CM . . . . Volume XX Number 8 . . . . October 25, 2013
Sixteen-year-old Janus works for her single mother in their business after school. Assured Destruction is a small firm specializing in the guaranteed shredding and destruction and recycling of old hard drives. At least that is what Janus is supposed to do with them. Instead, she has been known to take certain drives of people she recognizes and then to create new mirror identities out there in the virtual world, her Shadownet. If the authorities ever found out, she would be in serious trouble, and she and her mother would probably lose the business.
The tale covers a wide range of topics. At school, Janus is torn between the interest in her being expressed by two very different boys. At the request of friends, she has been known to engage in what she feels are minor acts of cyber-bullying. She does not approve of her mother's new, older, boyfriend. And to make matters even worse, someone is suddenly waging cyber attacks against those same people whose hard drives she has used to create her Shadownet. Trouble at school due to her lack of applying herself to her in-class and homework is compounded by the sinister forces that seem to be tracking her. Being stubborn, and much too clever for her own good, instead of going to the police, or even her mother, and confessing what is going on, Janus decides to track down the villains by herself. Of course, she runs into serious trouble.
A story that turns out that all's-well in the end, while leaving room for sequels, at 183 pages, divided into 25 chapters, Assured Destruction falls into the Young Adult Mystery category. There is a page of author bio and one of acknowledgments. Given the current interest in the subject of cyber-bullying, it is a topical tale for the reader interested in the virtual world and what sorts of difficulty someone could find themselves in when they don't follow the rules.
Ronald Hore, a member of several writing groups, pens medieval-style fantasy and fantasy detective stories in Winnipeg, MB.
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