Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Silence of the Six by EC Myers (Adaptive Books)

I review E.C. Myers’ The Silence of the Six, a young adult novel published by Adaptive Books.

“What is the silence of six, and what are you going to do about it?”

These are the last words uttered by 17-year-old Max Stein’s best friend, Evan: Just moments after hacking into the live-streaming Presidential debate at their high school, he kills himself.

Haunted by the image of Evan’s death, Max’s entire world turns upside down as he suddenly finds himself the target of a corporate-government witch-hunt. Fearing for his life and fighting to prove his own innocence, Max goes on the run with no one to trust and too many unanswered questions.

Max must dust off his own hacking skills and maneuver the dangerous labyrinth of underground hacktivist networks, ever-shifting alliances, and virtual identities — all while hoping to find the truth behind the “Silence of Six” before it’s too late.

I’ve been interested in reading something from E.C. Myers ever since I heard about his Fair Coin novel when it was initially released. However, The Silence of the Six is actually the first time I’ve got the chance to read something by the author, and as it turned out, it didn’t disappoint, delivering a fantastic young adult novel that makes for a refreshing break from all the no-hope, dark, frequent love-triangle featuring dystopian dramas that young adult has been filled with ever since The Hunger Games was released. It’s similar to that of Kim Curran’s awesome Glaze, another young adult novel which I can highly recommend, and has several things going for it, and on top of the similarities with Glaze, I also couldn’t help be reminded of the awesome Person of Interest whilst I was reading the book, even if obviously they are too very different things. So it’s always a good sign when the novel not only can be comparable with one of my favourite young adult reads of this year, but also my favourite TV Series that’s currently on air.

The Silence of the Six explores a fascinating complex. Max Stein, a seventeen year old former hacker turned one of the most popular kids in school, complete a girlfriend named Courtney, finds his life turned upside down when his best friend Evan kills himself just moments after hacking into the live-streaming Presidential debate at their local high school. It isn’t long before he finds himself the target of the corporate-government, and with things looking increasingly desperate, he’s found himself constantly pushed into a corner with allies decreasing at every passing second.

The characters themselves are great, well developed and constantly grow over the course of the novel. Max gets the most notable development as the main character, but also there’s a good role for Courtney among other characters. It handles the situation realistically and really is a good book for making you think about what goes on behind the scenes, with the novel exploring the world of hackers which is something that works both in the novel’s favour and against it.

For example, someone who isn’t that big on advanced computer technology it can be a lot to stomach the details. Despite this though, the book should provide a very entertaining read, with plenty of stuff going on from start to finish. It might not quite be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was something that I really ended up loving. It got better and better as things progressed and by the end of the novel I was struggling to put it down.

The Silence of the Six is a pretty brilliant read and if you like good, mystery/thriller young adult novels set in a modern day setting then you’ll certainly get a kick out of E.C. Myer’s latest. Even if you’re not necessarily an avid reader of young adult, if stuff like Person of Interest (like I’ve already mentioned) and Watch Dogs is your sort of thing then The Silence of the Six should be right up your street. Recommended.

VERDICT: 8.5/10

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