Saturday, September 12, 2015

Playing With Fire by Sherry D. Ficklin Review

"One brilliant young hacker. One experimental government aircraft. One chance to keep it all from going up in flames. 
Still recovering from her troubled past, Farris is no stranger to change. But when the military transfers her father across the country to an experimental aircraft squadron, settling in to a new life is the least of her problems. As a series of apparent computer glitches threaten the security of the fleet and the blame falls on her father, she decides to put her computer skills to use digging up the truth. Soon she's drawn into the perilous world of a hacker who is determined to ground the fleet—at any cost. 
When all signs lead to someone close to her as the mastermind, Farris will have to burn more than bridges to get to the truth. She will have to risk her fragile new life to uncover the identity of the cyber criminal before they can escalate from harmless tampering… to all out murder."

NetGalley. Thanks for the copy.

Wow. Playing With Fire. I have seen a lot of hacker novels. There is Little Brother (which is probably the most accurate cracker/hacker novel I've seen yet), Model Spy (which is more spy than hacking but does occasionally involve hacking), and Double Digit (main character's sudden hacking ability makes present-me's eyes narrow, because coding involves more than just math; then again, her memory does come in handy). 

Playing With Fire is a mixture of both reality and fantasy. The hacking aspect of the story involves name-dropping operating system and types of viruses and other bugs. But the book also goes beyond name-dropping (well, at least for the viruses, not the operating systems). The author's research of hacking and cracking is more in depth than any other "hacker" books out there. 

Farris is a military brat. Moving from place to place, she never stays too long. Weighted down by her last attempt at queen bee (okay, maybe not queen bee, but that is the closest word I can come up with while being deadbeat and tired), she has a second chance at another military base. But she may become an outsider once again when she gets between the rivalry of two boys (who both like her; cue love triangle). 

The plot is incredibly slow. It sets up Farris' character, her social status (and sudden hotness at school), and the setting, but the actual disaster doesn't happen until halfway through the book. When it does happen, Ferris has the mystery (and possible murder) down to one suspect. But the book overshoots good foreshadowing into the territory of "way too much info." I can already tell who the villain really is... 

I have to applaud Ferris of being accepting of someone's mental issues. No spoilers on that particular character's identity. 

Overall, Playing With Fire is a decent novel. A good clean up would make the book even better (like shortening the beginning and less foreshadowing and more intrigue and more character development in the not-evil love interest). Entertaining towards the end. Possesses a good main character. 

Rating: Three out of Five

No comments:

Post a Comment