Today we are excited to be the final tour stop in the blog tour for Sam A. Patel’s Data Runner. Data Runner is a young adult science fiction/dystopian novel that was published on June 23, 2013 by Diversion Books.
About the Book
Data Runner by Sam A. Patel
Series: Data Runner #1
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication Date: June 25th 2013
Format: ebook, 231 pages
In the not-too-distant future, in what was once the old City of New York, megacorporations have taken over everything. Now even the internet is owned, and the only way to transmit sensitive information is by a network of highly skilled couriers called “data runners” who run it over the sneakernet.
It is a dangerous gig in a dirty world, but Jack Nill doesn’t have much choice in the matter. A brilliant young math whiz and champion of parkour, Jack must become one of these data runners in order to get his father out of a major gambling debt.
But when a mysterious stranger loads Jack’s chip with a cryptic cargo that everybody wants, he soon becomes the key figure in a conspiracy that could affect the entire North American Alliance. Now it’s all up to Jack.
With the help of his best friend, Dexter, and a girl who runs under the name Red Tail, Jack will have to use all his skills to outrun the retrievers and uncover the truth before they catch him and clip him for good.
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Before I start this review, I need to preface with two things: 1. I love science fiction. And I don’t just mean Doctor who and Across the Universe series. No, I love Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, comic books (or graphic novels), books about space and the future and aliens and all the other nerdy things that go into science fiction. I always have. I was a nerd when it wasn’t cool to be a nerd. And that brings me to 2. I love computer programming and science. Yes, you are looking at my high school’s Vice President of the Computer club. In fact, when I first went to college, my major was Computer Programming. Some days I wish I would have stuck with it. And I took AP chemistry for fun. I had no wish to test out of college courses, I just really loved chemistry.
So that being said, this book was right down my alley. It was an intelligent book full of ideas that sometimes I had to think on a bit. And while that may turn off a lot of readers, it completely drew me in. This book is not like any others I have read in the dystopian genre, and I absolutely loved every minute of it.
The beginning of the book is slow and almost informational overload. BUT, Patel does an amazing job of creating a world so real that I could actually see it in my mind. This would be a GREAT film, along the likes of In Time (Justin Timberlake & Amanda Seyfried). However, if you stick with the book, you will be rewarded with a really interesting story. We get to see a world that could really exist. The collapse of our economy coupled with the unreliability of data security created this world where people have to run the data from one place to another. This is the only way to securely see your information gets where it needs to go. So let’s just think on that for a minute — every secure e-mail, fax, telephone call, letter — are no longer secure. There is no such thing as privacy. I think we’ve all seen the beginnings of these things in our society, enough to take pause and see the road we could all be headed down.
Once the world is set and we understand who Jack is, the book is non-stop action. Jack and his friends were incredible at parkour. I was blown away by how Patel was able to perfectly balance the right amount of action versus dialogue. We still see relationships grow (Jack and his best friend, Dexter), blossom (Jack and Red Tail), fall apart (Jack and his dad), sprinkled in the midst of some kick butt moves.
And speaking of kick butt, Red Tail is awesome. She is a girl character in a mix of men and yet that isn’t why she stands out. Patel made Red Tail the rescuer of Jack, which was quite a flip from the normal damsel-in-distress plot lines we see in YA. And yet, she is also this girl who develops a relationship with Jack. We see a girl character who doesn’t have to be all hard ass or emotional. The romance is just enough that it adds to the story rather than becoming the story.
I will say I figured out the major twists. That didn’t make me like the book any less, but I do feel like Jack should have figured out at least one of them. I’m interested to see which was the next part of the story goes. This is a great book to give to your teenage boy. And they say there are no good books for guys in YA!
Overall: Four point five out of five stars
About the Author
Bio from author’s website:
I suppose it’s fitting that one of my literary idols, the late Ray Bradbury, was born in the month of August in Waukegan, Illinois. Because 53 years later, so was I. Not that I have ever dared to hold myself in his literary company, but it has always been my belief that lightning can strike twice.
Though born in the Midwest, I was transported to New Jersey when I was barely a year old and raised there on a healthy diet of sci-fi/horror movies, comic books, and roll-playing games. I was also very much into my computer, and at the age of 14 created my first node on the Internet when I ran a BBS on my Commodore 64 with a 300 baud modem. Throughout high school I subsisted mostly on a steady diet of Stephen King and Michael Crichton. But a few years later, while studying Engineering in college, I discovered Jack Kerouac, and it was his writing that would define my life over the next twenty years.
After changing majors several times, I eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Miami, and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from New York University. In the time since, I have stress-tested infrastructure for the national election data center, taught English in Japan, managed email servers in Portland, Oregon, and built exhibition booths in Melbourne, Australia.
The Data Runner is my first series.
Connect with Sam
Wanna see what others on the tour thought?
July 29: http://krweinert.com
July 31: http://booksandtheirworldlyrealm.blogspot.com/
August 1: http://arraabella.blogspot.com
August 2: http://suchanovelidea.com