Title: Little Brother and Homeland
Author: Cory Doctorow
Publisher: Tor Teen
Length: 384 and 400
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 and 3.5 Folded Pages
Blurb for Little Brother:
Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.
But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.
When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.
Summary for Homeland:
I wanted to ensure no spoilers for Little Brother would get through, so Homeland follows Marcus 2 years later. Marcus gets an information bomb dumped on him and he finds himself forced to do something about it. While still dealing with post-traumatic stress from earlier incidents, Marcus struggles to find the right path for him.
I really enjoy Cory Doctorow’s books though I fully understand his writing style isn’t for everyone. He tend to give the reader info dumps that last anywhere from a few paragraphs to a few pages. I personally enjoy these info dumps because that means he doesn’t have to explain the technology in the middle of the story but I understand how it can be tedious at times especially when it splits a particularly intense part.
I think what I enjoy most about this duology is that although Marcus sometimes has an inflated ego, he’s still just a regular boy. He struggles with what’s happening in his city just as much as everyone else but he falls into situations where he’s able to become the hero because he has useful skills. It’s not because he’s the chosen one, or because he has some hero complex. He sees an issue and tries to use technology to fix it. It just ends up blowing up in his face (literally sometimes) turning into a revolution.
I definitely liked Little Brother more as far as both novels go. It had better pacing and I think the side characters were so well rounded in it. Homeland’s pacing is a little slow and for the most part I think Marcus is the only character that’s truly fleshed out.
This series has a lot of technology terms that are hard to grasp even knowing a good amount about technology (like I do) and with the info dumps so if you don’t think you could keep up I wouldn’t suggest reading it. However, if you’re up for a bit of a reading challenge and some laugh out loud moments I think you should definitely but this series on your TBR.