Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review: FALSE POSITIVES by Kim Aleksander




4 of 5 stars

Big Brother is watching you. The government is amassing great quantities of data about its citizens and feeding it all to a supercomputer that analyzes it for the purposes of weeding out anyone that poses a danger to the United States. It’s fiction, right? Who is to say, but this is the premise behind FALSE POSITIVES.

The story starts in 1973 when a brilliant UC Berkeley graduate student creates the first computer virus during a drug-induced haze. The program is loaded into the computer, but seemingly disappears without a trace. Fast forward to 2007 and traces of the virus are beginning to corrupt the US’s most powerful supercomputer. Marnie McCloud, a computer expert, is hired by the government to program “Junior” (her name for the supercomputer) and she is the one that begins to see traces of the virus in the recommendations of terrorists that “Junior” spits out. She takes it upon herself to try and track down the original programmer to undue the corruption, but there are some that don’t want her to find him.

The author takes the reader on a thrill ride that will keep the most die-hard thriller fans entertained.  Christian and Muslim ideology is featured extensively and Mr. Aleksander’s knowledge about these 2 religions as well as computer programming is impressive as he weaves a heart-pounding story. The characters are well-fleshed out and there are quite a few surprises revealed.

One criticism is that the book could use the eyes of a good editor. There were many typos throughout the book and they continued to jar me out the story. I also skipped over much of the computer programming paragraphs, not because they were inaccurate, but because I didn’t really care how the computer worked and I was eager to get back to the story. Recommended.

This book was provided by the World Literary Cafe.
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