Hi, and welcome to a rainy Sunday here in Michigan! I hope you’re having a good weekend so far. It has been quite busy here around campus with Halloween coming up. I’m changing it up here a little to bring you a review of a book that came out this past month. Thank you to The Novl for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected the way I read and review it.
Title: Phantom Wheel
Author: Tracy Deebs
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Release date: October 16, 2018
My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars
Believing they have been recruited by the CIA, six teen hackers arrive in LA for a hacking aptitude test with the promise of a college scholarship and a job with the CIA after graduation. But one of the teens, Owen, walks out, refusing to participate. The other five decide to stay and complete the tests. When they finish, they leave feeling equally accomplished and unnerved.
Then silence-until they receive a text from Owen: You’ve been played. He’s uncovered evidence that the hackers created “Phantom Wheel,” the most devastating virus ever made. Jacento, the corporation behind it all, plans to use this virus to gain unprecedented access to personal data. And that’s just the beginning of the devastation. Can the teen hackers stop Phantom Wheel-and protect their own secrets from being revealed-before it’s too late?
This book starts a little slow, but it picks up after the five remaining hackers perform their hack. It is heavily plot driven and full of action. This was probably the best part of the book — it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
It’s told from three perspectives, and while this is really nice to see inside their heads, I felt that their voices bled together a little. I got a little lost trying to figure out who was telling the story sometimes. Overall, they were compelling and fun to get to know. I wish I had gotten to hear from the other characters too, but I can see being six voices being hard to keep track of.
I loved the setting and how detailed it was. I felt like I was right there with them as they untangled the web of lies.
As compelling as the story was, it wasn’t quite the right book for me. I wanted to like it more than I did, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it.
I highly recommend this to people who love sci-fi and high stakes. It was a fun read nonetheless.