too normal to be believed. He's also too calm in the face of catastrophe, which lessens the impact of the catastrophe. This book is clever, but limited by two things: the ineffectiveness of the words - their lack of emotional heft - and the almost simplicity and ease of the final conflict. Somehow, though, despite the shortcomings, it is still an enjoyable read. Just not a fascinating one.

  • Nathan R
    2019-07-18 13:13

    The future of computers has arrived! The neuro headset allows you to operate computers as fast as you can think! But what happens when you link millions of minds to the most powerful network in the world? Could the human subconcious control itself? Could it create without realizing? Could it destroy?Sam is about to find out. Sam is just the averrage computer trying to get some free stuff. But when he pulls off the biggest hack in the country and shuts down half of the country, the government takes notice. Next thing he knows, Sam has been carted off to prison, breaks out, and begins working for a government division that exists only through the internet. Through a series of incredible events he ends up having to disarm an entire network and stop a civil war!This novel keeps the reader constantly interested with short chapters, an engaging story, realistic characters, and a plot that will keep readers on the edges of their seats until the very end. While it is more directed torwards the more computer oriented, casual readers will enjoy this story at its roots as well. Similar recommended reads are Little Brother and The Feed.

  • S A R A
    2019-06-30 16:51

    Why do I keep reading that this book is for boys between the ages of 12-15? I'm a girl and I'm almost seventeen, and I loved every second of it! Maybe I have an uncommon taste in books for my age, but my point is, this book is very versatile and can interest many people from different age groups!Brain Jack is a science fiction book written by Brian Falkner, one of my favorite authors. This book talks about computers, hacks, and everything high-tech. In the book as an introduction, the author talks about computers being close to his childhood. Ever since he was a child, he and his older brother had been building computers before personal computers were even in people’s thoughts. The book, on the other hand, is completely fictional. With technology as advanced as he expresses, it is enough to make you feel a thousand years into the future.It is a fast-paced, exciting and captivating book. The story rapidly unfolds, as computers and criminals try to take over the world. Imagine if computers could easily hack your system, (or you, basically) and control the world without you even knowing it. Frightening to think about, is it not? The story begins with seventeen-year-old Sam Wilson, who decided to hack into the Transcomerica network to buy a Neuro-Headset and a laptop for him and his best friend, Derek Fargas. Those Neuro-Headsets allow users to operate a computer without a mouse or keyboard. All they need is brain power. However, the amazing technology that is being used by over 90% of the population has turned against them.Overall, the plot is very realistic for the story. Although it seems to take place in the present day, it describes our world as having more advanced technology, which makes it even more thrilling. The dialog is laid out well, even though some parts are dry. Reading “Sam said”, or “he said”, after every speech seems a bit repetitive after a while. That's just my opinion, but I enjoyed it very much still. Will Sam and his crew win the war between them and the government's powerful entities, or will the world forever be taken over by robots? To find out, I strongly recommend you read it :) Have fun!

  • Jackson Lamie
    2019-07-15 15:00

    When I started to read this book, I thought it would involve mental web surfing, running from the law, and a single boy with amazing technology. I was wrong on the first and third predictions. What I found was much better than I thought. The point of the story was clear, and the chapters flowed into each other smoothly. I loved how the author was able to throw in characters and to make them fit perfectly into the situation. I was relieved to find that there wasn’t too much computer code talk going on. The many twists and turns both surprised and intrigued me to the point where I was speechless.The story starts in a big city with a teen in high school. This boy attempts to hack into one of the most secure business franchises in the world. After words, he and his friend use neuro-helmets that allow them to use a computer just by thinking. Then, the hacker gets arrested on the charges of hacking and terrorism. He is then taken to a prison made for hackers, and the like. He then escapes and is recruited by a secret organization that uses elite hackers to help protect the U.S. Very odd and scary things happen that lead three of the hackers to go on the run. They get held up in a mall but escape to the dessert with a hostage. They drive to Las Vegas, which has been destroyed by a bomb, and they hide there from a sentient A.I. or Artificial Intelligence that is taking over people’s minds. They are driven out and head southwest. They meet a resistance and then head for a mountain. At that mountain… well you’ll have to read the book to find out.I would recommend this book to boys and girls ages 12 and over. If you are into computers, hacking, or self-learning A.I.’s, then would be a great book for you.

  • Jan
    2019-06-23 17:04

    I liked this very fast-paced cyber thriller. It was compulsive readable. As you might expect, it is plot driven high octane action, but it also addresses some important themes related to technology: our dependence upon technology in today’s society; addiction to some aspects of technology (gaming and virtual reality); loss of privacy; and sacrificing independence for the convenience offered by technology. You know, that old “man vs computer” thing.I puzzled a bit about the ending. Sam essentially assumes the same role as the “Ursula,” the virtual entity who begins taking control of certain aspects of society to “help” society and ends up becoming a techno Stalin. Sam takes over this power, once Ursula is vanquished, but what prevents him from making the same mistakes and following in her path? He somehow knows when to opt out and return to his human self. Is that realistic? I’m not sure about that, unless you go with the idea that Sam is some kind of “cyber savior.”My only caveat about this one is the character development, which I thought was pretty minimal. Not unexpected when your novel is primarily plot-driven. But it is very well done, otherwise.

  • Leo
    2019-06-22 13:54

    12/13/12. Just click on "View Spoiler"(view spoiler)[ I recently finished Brian Falkner's Brain is about a high school senior named Sam who just happens to be one of the world's best hackers. I think this book is a little world-building,but not really, because it makes use of events that never actually happened. This book is pretty fast paced as Falkner goes into detail about the various ways to hack all these networks that never really existed. So Sam hacks into a network and then... gets caught. An officer brings him to a jail, which he gracefully escapes, and much to his surprise, he is recruited by the government and it's anti-cyber-intrusion sector! I myself would take this as a great shock, being sent to jail and then being taken in by the same people. I find this book very interesting, especially when the network turns on him, sending people from around the world into war over technology and how to use it. I think this is a great book and recommend it to all. (hide spoiler)]

  • Clickety
    2019-06-28 16:12

    Perhaps if I hadn't been discussing rape culture before I sat down to read the bulk of this book I would've enjoyed it more; as it is I feel I'm being generous with my stars, because I really didn't enjoy it. Apparently it isn't just Americans who're susceptible to tokenism. The three female characters get minimal screen time and serve to illustrate how much more competent the male characters are, and don't get me started on how very white the rest of the cast is. Also - can anybody tell me what happened to Kiwi? I lost him in the last 25 pages or so. I actually went back and looked for some clue about what happened to him twice but couldn't figure it out, and by that point I was annoyed enough that I didn't feel like working at it anymore.Finally, for computer sci-fi, and especially with a hack for the intro, there were an awful lot of sloppy mistakes. I gave up hoping for clever realism and put my brain in Harlequin mode just to get through the rest of the book.

  • Kate
    2019-06-24 16:51

    Sam Wilson's a hacker, and in an attempt to hack into the premier convention of hackers, he hacks into the White House and lands himself a job. Top secret, although he likes his new hacker buddies. He's got a sweet pad, more money than he knows what to do with, and all he has to do is keep hackers out of the government systems. The easy life comes to an end when the government is hacked, and it seems to be an inside job. Now he doesn't know who to trust... or if he can stop them.There was a lot of jargon in here, which was made a little more accessible by the hacker-speak that made computer code sound like action. The foreshadowing was pretty thick, so I wasn't especially surprised when it was revealed who the hacker was, but it was quite a thrill ride. I didn't especially feel much connection with the characters - also, was I the only one who associates the name "Sam Wilson" with Marvel's Falcon?

  • Lolo
    2019-07-07 19:51

    *4.5 stars*I picked up this book as a quick, not-really-that-interested read. I didn't think I would like it very much.For the first part of the book, I was right. It was a little hard to get into, and I couldn't really relate to some of the characters.But by the time I was halfway through, I started to really enjoy the book. It was confusing, yes, but that's probably only because computers aren't really my thing. It's well written and chock full of suspense, along with great descriptions of how Sam hacks into different networks. (In other books I've read, this was not the case.)Overall: A quick (but fun!) read, alright characters, cool setting. I'd recommend this for the most part. :)

  • Magnus
    2019-06-19 19:52

    Sam Wilson wanted to become a great hacker. But he has realized that he has to learn more to get better. One day he goes with his best friend Fargas to a event called [email protected] which is a convention for hackers. During the convention, Sam overhears a conversation about another event, in the White House, for the best hackers. So when Sam gets back home, he tries to hack into the White House server. Then 10 minutes later FBI agents knock on his front door to arrest him. He gets sent to a Juvenile detention center which is a prison for kids under the age of 18. Will Sam escape? Brain Jack is about Bravery, Compassion and Trustfulness.

  • Noah Herring
    2019-07-03 15:56

    Personal Response: I enjoyed reading Brain Jack by Brian Falkner, because I related to the book as I also like computers and technology. I also enjoy reading books like this one where the author switches between each character to narrate or follow what they are doing. After reading this one book by him, I plan on reading many more of his books.Plot: Sam is like any normal teenage boy, except he is a hacking genius. Using his skills, he and his best friend decide to hack into a technology corporation, so they can steal some Neuro headsets. After barely pulling it off, they decide to go back to Sam's house to test out their new Neuro headsets. Once they are adjusted and ready to use them, Sam decides to hack into a website to obtain the address for [email protected] a hacking convention. While he is there, he meets two individuals who tell him that this is all just a cover for the bigger hacking meeting. They tell him if he can hack into the White House servers and access a certain file, he will be allowed into the secret convention. After a long time of slowly hacking into the servers, he makes it into the file. Once he gets into the file, it opens a game of sorts. In this game, there is nothing but a single button. After pressing the button several times, he hears his mom yell out to him and a loud knock on the door as a man yells, “C.D.D. open the door.”Characterization:Sam is an absolute computer genius; he has the ability to hack into any network in the world and remain undetected. Throughout the book the reader will see his quick wit and ability to adapt to any situation. The reader also gets to see a lot of his emotional side as he develops feelings for one of his coworkers. The book is told through the third person view following a variety of characters.Vienna is also a hacker who works with Sam; at first she is very cold to him and doesn't talk to him at all. She is cold to him because he was able to out hack her and get past her defenses. After a while, she moves past that, and they start to develop feelings for each other.They kiss later on Sam’s birthday. Setting:Brain Jack mostly takes place in New York in the not so distant future where technology has become advanced. The setting is important because it is a center for technology and hacking which is Sam's specialty. The time period is significant to the book, because it is a not so distant future and implies that this could be what the world could be like.Recommendation:I would recommend Brain Jack to girls and boys as the subject matter is universal so both genders would enjoy reading it. I would also recommend readers to be above the age of ten because of the violence and language in the book. I would also recommend this book to anyone who enjoys technology or likes reading action packed books due to the fact that there is a lot of talk about technology and a lot of car chases and fighting in the book.

  • DevinLeary
    2019-07-16 17:01

    If you're into science fiction, action, and a page turner. Brain Jack by Brian F. would be just for you! It's an action packed story taking place when a virus takes over all the servers in Las Vegas. The main character, Sam, has to hack his way into the virus and save the day. What I liked about this book is, if an older person were to read it. They kind of wouldn't understand much of what was going on. It has a very high tech vocabulary through out the book. The story kin of kept me guessing like, who planted the virus and etc. A part I didn't enjoy about the book is kind of the same reason I loved it. There were times where I had to re read a page because there was to much tech-savvy language being thrown out there. As if the author had no clue how to get these characters from point A to point B. Like, you had to just go with it. Which in most cases, isn't really good writing. I loved it when I understood it. I hated it when I didn't. If you want to become a best buy geek squad. This is the book for you. I'd give this book a 6/10 for the originality it pro-trade in this tech savvy world.

  • Ellie
    2019-07-15 15:16

    such an interesting story. I loved it!

  • Montana
    2019-07-03 17:13

    Brain Jack is a highly interesting and unique book that takes a look at what the internet could possibly become with the combined power of every brain of Earth. The story follows a boy named Sam who has a massive interest in everything computer. After working a big hack job to get one of the new Neuro Headsets, Sam is tracked down and located by the Cyber Defense Division as they wish for him to work for the USA. The book go's on and eventually the neuro headsets become a massive problem as they seem to have gotten a "neuro virus." This virus has the ability to wipe the minds of any person that uses a neuro headset, and it becomes Sam's job to figure out how to stop it. This book is an amazing book that follows along side with Sifi and fantasy. I'd recommend this book who wishes to ponder on what the internet exactly is, and those who like a good book to sit down to before bed.

  • Janaye
    2019-07-05 16:51

    This was a really original take on an apocalyptic/dystopian novel but I was not all that impressed. There were several times throughout the book that I felt that something was not explained properly and so I wandered around confused because I could not pinpoint exactly where my confusion came from so I could not go back and reread a specific part. I felt that some of the characters were not needed and this was just annoying. Sam's best friend should have either not been involved or should have been a lot more. When he is suddenly revealed that he is gaming himself to death I didn't feel connected enough to his character to feel bad. He was there one second and gone the next and then POOF here he is again. It was hard to get invested in it.I did really like the way Falkner chose to describe Ursula and Sam's experience with/as her/it. I had never really thought of anything like that. But I am confused as to why Sam was able to do it but not Dodge. I know that he was the protagonist but there comes a point where its like... really? Is he THAT amazing?I wasn't impressed with the excerpt at the back of the book from one of Falkner's other works and I don't think that I would read another of Falkner's books. His style is boorish and at times it feels as though he is trying too hard rather than just letting the work flow and speak for itself. I think this book was so good because the IDEA was very good, the writing itself left much to be desired.

  • Karen Ball
    2019-07-11 14:01

    On Friday, on his way to school, Sam Wilson brought the United States of America to its knees. Is that a killer way to start a story or what? Set in the near future, where Las Vegas is a smoking nuclear wasteland thanks to terrorists, and online gaming has become so addictive that people actually die from it, technology is everything. 17-year-old Sam starts out just trying to get some extremely expensive laptops and neuro-headsets from a massive US corporation that can't possible miss the money... and those headsets are amazing. They allow your thoughts to control your computer, and your experiences online to be beamed directly into your brain. After Sam succeeds and then hacks into the White House servers looking for a group of master hackers, the guys in black suits and mirror shades show up at the apartment where he and his mother live, and they take Sam away... While supposedly in a youth prison, he actually joins a government group of highly paid, genius level hackers who now battle real online enemies to protect the people of the United States. The computer scenes are tense and fast paced, with out-of-control airliners and nuclear reactors! Technology controls so much of our lives and environment, and Falkner digs right into the weaknesses of that dependence. Excellent sci-fi for 8th grade and up.

  • Rebecca
    2019-06-27 17:10

    I found Brainjack to be a really interesting read. The beginning of the book had me hooked and I wanted to read it a lot because I really liked it and was really interested in what happened.I love mysteries and I really wanted to know who was the cyber terrorists etc. Once I found out though I kind of struggled through the rest of the book. It was about three-quarters of the way through but I just found the ending to be quite slow going.Brainjack was set in the future but we're not given a year at any point so I have no idea when it is but this is in a way a good thing because it means the year will never arrive.I loved the little hints about futuristic things like USB3 and virtual reality headsets.Brian Falkner did a brilliant job in describing what it's like using a headset and I loved reading ever part of it.I liked Sam too. He's the kind of guy that I'd like to be friends with. He's cool but not cool to too many people. I liked knowing only a little bit about him. It made him seem a bit more mysterious.Overall, Brainjack is a really cool book and if you ever get the chance to read it, go for it.

  • Noorain K
    2019-07-13 18:57

    I have currently been reading Brain Jack by Brain Falkner it is the best book ever! The main character is Sam one reason I like him is he always knows what to do. Like the part where the phantom takes over Dodge (he is the leader of an hacking team) then Kiwi comes in and sees Dodge under the phantoms spell and Sam running away. I thought it was smart to run away while Kiwi was looking away. The author describes setting really good one part I know is when Sam is on an airplane to go to New York the author says." when Sam sat down he saw his chair the color of a black blazer and the chair had a foot rest it was made from cow skin Sam had a personal servant named Ann she was in her forties and wore a black suit and red tie and black pants she held a soda for Sam. The author goes deep into comparisons about their emotions one part I remember is that when Sam got took to jail for hacking a hack convention it was supposed to be really safe place when he entered his heart beat so fast that is sounded like a piston. I'd give this book five stars so far it is one of the best book I've ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kym Brunner
    2019-06-28 12:51

    Revolves around the concept of neuro-technology (computers plugged directly into your brain) and how it affects people's thoughts and actions. Very cool concept and unique, near-futuristic story with a suspenseful plot.I would have like to have seen more character development along with the intense thriller aspects. Story moved quickly but I didn't feel particularly linked with anyone, not even the main character. It started out with a lot more internal thought, but as the story progressed, those kinda died off.

  • Benjamin Issroff
    2019-06-27 11:57

    Brain Jack by Brian Falkner displays an intriguing plot with brilliant language. The engaged reader will find themselves wanting to carry on in this exciting adventure. Combining realistic characters with a semi-fictional plot, Falkner is able to create something few writers are capable of. However, be careful to avoid being sucked into the vortex of computer hacking that this book creates too much, or you may find yourself in the same position as some characters in the novel.

  • Josh Newhouse
    2019-07-06 15:02

    So far very exciting... Only problem is topical tech references, guitar hero, blurays etc. for a future book kind of pulled me out a little.At end, a tense exciting thriller with 3 minor issues... 1. Topical references as mentioned earlier. 2. Bouts of incomprehensible jargon. 3. A weightless and anticlimactic ending... Good though from beginning to end.

  • Greg
    2019-07-19 14:12

    I think that this was a very interesting book and well dipected what will become of society in the future. I think that this book is very similar to George Orwell's 1984 because they both invlove an invasion of privacy due to advancments in technology.

  • Denise
    2019-07-16 14:16

    I did not think I would like this techno-thriller type of book, but I devoured it! There is enough action away from the computers to hold the readers attention and just enough character development to make the book interesting.

  • Georgy Kuznetsov
    2019-06-26 18:10

    Great short read. Perfect for teens that are interested in technology. It's packed with action and mystery. Definitely worth the $20!!

  • Alexandria Grider
    2019-06-22 16:14

    I really liked this book. What i most like is how the author included all this information on computers and how they did it. I may have not understood half of it but i think it is a really good book.

  • Zack
    2019-06-28 19:59

    real good

  • Tammy Lewis
    2019-06-27 15:53

    The story begins with 17-year-old Sam and his friend Fargas hacking into Telecomerica, a large technology company, to get some of the latest tech (which includes a neuroheadset). They seem to get away with the hack, but Sam keeps feeling watched. They then go to a hacker's convention where the receive a tip that reveals that the real convention is taking place online in the White House. Sam hacks his way in and is caught, landing himself in juvie while awaiting trial. Scared that he is facing terrorism charges, which have been upper after Las Vegas was decimated by a nuclear bomb, he escapes. Only to be caught as he is making his way to the train station. He then finds out he was being put through a series of tests that would qualify him to join a division of the government that protects against hackers. While he is on probation, he and the rest of his team are alerted to the fact that something big is in the works. After their headquarters is mysteriously saved after being hacked Sam is convinced it was an inside job. Knowing he can't go throwing around accusations he only tells his partner of his suspicions and they agree to look into it quietly. In the meantime the whole team is upping their game and upgrading to nueroheadsets to prevent being hacked again. But the trouble still continues. They discover that the use of the nueroheadsets has created a collective consciousness that is brainwashing users and striking out at those it sees as threats, and it has just decided Sam is a threat. On the run for their lives, Sam and a couple of the uncorrupted members of his team set out to stop the collective consciousness before it can brainjack the world. In the end Sam has to confront the situation head on.Love this book. It is written in a way that makes you think you know about hacking if you don't, and laugh if you do. It touches on topics of ethics, death, responsibility, and budding relationships during your teenage years. But it still offers the interest that would make young adult readers want to read it. A great read for early teen years.

  • Richie Partington
    2019-07-06 15:00

    9 July 2010 BRAIN JACK by Brian Falkner, Random House, September 2010, 368p., ISBN: 978-0-375-84366-2; Libr. ISBN: 978-0-375-93924-2“Last month, the standards editor at The New York Times wrote a memo that shocked -- shocked! -- bloggers everywhere. He asked Times writers to avoid using the word ‘tweet’ (as in, ‘to say something on Twitter’). “’We don't want to seem Paleolithic,’ he wrote. ‘But we favor established usage and ordinary words over the latest jargon or buzzwords.’ “That the Internet’s reaction was so swift and harsh only proves the point: the techno-savvy population can't even conceive of the existence of a less savvy crowd. If you use jargon every day, you can't imagine that millions of people have no idea what you're talking about. “I do a lot of public speaking. And even today, when I ask my audience how many know what Twitter is, sometimes only a quarter of the hands go up. “The response depends a lot on where I'm giving the talk and the audience’s age. But one day it occurred to me: how would they know? All of these buzzy social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter sort of crept up on us. The government never mailed fliers to every household explaining what it’s all about.” -- from the July 7, 2010 New York Times Op-ed piece, "For Those Facebook Left Behind" by David Pogue (which I found through the headline on my personalized iGoogle home page).I have not heard a lot of the phrase "digital divide" in a while. But I did read the recent articles about Finland making access to broadband a legal right and President Obama pledging to expand broadband access throughout America. To me, a librarian who considers such tools essential for leveling the playing field on which we educate students in the Twenty-first century, this expansion of broadband is a positive thing. Not that I think everything about our brave new digital world is a plus. There are incredibly important privacy issues to be resolved -- if such resolution is at all possible. I also know that too many of us spend far too much time sitting in front of our laptops (like I am right now). It is summertime and I really should be making like Thoreau. (I am no Twitter aficionado. I think I already mouth off more than enough without starting to tweet, too.) You can bet that I am going to be a bit more mindful about the real dangers inherent in our digital world after reading nonstop through BRAIN JACK, a breathtakingly, fast-moving, futuristic, cyber-thriller about high school-age kids in which the population groups who are for and against the increasingly pervasive nature of the Internet end up warring against one another.It all begins with Sam Wilson sitting down in a cafe in lower Manhattan and hacking into the computer system in a high security building next door. Sam is a high school student and a hacker with extraordinary skills. In his successful attempt to alter some files on a server in the Telcoamerica buiding so that he can get himself and his best friend some free hardware, we observe Sam causing enough systems damage escaping detection (when tech people at Telcoamerica realize that their system has been compromised) that it takes three days for the Internet across America to be working at full speed again. The payoff for this invasion of Telcoamerica's system is a pair of top-of-the-line laptops and a pair of Neurotech neuro-headsets that are soon thereafter delivered to his door. These neuro-headsets are the newest in technology advances: one puts on the headset and it provides for thought recognition (you work on the computer using your mind in the same manner that we, today, have voice recognition programs for word processing).But what Sam missed, as he escaped out the back door of that cafe next to Telcoamerica, is that there was a security camera mounted out there.Sam's next caper: hack the White House in order to participate in a top-secret hacker's conference:"He scanned the disk structure of the big server."There were over thirty disk drives attached to the machine. He scrolled through the list of drives, wondering where to start. "One caught his eye. A tiny drive, just half a gigabyte. A fraction of the size of the others, which was why he noticed it. It was labeled 'NHC.'"It took a moment before that clicked."NHC! [email protected] Con! It had to be, he thought as he accessed the contents of the drive itself."The hackers had set up their own partition on one of the White House central server's disks and were using that for their meetings. On the drive was just a single file. An executable. A program. That would be the online-forum software he guessed. "His watch said it was 8:15. Too early. Not that he minded being early, but there might be risks in logging on too soon. The longer he was logged in, the greater the chance of being caught."He alt-tabbed to bring the Neuro-Sensor software to the front again, but even as he did so, he realized something strange. For the last twenty minutes, he had been crawling around inside the computer network of the White House. He had activated programs, spun data-webs, even written short bursts of code."But he hadn't touched the mouse of the keyboard at all."Utilizing that neuro-headset coupled with his unparalleled skills is how Sam is able to do all of this without touching the mouse or the keyboard. BRAIN JACK is the story of what happens after Sam is caught hacking the White House and after millions of people begin using these neuro-headsets.Oh, and the country is already beyond tense because Las Vegas was recently vaporized by a nuclear weapon that was detonated in a light plane on a charter flight.This is a red hot cyber suspense tale of extraordinary proportions. I dare you to tell me after reading BRAIN JACK that anything having to do with the Internet is one-hundred percent safe. And while it is quite possible that three-quarters of America will not even be able to understand half of what is being described in the prologue -- no less where the story takes us from there -- there will be a great number of teens who will find Sam Wilson's story to be the ultimate in reading experiences. Richie Partington, MLISRichie's Picks http://[email protected]

  • Matt
    2019-07-09 14:08

    Brain Jack by author Brian Falkner is a sci-fi thriller that takes place in a dystopic future-like world. In this technologically advanced world, Las Vegas has been decimated by a terrorist attack and black hawk helicopters patrol the skies above New York City. The most dangerous drug in this reality, is immersive online gaming. For the teenage hacker, Sam Wilson, a neuro headset is a need not a want. Neuro headsets connect your mind with the internet so you can control it with just a thought. Sam, with the new technology that he has acquired, he feels like he is invincible. So he decides to take on one of the most prestigious telecommunication companies cyberdefenses, and to his surprise, succeeds. This book is a very good read if you like futuristic settings and scenarios. Some of the language used can be a bit confusing at times without reading further into the book. There wasn't a cliffhanger whatsoever so it wouldn’t be able to form into a series. There were almost nothing that I disliked about this book. The one thing that i would have to say is a downfall, is that it isn't a longer series. There are books that you wish that would keep going on and on because they were such good reads and unfortunately this book doesn’t. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes sci-fi and books with dystopic futures.