Length: 1044 pages
Setting: present day, variously Asia and the Pacific Northwest
Interest: I’ve enjoyed other books by Stephenson (like Snow Crash) and decided to pick this one up when I saw it in the library.
Summary: We have a series of characters that interact and become entwined in events across the world. A computer virus scrambled some data bought by the Russian mafia, so they grab the hacker (Peter) and his girlfriend (Zula), who happens to be with him. They head to China to kill the author of the virus, but uncover a jihadist cell that uses the Russian jet to get to Canada. Zula’s uncle (Richard) is then blackmailed into helping the jihadists secretly cross into the U.S. and it all ends in a big shootout where the bad guys die and the good guys win.
Final thoughts: If you accept the premise that the same 10-15 individuals would keep running into each other across the world (which I had no problem with), the book is riveting. I had a hard time putting it down, which can be a problem with a 1000 page book. It was a nice mix of computer thriller and traditional espionage, with a fair amount of guns thrown in for fun. All the coincidences were logically explained, even if the chance of all those situations lining up was minimal.
Title comes from: The name of the computer virus that started the whole adventure. I will admit I had a big problem with the spelling mistake and found it jarring every time I saw the title.
Reading challenges fulfilled: None, since this is a review of a book read in a previous year
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