It's a year and a half since the nightmarish events of Doctorow's thriller Little Brother, and Marcus Yallow and his girlfriend, Ange, are enjoying some down time at the Burning Man Festival (where Marcus has a very funny encounter with real-life Internet heroes John Perry Barlow, John Gilmore, Mitch Kapor and... Wil Wheaton). But then a meeting with his nemesis/ally, Masha, draws Marcus back into the hacktivist scene.

Masha gives Marcus a thumbdrive filled with evidence of corporate and government wrongdoing, and asks him to release it, Wikileaks-style, if she goes missing. But, unable to afford college, Marcus has landed a dream job as tech guru for a crusading political candidate, and doing so could cost his employer the election. Back in San Francisco, Marcus is being tailed by the same officials who kidnapped, interrogated and tortured him in the earlier novel--only now they're working for a private corporation, and even more dangerous. As Marcus rallies his friends, both virtual and IRL, to help, Doctorow ratchets up the suspense, telling another frightening tale of technology and homeland security gone out of control--while discoursing on how to keep what you do on the Internet private and how to make the perfect cup of coffee.

Marcus may remind readers of Aaron Swartz; in fact, the late Internet activist wrote an afterword to Homeland. While it isn't necessary to have read Little Brother to enjoy Homeland, together these novels will inspire teens to question how they use technology--and how it uses them. --Robin Lenz, managing editor, Shelf Awareness

Powered by: Xtenit