Hacker School Trilogy: Training Human Rights Hacktivists Paperback – Mar 26 2011
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About the Author
"Civilization's progress has always been initiated by individuals balancing demands within their intimate groups against their personal needs for independence and identity. Social engineers and central planners always err at this point. What they endeavor is to convert humankind from small, intimate, flexible tribes into a collective with one mind (their mind of course). -- They want to make all the complex human herds and packs composed of individuals into a single hive of drones. They have always failed, they will always fail; for outstanding individuals will continue to emerge - imagining and accomplishing exceptional goals - changing everything." Allan R. Wallace
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Unfortunately, the story line and potential to explore an interesting possible future get left behind in the author's obvious desire to get his point across: all secrets are bad. This is delivered in the form of dialogue between characters who all agree with each other, leaving little room for character or plot development, and certainly never exploring a differing point of view.
His points are interesting and thought-provoking, but could have been even better if written either in an outright treatise or hidden artfully in excellent science fiction. Unfortunately, the book was neither.
Having said that, it was a quick read, and I don't really regret the time I spent on it. I guess I'd just like to see the author develop his talent into something great.
While somewhat lacking in character development, I am hoping that the next books in the series fill in the gaps. I definitely want to continue reading on.
The idea of a post-apocalyptic future where a group of young people come together to hack into pre-collapse information may have potential, but the story was hamstrung by the author's unyielding desire to hammer his audience with a ideological point of view. Can an ideological novel be successful? Definitely. Can an ideological novel be successful if the author sacrifices components of basic storytelling to serve his ideology? Unlikely.
Char, the main character, is an eleven-year-old who never acts like an eleven-year-old. She's always the smartest person in the room - and not just the smartest, but also the best at fighting. A grown man trained in fighting tells her that he's confident that she could beat him - why, I'm just not sure. Because she fought other kids? When she finally gets to the hacking school, they - knowing very little about her - let her know that they're basically building the entire school around her. She says she doesn't trust anybody, but she's willing to lap up all the pseudo-profound insights the main school admin gives her about information and the nature of freedom. When she wants to talk about something, they suspend school for three days to give her a chance to lecture everybody and then they tell she's graduated. I really don't understand why the author didn't make her character older - maybe it becomes clear in later stories.
It's a farrago of sophomoric "insights" about the free flow of information and wish fulfillment. Whenever you run into a character who is the best at everything ever, you have to wonder - who does this character represent for the author? She's certainly not like any real person you could ever run across. Every couple of pages you're getting a stream of clunky exposition and political theory mixed with blandly unrealistic characters.