Thursday, December 18, 2014


Hacker is the third installment of The Outlaw Chronicles, a young adult series by Ted Dekker. See my reviews of the other two books here and here. Each novel generally focuses on a new person, but in Hacker, we get to see the continuation of one character's story from Eyes Wide Open, the first in the series, while we are also introduced to Nyah, a seventeen-year-old girl who hacks corporations to blackmail them into giving her a job. Basically, she shows them their weaknesses by hacking them and then fixes the problem, all to provide for her mother, mentally impaired in a car accident. But when Nyah messes with the wrong people, she is forced to run to a person who turned his back on her, to Austin who is dying from a brain tumor. Together, they attempt the impossible to find a cure for Austin and Nyah's mother. It's the biggest hack of all, and the clock on each of their lives is ticking.

For whatever reason, this book didn't impact me as deeply as the other books from the series or as much as most Ted Dekker books do. Don't get me wrong, it was still entertaining and meaningful. But the message from each of these books (yes, Dekker always has a message, but his books usually don't feel preachy) is essentially the same with only little variances. And I got the message better in the other books, especially in Water Walker, which is perhaps my favorite of the three, the message being one about identity and who we really are beneath the costume of appearance, intelligence, or whatever else we define ourselves by. Maybe I didn't get into this one because of the hacking terminology. It intrigued me but was a little over my head. Maybe it was character. I didn't identify with Nyah as much as with some characters. Maybe it was the plot which, while it moved fairly well, lacked a certain edge I've come to expect from Dekker's books. Maybe all those were fine, and I just wasn't into it this time. I haven't been doing as much reading here toward the end of the year. My mind is on other things.

Regardless, the series is good, and if you really want to get the full picture, start with Outlaw, which is awesome and kind of sets up the series, though it's also a stand-alone book. I'm looking forward to reading A.D.30 next, also a recently published novel from Ted Dekker but one that I expect to be quite different from anything of his that I've read before. It's the perfect time to read the fictional account of a person who lived through Jesus' days as we head into Christmas. And even after reading Hacker, I'm expecting quite a lot out of this next one.

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