Title: Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger #1)
Author: Jeff Adams
Narrator: John Solo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 12th, 2018
Genre: YA, Thriller
Page Count: 194
Audio Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 0.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Theo Reese is just an average high school student with a passion for hockey and an uncanny talent when it comes to computers… at least on the surface.
What his teammates, fellow students, and even his boyfriend don’t realize is that Theo leads a double life. When he’s not putting up his facade of normal, Theo is working as an agent for Tactical Operational Support, where his technical genius is more than just a hobby. At sixteen he is responsible for helping agents in the field and keeping the TOS network secure.
It’s a secret he has to keep—from everyone.
But secrecy becomes even harder when a hacker compromises the system TOS uses to track its agents and Theo’s dad goes missing. Theo must find him and stop the hacker, which means leaving the comfort of his computer screen and venturing into a very real and very deadly world.
And if that’s not enough to deal with, all the secrecy is really putting a strain on Theo’s love life.
This is book one in the Codename: Winger series.
Maybe I start to be repetitive but I have to admit (again) that this book could make a nice movie. Kind of Spy Kids, only with a bit older actors in the main role – a Spy Teen.
Theo Reese, our protagonist, is a sixteen-year-old student with outstanding computer skills. He is so good that already in his young age he becomes an indispensable member of the IT-Department of Tactical Operational Support, a secret government organization, in short TOC, where his parents work also as secret agents. Apart from his exceptional after-school-work, Theo is a normal teenager, who plays ice hockey, is not bad in school and likes to spend his free time with his boy-friend Eddie, who has no idea about a hidden double life of his dearest.
An unexpected hostile hacker attack on the TOC’s network puts not only the existence of the organization in a serious danger but also turns into a deadly danger to many agents, including his parents. It looks like Theo is the only one who can handle the situation. One expects from him fast action, a clear head and a high degree of professionalism. Will he be able to cope with this complicated task? Be prepared: There are many great twists that will keep you on the end of your seat.
I pretty much enjoyed this fast-paced-action story. It was suspenseful and entertaining at the same time. The characters are nicely developed, they are likable and very real, apart from Theo’s unusual after-school-job. I read it almost at the same time when a hacker scandal occupied our media: someone hacked our political system and disclosed the private contents of many politicians. To a huge surprise of the parties involved, it were not Russian hackers but a local student of 20 year old. The whole case was awkward (for our IT Government Security Services) and amusing (for the rest of the German population). So, maybe the part of Theo being a secret agent and working for a secret organization is not THAT fictional.
John Solo did a good job presenting different voices for different characters. But I needed some times to get used to his narration. One of the reason: he sounds much older than a sixteen-year-old guy. Actually his voice is of a forty-year old man. But his versatility in performance makes it almost completely well again. And at the end of the audio book I didn’t bother about his somewhat older protagonist voice.
My other issue is probably a lot of technical stuff in the story, especially when Theo brings his ingenious skill alive and when he is completely in his element. I can imagine that, for example, my mother would have a big problem to understand what is going on while Theo tries to safe his dad. On the other hand I can’t imagine how one could write a hacker novel totally avoiding the technical subject.
I would recommend this book in the first place for those fans of YA genre who have more or less an idea of how a computer works.
As a little note: it is NOT a romance novel. Theo and Eddie is an established couple.