An exhilarating thrill ride through the underbelly of cyber espionage in the vein of David Ignatius' The Director and the television series Leverage, CSI: Cyber, and Person of Interest, which follows five iconoclastic hackers who are coerced into serving the US government.
An Anonymous-style rabble-rouser, an Arab Spring hacktivist, a black-hat hacker, an old-school cipherpunk, and an online troll are each offered a choice: go to prison or help protect the United States, putting their brains and skills to work for the government for one year.
But being a white hat doesn't always mean you work for the good guys. The would-be cyberspies discover that behind the scenes lurks a sinister NSA program, an artificial intelligence code-named Typhon that has origins and an evolution both dangerous and disturbing. And if it's not brought down, it will soon be uncontrollable.
Can the hackers escape their federal watchers and confront Typhon and its mysterious creator? And what does the government really want them to do? If they decide to turn the tables, will their own secrets be exposed - and their lives erased like lines of bad code?
Combining the scientific-based, propulsive narrative style of Michael Crichton with the eerie atmosphere and conspiracy themes of The X-Files and the imaginative, speculative edge of Neal Stephenson and William Gibson, Zer0es explores our deep-seated fears about government surveillance and hacking in an inventive, fast-paced novel sure to earn Chuck Wendig the widespread acclaim he deserves.
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Action, Humor, & Sharp Commentary on Technology
Enjoyable near-future SF, with the focus on cyber issues and AI/IA. Wendig has taken a slice of life and built the plot around five characters who represent common hacker stereotypes but manage to become more than mere caricatures. You have a white hat hacker/hacktivist, a black hat, an old school cyberpunk turned conspiracy theorist/prepper, classic social engineer, and an internet troll. They all have layers and secrets, and strengths that compliment one another. The story has plenty of action and uses the characters and their interaction to poke fun at and highlight the dangers of our interconnected society. The book is not perfect and the penultimate climax/resolution feels a little pat, though not exceedingly so. Nonetheless, I look forward to other books by Wendig, including the well-reviewed follow-up to this book, Invasive.
- S. Yates
frighteningly real fast paced entertainment!