Blog Tour: Data Runner by Sam A. Patel + Giveaway (CLOSED)Thursday, August 01, 2013
(Started: July 09, 2013; Finished: July 24, 2013)
In the not-too-distant future, in what was once the old City of New York, megacorporations have taken over everything. Now even the internet is owned, and the only way to transmit sensitive information is by a network of highly skilled couriers called “data runners” who run it over the sneakernet. It is a dangerous gig in a dirty world, but Jack Nill doesn’t have much choice in the matter. A brilliant young math whiz and champion of parkour, Jack must become one of these data runners in order to get his father out of a major gambling debt. But when a mysterious stranger loads Jack’s chip with a cryptic cargo that everybody wants, he soon becomes the key figure in a conspiracy that could affect the entire North American Alliance. Now it’s all up to Jack. With the help of his best friend, Dexter, and a girl who runs under the name Red Tail, Jack will have to use all his skills to outrun the retrievers and uncover the truth before they catch him and clip him for good. (From Goodreads)Review: 4 stars
Released on: June 25, 2013
Source: Diversion Books through Netgalley
Shelf: Goodreads, Shelfari
Available on: Amazon
First of with the cover, it was very futuristic. You'll know from there what will be the focus of the book. It screams technology and how it will be twenty or thirty years from now. The numbers also reminded me of the Matrix.
Anyway, I've always wondered how the internet really works, how it goes straight to our computers, tablets, etc. It made me think if it's tangible, if it goes through wires like electricity. Then I read about fiber optics. So it made me think where these "coils" can be found and how it can transfer lots of data in a second, and all over the world. Remember when we used to send snail mails, then emails, then chats, and now through social media. We used floppy disks to save and transfer files, then CDs, then USBs, and now data clouds like Dropbox, etc. I also imagined how these will change in the future. Will there be transparent screens we always see in the movies nowadays? Will we rely on bar codes?
So when I read this book, I thought it was incredible how the author came up with this story--the idea of data running through chips. I think I've heard a similar idea before but I've never read a story about it yet which makes it refreshing.It was a realistic world in a futuristic setting which makes it exciting. However, the expectations of the reader should be met immediately once the world is introduced and built as you go along the story line. The setting was in New York. Its name was change but it wasn't extraordinary for me. I wish to know more about it though. I wanted to learn how the world ended up that way, why it had a dystopian theme. But again, I was captured by the idea of data running and how it was done particularly with Arcadian.That fascinated me so much that I cannot shake the idea away. It will stay in my mind forever. I really love how the runners were named and how they were marked. I think it was brilliant to compare yourself with a specific specie of bird that carries the same attributes you have since the data runners are trained for flight and at times, to also fight. You can go for the fastest, the fiercest or even the smallest kind, and it's all up to you. It made me think of what bird I should be if I was a runner, and I told myself I want to be an owl. I've always loved owls plus it was Athena's symbol and it represents intelligence. To be specific, I want a snowy owl since it has a mysterious and intimidating stare that I think I have as well. You can ask my friends. Back to the review, I just want to point out the use of terminology. Some were explained and defined which I appreciated and there were those I didn't understand that I have to consult a dictionary myself. Don't judge, but I still don't know what parkour is. I usually list down a glossary of words from a books so I can add it on Shelfari and I was not able to get its definition. That's one of the few words I didn't get to absorb. Also the shift of normal conversations to scientific or mathematical ones. It was really mind-boggling! I'm a bit rusty on those subjects now and I'm not a math whiz to begin with so I felt nauseous on those parts. I know that Martin and Jack are geniuses but please not all can understand and catch up. What I'm trying to say here is I think it is really important to elaborate and explain some technical terms, ideas and even the formulas since not everyone could get it. It just leads to confusion at times. As long as it was thoroughly explained, the reader will eventually understand it. I also have to point out the recurring way jack mentions the paradox. I want to tell him to just skip it because I already get what it means. No need for repetitions. Nevertheless, those were just minor issues for me and it was still outshone by the amazing plot. Despite the few setbacks, I was still captivated by the story. I wanted to find out more. I was clearly hooked. The originality was there and it was action-packed that amps up the ante even more.
With the characters, I think there were a few who stood out for me. They were Jack, Red Tail and Pace. I'm just into underdogs. I love how Jack relies on his speed and intelligence more than his fighting capability. He proves that there's always a way to outsmart your enemies without releasing a punch. Although i was a bit disappointed on how he was deceived by Mr. Ito. It was so obvious and unbelievable but he fell for it. Red Tail is a favorite of mine. She was a young badass girl. I love the spunk she has and how she can be as techy as guys which I think made Jack admire her. I love how she empowers a female character and how she shows us that male leads can also be damsels-in-distress at times. Hats of to Sam Patel, which by the way is a guy! I also appreciated how it lacked romance but you know there's a hint of it but it didn't need to focus and go there. I think it gave me the thrill I needed. Last is Pace. He was perceived to be a weakling. He was always rescued by his co-dragons. They think he was a coward but he proved them wrong and showed them he was the bravest of them all. His character blossomed to this boy who second-guesses himself to a courageous man. Aside from being the underdog, he was also Filipino (or partly) so he was really close to my heart. Now there were also characters whom I want to see more on the next book. I want to see Snake's capabilities. I know he is brains and brawn, and I needed to see that. It wasn't enough that he drove for Jack and Red Tail on their mission. Same with Martin. I know he can show his brilliance and intelligence in the next book. I want to be wowed by these two. I know that I have to admire them but there was a lack of spark. It is essential for me to see those. Cyril was also an enigma to be cracked. I wanted to know if he can play a big part on the story or if he was just an accessory character. Now there were also those who disappointed me. Mr. Ito and Gendo lack the sophistication that I think they should have as villains. I also didn't like the way Mr. Ito talked by combining Japanese and English in the same sentence. I think it looked a bit forced. Another is Bigsby. I think his description was confusing. He needed a little more work and polishing.
Nonetheless, Data Runner was a book with so much promise and has a very unique concept which made me excited to turn each page. It was a story that I wanted to know further and dig deeper because I know it has so much more to tell. Both male and female reader will definitely enjoy reading this book and I strongly recommend this to Young Adult genre fans.
For the quotes I got from the book, please visit my Tumblr:
For more information on Sam and Data Runner, please see:
The blog tour continues here:
JULY 29: http://krweinert.com
AUGUST 02: http://suchanovelidea.wordpress.com
Also Diversion Books and Sam has generously offered a giveaway, so scroll down below and enter the Rafflecopter!
NOTE: Take note that the first 8 steps are mandatory! Doing these will unlock other steps. Please make sure to follow ALL the steps because we will check them. Entries that did not follow instructions will be considered void. This giveaway is open worldwide. Giveaway will end on August 15th!
Keep reading, & good luck everyone!