Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Assured Destruction, Michael F. Stewart (4.5 stars) - Review & Giveaway

Assured Destruction Book Summary
Sixteen-year-old Jan Rose knows that nothing is ever truly deleted. At least, not from the hard drives she scours to create the online identities she calls the Shadownet.

Hobby? Art form? Sad, pathetic plea to garner friendship, even virtually? Sure, Jan is guilty on all counts. Maybe she’s even addicted to it. It’s an exploration. Everyone has something to hide. The Shadownet’s hard drives are Jan’s secrets. They're stolen from her family’s computer recycling business Assured Destruction. If the police found out, Jan’s family would lose their livelihood.

When the real people behind Shadownet’s hard drives endure vicious cyber attacks, Jan realizes she is responsible. She doesn’t know who is targeting these people or why but as her life collapses Jan must use all her tech savvy to bring the perpetrators to justice before she becomes the next victim.


Janus (Jan) Rose shoulders a lot of responsibility at the young age of sixteen. She not only takes care of her mother, who suffers from MS, but she spends many hours working at the family business... Assured Destruction, a computer recycling business. 

When costumers come in with computers, Jan sees a wealth of possibility and creates her own world--Shadownet. There she creates caricatures of people she knows based on school experience and, when she's lucky enough to get her hands on it, their own hard drives.

But then the real people behind her creations become victims of cyber attacks. Did someone manage to hack the hacker? As she pieces together the clues, Jan's life starts to spin out of control. Can she fix the mess she innocently started? Even if she can, will she be labeled a criminal?

Jan is a surprisingly deep character, one searching for answers through her own creations. Those Twitter creations are both hilarious and informative, helping to define who our heroine really is. Beyond typical teenage issues, she's caring for an ailing mom who decides it's time to start online dating. 

In addition to memorable characters, the plot is fast-paced and entertaining. Full of twists and turns, the who of the who-done-it surprised me. By the end, I was glad to know this was the first book of a series. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble Jan can get herself into next time. 

I highly recommend Assured Destruction to readers who appreciate a page-turner with a litany of characters to care about. This generation has an interesting connection to all things electronic--even their social scene has gone viral thanks to social media. It's the perfect backdrop for modern teen stories, and Michael Stewart crafts a world where even the computer characters are three-dimensional. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Michael F. Stewart's Bio

After crewing ships in the Antarctic and the Baltic Sea and some fun in venture capital, Michael anchored himself (happily) to a marriage and a boatload of kids. Now he injects his adventurous spirit into his writing with brief respites for research into the jungles of Sumatra and Guatemala, the ruins of Egypt and Tik’al, paddling the Zambezi and diving whatever cave or ocean reef will have him. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and SF Canada, and the author of the Assured Destruction series, 24 Bones, The Sand Dragon, Hurakan, Ruination and several award winning graphic novels for young adults.

Find out more: website, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads.

This is a blog tour, please visit the Assured Destruction blog tour page for more stops.

Buy Assured Destruction on Amazon: paperback and Kindle.


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Note: I received a complimentary copy from Tribute Books for review purposes. No other compensation was received. A positive review was not guaranteed or requested; the views expressed are my own.

For more information on Tribute Books, please visit their website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


Michael F Stewart said...

Thank you so much for the great review, Tia. Love how you felt that even the virtual characters come to life. That's important to me. :) Still working out some of the kinks, but did you know you can actually follow Heckleena on Twitter? If you tweet at her, she heckles back!

Tribute Books said...

Tia, I agree! Michael's use of the Twitter avatars to add depth to Janus' character is brilliant. Thanks for the wonderful review :)