Since Marcus started up the Xnet and exposed the government in Little Brother, everything has gone downhill. After the economy the crashes and leaves him with nothing, his former rival Masha shows up with a mysterious USB drive containing a load of dark secrets. She warns Marcus to leak the info on the drive if she ever goes missing, which she promptly does. However, in his new job as a webmaster for an independent candidate, Marcus can’t afford to let anyone know that he’s the leaker. Cory Doctorow’s brilliant book, a sort of wake-up call that shows the dark side of technology, is a thrilling read. I would recommend this series to most if not all avid readers, regardless of age or genre preference.
On the one hand, For the Win reads like a video game ad. Cory Doctorow describes, with childlike delight, his ideas for massive multi-player online role-playing games with titles like “Svartalfheim Warriors” and “Zombie Mecha” in such painstaking detail that the reader has to wonder why he chose a career as a novelist instead of a game designer. But then the other face of the book shows itself, the professional, educational side that balances out Doctorow’s nerdy fantasies with lessons on economics, of all things. At first, pairing unions and finance with video games seems an odd strategy, but when Doctorow starts drawing parallels between the two, the offline world he’s created is fleshed out as fully as his online ones. There are characters, mostly impoverished gold farmers and corrupt businessmen; there’s a plot, even if it only appears between video game descriptions and economics lessons. But the real meat of the book, the part that Cory Doctorow fans old and new will recognize as part of the author’s style, has nothing to do with the characters or plot. Rather, all the substance lies in novel’s empowering message, its inspiring moral about equality, freedom—and video games. Andrew R. ’17
Terrorists have attacked San Francisco. The Department of Homeland Security takes a high school computer genius, Marcus, and his friends without any explanation to be brutally interrogated. Once released, Marcus finds that the government has turned his beloved city into a police state. Everyone is a potential threat. In order to bring down the paranoid authorities, he must figure out a way to bring the truth about the DHS to light. Armed with only his computer, Marcus sets a rebellion in motion larger than he could have dreamed possible. Reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, Little Brother is a novel of the future – where fighting is done through technology and anyone can change the world. Lovers of dystopian fiction, this is the one for you. – Naomi M. ‘16