Against All Silence Packs In Action and Tech for a Great Read

Posted by at 9:01 am on August 22, 2016

41BBUt-GdsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_In E.C. Myers’ book, “The Silence of the Six,” 17-year-old Max Stein’s best friend Evan kills himself just moments after hacking into the live-streaming presidential debate at their high school. Then, Max’s entire world is upended as he suddenly finds himself the target of a corporate-government witch hunt. Fearing for his life and fighting for his own innocence, Max goes on the run with no one to trust and too many unanswered questions. Max dusts off his own hacking skills and maneuvers through the dangerous labyrinth of underground hacktivist networks, ever-shifting alliances and virtual identities–all the while hoping to find the truth behind the “Silence of Six” before it’s too late.

In the the sequel, “Against All Silence, Myers picks up again with Max some six months after the close of the first book. Max has parted company with the group of hacker friends who brought down the social networking service Panjea, exposing an international network of corporate and government corruption. Max is on an educational exchange in France, trying to put some distance between himself and his hacking activities and to hopefully locate his mother, who left when he was five years old.

As Max makes his way through the airport for a holiday flight to return home, he’s suddenly pulled aside by security officials which is just the first in a series of adventures. Stranded in Europe, he receives a cryptic message from his friend Penny, to meet in Berlin. Eventually Max also gets information on the whereabouts of his mother, and becomes embroiled in another web of intrigue surrounding technology, Internet freedom and dubious roles played by governments and big corporations in the shadow world of the dark web.

I had not read The Silence of the Six when we got the review copy of “Against All Silence” but I jumped right into the story anyway and wasn’t disappointed. Right away, I took a liking to the main character Max. He has the concerns and reactions of a young adult, faced with modern concerns and and issues. When he once again gets involved in hacking with his friend Penny, he has several junctures where he makes weighty decisions regarding whether he should act in his own self-interest or for the greater good, when those around his have questionable motives. Even his friend Penny initially has more than one agenda, leaving Max with some doubt as to just who can be trusted.

Myers does a good job of making the characters interesting and relate-able. He provides enough information for a reader who’s new to the series to be able to follow the action, without weighing the pace down with too much background info. He also manages to work the previous events into the present timeline, so the reader isn’t left feeling as though the Cliffs Notes version of the first book in the series was shoved randomly into the second.

The language isn’t complex and technical specifics are somewhat glossed over, with Myers only giving the bare minimum of jargon needed to keep the plot moving forward. This makes it approachable as a thriller with geek overtones, with much of the action having the feeling of a spy novel. The pacing is even and Myers does a good job of weaving in of the moment themes like Internet freedom, privacy and social activism. I’ll be looping back to check out the first book of the series, since I found this one enjoyable. Like the Insurgence, Maze Runner and The Hunger Games series, this is one that is likely to appeal to an age range well beyond the traditional YA demographic, so be sure to give it a read.

Against All Silence is written by E.C. Myers and published by Adaptive books. It is available on August 23, 2016.

Corrections:  A previous version of this post had the author as E.C. Meyers and the release date as September 23, 2016.

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