Review: Assured Destruction – Michael F. Stewart
Jan Rose is not your everyday sixteen-year-old teenager. She’s a genius through and through, something not even her mother truly acknowledges. At times, she’d rather be just an ordinary teenager, though she can’t deny that she loves the fact that she can do just about anything she puts her mind to. She’s awesome at Photoshop. She can crack a computer in two seconds flat, and she’s good at reinventing herself. So much so, that she has own personal computer army at her disposal.
Her mother owns and operates Assured Destruction, a software/computer shredding/resetting business out of their home. If there’s something no one needs to know, they come to their shop to get their data wiped or completely destroyed. For Jan, the business has worked to her advantage. She’s kept a little something, here and there, from the people who have come to get rid of data/hardware they no longer need. It’s how she came to create her beloved network called Shadownet.
For Jan, her network is her life. It allows her to be whomever she wants, and make use of the Internet’s anonymity. Granted, her personas were built around actual people, but they allow her to live a precarious life without having someone else look down her back at every turn. When her livelihood and several of the real life persons whose personas she’s undertaken are threatened, she soon realizes something is definitely amiss.
She’s not exactly sure as to who could want to cause her harm, much less wreak havoc on the lives of those she’s pretended to be. This entire time she thought she was careful. That no one else knew of the unique world she’s created for herself. Sadly, she wasn’t as careful as she thought she was. Determined to find out who’s behind the recent attacks, Jan sets out to build a trap in hopes of bringing the culprit to justice, once and for all. Unfortunately, she’ll need to stay alive long enough to make that happen.
This was a delightful start to a very promising series. An original tale, the reader finds him/herself immersed in the life and times of Jan Rose, a teenage hacker immersed in a world of her own. She’s lived a quiet life, though her online profile is anything but. With a slew of personalities at her fingertips, she’s built a lucrative network that can crack just about anything. Michael has built a world full of characters that anyone can relate to. A world where nothing is as safe as it appears to be. I’m looking forward to what comes next in this series.
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You can learn a lot about someone looking through their hard drive…
Sixteen-year-old Jan Rose knows that nothing is ever truly deleted. At least, not from the hard drives she scours to create the online identities she calls the Shadownet.
Hobby? Art form? Sad, pathetic plea to garner friendship, even virtually? Sure, Jan is guilty on all counts. Maybe she’s even addicted to it. It’s an exploration. Everyone has something to hide. The Shadownet’s hard drives are Jan’s secrets. They’re stolen from her family’s computer recycling business Assured Destruction. If the police found out, Jan’s family would lose its livelihood.
When the real people behind Shadownet’s hard drives endure vicious cyber attacks, Jan realizes she is responsible. She doesn’t know who is targeting these people or why but as her life collapses Jan must use all her tech savvy to bring the perpetrators to justice before she becomes the next victim.
About The Author:
Michael sees writing as a brilliant excuse to tramp across the world, and it has taken him abroad as a leader of Antarctic expeditions, crew of a tug boat on the Baltic Sea, paddling the Zambezi River, climbing in Sumatra, spelunking in Belize and, of course, singing inside the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid while lying in its rose-colored sarcophagus.
Travel and a fascination with reading and religion spawned 24 Bones, which draws from Egyptian myth and is influenced by Jungian and Gnostic themes. Re-released in 2013.
His second novel, a 2011 Epic Award Finalist, is closer to home but a setting no less exotic, the Alberta Tar Sands. A horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire titled THE SAND DRAGON.
In 2012, HURAKAN launched: a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle.
In addition, a full length graphic novel THE TERMINALS is in production and has already been optioned for film and television.
His four YA graphic novels for the Texty Award winning Boldprint series are published by Oxford University Press Canada.
He’s very excited to be publishing the Assured Destruction Series in 2013.
In addition to his writing career, Michael is a four time world champion dragon boat athlete, father of four girls, and husband. He tries very hard to keep life an adventure both on and off the page.
Michael is represented by Talcott Notch.
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