“Hacker (Outlaw Chronicles),” Ted Dekker

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Image courtesy of Worthy Publishing

My name is Nyah and I’m a hacker. I know things most people would never believe. Things that shouldn’t exist, but do.” 

Seventeen year old Nyah Parks is a genius hacker whose world is unraveling. Desperate and with no other choice, Nyah turns her programming skills to cracking the firewalls of the world’s largest corporations. She exposes their weaknesses, and then offers her services to secure their systems from hackers.

But when the most dangerous job of her life backfires and forces her to go on the run, she encounters an impossible reality that shouldn’t exist, but does.

A hack unlike any other. A hack that will take her beyond the firewall of the human brain itself. A hack, which may be the only way to save her mother now.

What if there was a way to tap into the unseen reality that surrounds us all? Would you hack in? How far would you go to find the answers to your deepest questions? The answer lies deep beyond the firewall.

As part of the FirstLook Blog Tour Worthy Publishing provided a Q&A with Ted Dekker which adds good background to the above teaser.

My Review

”I wonder what sort of tale we’ve fallen into?”

I was reminded of Sam Gamgee’s (from Lord of the Rings) famous moment of pondering as I read Hacker.

This is classic Ted Dekker: exploring the visible and the invisible as he takes the reader on a heart-thumping thriller of a ride. Nyah Parks is a fascinating lead character. Still not twenty but a genius who has developed such a clever business model: hack corporations security lines, then demonstrate to them the ease of doing it and offer her services to secure their systems from others like her.

It scares me to think that this is likely to be a reality in today’s high tech world. I find it fascinating the analogy of a hacker stealing people’s ‘natural’ identities to that which Satan and his cronies are doing all the time in the invisible: seeking to rob people of their God-designed eternal identities.

And it is with this background that we journey with Nyah and her only friend, Austin, as they use their hacking talents to go where no hacker has ever been. Austin needs a cure and fast or else the tumour growing in his brain will kill him so he chooses to use his skills to break into the greatest computer ever created: the human brain.

But in so doing they discover far more than a medical cure, they inadvertently find the key to discovering life’s true meaning.

Hacker has a futuristic sci-fi aspect to it with the mind travel. Dekker writes so well I didn’t dwell on the believability of the ‘invisible’ world he creates. As Nyah and Austin’s travels are time-bound Dekker draws us into their “hacks” as we rush searching, always searching, for answers, for hope, for safety.

This fast pace is mirrored in the natural as Nyah races to save her mum and to escape the corporate henchman who needs to catch and eliminate her for cracking their systems and finding secrets with far-reaching consequences.

Dekker challenges the reader to reflect on our identities in the physical and invisible worlds and encourages us to set off on our own adventures to explore notions of surrender (or ‘Deditio’ in Latin), selfless love, contentment and trust.

I definitely enjoyed this Chronicle more than the second one, Water Walker. I continue to marvel at how Dekker manages to carry small “connecting threads” throughout so many of his novels over so many years. Connecting two or more threads across his novels is always an “a-ha” moment for me. In saying that, each of the Chronicles can be read in isolation without losing continuity.

Highly recommended.

A PDF copy of this title was made available for review via Worthy Publishing’s First Look blog program in exchange for an honest review. The words I have shared are my own. I was not required to give a positive review.

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