I was contacted by Guardian Teen Books to take a look at Root, an interactive story in partnership with Random House that is available to read online at guardian.co.uk/teen-books. Can I just say I am completely hooked and in love with this concept. I read through the first sixteen chapters and anxiously wait for the next ones. If you are a fan of conspiracy and espionage combined with the talents of memorable computer hackers than this is something you should definitely check out.
Molly Root is a young teen who’s friend Danny a fellow hacker, has desperately enlisted her help in his attempted murder. Molly herself an impressive talent grabs her “go” bag in the hopes of being able to help Danny. Unfortunately she wakes the next morning to the news, reporting that Danny is dead. In an attempt to find Danny’s killer Molly will have to enlist other hackers to bring down the corporations that took her friends life. She currently now has journeyed through London with Piotr, a Russian teen who is often hired by corporations to try to break into their security systems, and has served as a big help for Molly.
For a story that has brief chapters I really am surprised by how much character background I have received in a short amount of time. This is something that anyone can still start and get caught up with quickly. Molly is an intelligent young woman who thinks on her feet and is likable the instant you read about her. She’s a girl with a back up plan always in mind. She is never unbelievable as a hacker based on her knowledge. When she asks for the help of Piotr the story does get more interesting just from his knowledge alone. These two characters manage to take you in a world of computer hacking that does not confuse the reader. It always seems to make sense because Molly and Piotr are believable.
I think the idea of getting the readers involved in the story is great. It was the perfect touch of story interaction when I was able to play the actual voice mails that Molly was hearing when the story took a major turn. Also through Guardian Teen Books you can take quizzes based on your knowledge of the story, and vote on characters that you want to see written in Root. Pretty cool idea to include the reader as part of Root but also to get young people to think creatively about characters they may want to see and how the story may change because of them.
Root really is something worth taking a look at. It’s something quick to read while waiting in line at the movies, maybe on break at work, or just because you’re hooked like me. Lovers of the Bourne Identity movies, Oceans 11, and Mission Impossible would be an audience that would take to Root. It’s something special that I hope to see more of from Guardian Teen Books; it really does have that young flare that I can see teens and adults enjoying. I still can’t stop talking about it with people so I strongly advise that you check out Root and read it now for free. Trust me you’ll be hooked.