God Of The Internet Review

Sunday, 22 January 2017


God Of The Internet by Lynn Lipinski
Rating: 3/5
Source: NetGalley
Released: 16th August 2016

When a hacker known as G0d_of_Internet hijacks millions of computers to do the bidding of an Islamic jihadist group, their first act is to disrupt the water treatment systems in Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles. Next, the power grids go down. Is this the start of a digitalworld war?

The only thing standing between the terrorists and their goal to weaponize the internet is a small band of white hat hackers, including cybersecurity guru Mahaz Al-Dossari and his wife Juliana.

The search is on for a couple hundred lines of code and a global hacker network before they can make good on their ultimate threat to divert money from the world’s banks. But G0d_of_Internet has been tracking their every move. And t’s Juliana, a PR manager lacking in technical skills, who may hold the key to unmasking the hacker.

I was intrigued by this book because of my new found love for the world of hacking thanks the Nerve by Jeanne Ryan and the Charlie Brooker TV series Black Mirror, I'm very much on technology at the moment. Excluding these examples this is not the type of text I would usually go for, with all the terrorism in the world I know how bad it makes me feel, nevertheless I gave God Of The Internet a go and I was not disappointed.

I'll get my one criticism out of the way early as it's a very personal issue, there's a lot of sophisticated technological jargon throughout the book. Even someone who considers themselves computer literate might struggle a little and to compensate, some things I felt were a little over explained to the point where it felt out of place. Lipinski's straightforward plotting means you don't lose anything from the book because of this but I felt it worth mentioning in order to make this an honest review.

The main characters Mahaz and Juliana have a complex relationship, him being very arrogant and condescending while she is very much under his spell despite his words and actions. To make matters worse there's a younger woman in the picture, taking the form of Mahaz's new media consultant. It's seems a very disjointed plot line in a book about computer hacking but I promise it all comes together and you really feel for Juliana as the book progresses.

Juliana wants to be free but has to do what she believes is right thing by her children, with Mahaz threatening to take them back to Saudi Arabia, where the culture and medical attention their son needs would be far different, we have to accept that Juliana is doing what's best. While she is dealing with all of this, Mahaz has brought Juliana in on the team working to stop the virus being spread by pen name; God_of_Internet.

For a book about terrorism, God Of The Internet isn't overly preachy and one sided, the story respects that there are a mix of good and bad hackers out there. While the bad characters can use a computer as a means of terrorism, there are also good hackers fighting for us to save the day. With all the news about computer hacking from smart phones to webcams, it all feels very relevant, it's not unlike something that could happen tomorrow, people are getting smarter when it comes to technology and this creates fear as you read.

I did figure out the villain quite early on in the book but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of Lipinski's storytelling whatsoever. I would recommend this book especially to anyone who is interested in current events or as mentioned above, the TV series Black Mirror.

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