The jiffy bag containing the first copies of ALIAS has arrived and I’m really pleased with the look of the book. It complements HACKED perfectly. The lag between finishing the contents and actually seeing a saleable copy is a strange time. I try not to let myself think of all the tiny touches that might have made the story better, convincing myself instead that too much fiddling is a bad thing. Opening the cover and reading the first page, I pray that all the eyes that have checked and checked again haven’t missed a typo. Seems all right. The book won’t be released until the official launch date so for a short while I can muse on how it will be received. Lots of the readers of HACKED said they couldn’t wait to hear the other side of the story and see where Angel went after the drone attack on London. Let’s hope they’re not disappointed. HACKED was set in Bristol, where I live. Angel’s story starts in Buckingham, where I grew up, has a temporary home in rural Norfolk and ends up in Leeds. I flick through, reading the odd paragraph, then settle on the last page. As a reader, I appreciate a good ending. Does Angel’s story finish with a flourish? I think it does.
Very pleased with this review on http://www.darkmatterzine.com/
A review by Nalini Haynes.
Dan Langley is your typical 16-year-old geek except for his affinity with code. He goes down the rabbit hole to get an adrenaline rush from hacking, escalating his exploits on a dare from Angel, another hacker he only met online. Before he knows it, Dan has hacked the US military network and might be complicit in the theft of a strike drone.
From script kiddies to the dark net, Counter Strike to Starcraft II, Tracy Alexander knows her stuff. Like in other hacking movies (Wargames, Hackers) the mechanics of hacking is glossed over. The current era of wikileaks and US extradition with threats of Guatanamo Bay-style treatment of prisoners is prevalent with mentions of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange among others.
Hacked should be compulsory reading for all teenage computer geeks, many adult computer geeks and all parents of teenage geeks. Because one book speaking the language trumps lectures from a “dinosaur” every time. When my son was at school, script kiddies regularly dumped the school printers’ ink, which was hilarious until you need to print an assignment and all of the printers are out of ink. [My son knew if he was one of those script kiddies and he was caught, he was banned from the computer for the rest of high school. >:-]
I’m giving Hacked five stars for voice, plot, pacing, relevance and currency. Read it. Pass it on. Make sure it’s in all the libraries in all the schools. Kgo.
During the literacy celebrations in the lead up to World Book Day Tracy Alexander, author of HACKED, visited Hans Price Academy and talked to the whole of year seven about literature, creative writing and being an author as well as holding a question and answer session and reading an extract from her brilliant book.
The students were gripped from start to finish and bursting with questions for Tracy about everything from writing habits and getting a book published to computer hacking and just exactly how a professional author would know about “aimbots” in computer games?
It was amazing to see an author at school and Tracy Alexander was really interesting and really funny. I already like to write but it inspired me to think about writing a book! Amelia
It was amazing and I liked talking to her about what inspired her to write a book. I asked who inspired her and she said that she gets inspiration from her children. After school that day I started writing my own book. Becca
I found Tracy Alexander’s visit very interesting, especially talking about military drones and hacking. I asked whether there was going to be a sequel to HACKED and there is and I’m excited about it. I suggested another book and Tracy Alexander said it sounded like a great idea and maybe I should write it myself. We learnt what makes up a good story and found out what happens in HACKED without spoiling the ending so we can read it and find out ourselves! Alistair
I enjoyed finding out how authors get their inspiration and learnt that it is good to plan out a story, not just rush into writing it. I’d love more authors to visit the school! Ethanial
I knew from the second Tracy Alexander started talking that it was going to be really exciting! We learnt so much and Tracy Alexander was really lovely. I bought HACKED and had it signed and I can’t wait to read it and then write a review which I can send to Tracy Alexander for her website. Lottie