Wednesday, February 24, 2016



by N. K. Traver


In private, seventeen-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. He should know: he's worked hard to maintain that fa├žade. With inattentive parents who move constantly from city to city, he''s learned not to get tangled up in things like friends and relationships. So he'll just keep living like a machine, all gears and wires.
Then two things shatter his carefully-built image: Emma, the kind, stubborn girl who insists on looking beneath the surface - and the small matter of a mirror reflection that starts moving by itself. Not only does Brandon''s reflection have a mind of its own, but it seems to be grooming him for something--washing the dye from his hair, yanking out his piercings, swapping his black shirts for . pastels. Then it tells him: it thinks it can live his life better, and it's preparing to trade places.
And when it pulls Brandon through the looking-glass, not only will he need all his ill-gotten hacking skills to escape, but he''s going to have to face some hard truths about who he''s become. Otherwise he'll be stuck in a digital hell until he's old and gray, and Emma and his parents won''t even know he's gone.

My thoughts:

A mind-bending, original story that teens are going to love. Brandon is a high-school senior with a bad boy persona with a highly developed skill as a computer hacker. He spends his spare time hacking into secure accounts, stealing credit card numbers to fund his fetish for fast cars and tattoos. But one day, Brandon sees his reflection in a mirror doing things it’s not supposed to be doing. Little by little, his reflection—which he names “Obran” or Other Brandon—informs Brandon that he is getting ready to trade places with Brandon.  Brandon has been a bad boy and Obran is going to do better.  On the day Obran is successful Brandon wakes up in a prison cell-like room, where a computer voice informs him that he has been incarcerated for computer hacking, and must serve out a twenty-year sentence as part of something called Project Duplicity. In the meantime the duplicate Obran will be living Brandon’s life.  A computer entity named JENA now controls his every waking—and sleeping—moments, forcing him to work on computer codes. Brandon knows that Obran, his lookalike, has taken over his real life, and he’s desperate to get home.

Traver’s story, with its lightning-fast pace, richly imagined virtual world, and  mind-bending plot twists will keep readers glued to the page.

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