I wanted to start this year’s reading challenge out by reading a series I had never heard of, by an author I didn’t know.
For Christmas, my amazing wife gifted me with a Barnes & Noble gift card. While looking at the newly released books, I came across Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow. After reading the quotes and brief description on the book’s dust-cover, I thought it was something right down my alley.
After coming home to read my new book, I go onto GoodReads and add it to my reading list. Then, I see it.. Attack Surface (Little Brother #3)! This new release was the third in the Little Brother series! I’m not the kind of person that can just begin a series out of order, so naturally I had to get the first two books. That is where this journey begins.
Little Brother is based around the character Marcus Yallow; a tech-savvy seventeen year old who resides in San Francisco post 9/11. While in the wrong place at the wrong time, he and his friends get swooped up by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) after a bridge in San Francisco was blown up by terrorists. After being interrogated for days in a secret prison, they tell him that they will “always be watching”, and to never tell a soul about what they did to him or “they will be back”.
Marcus doesn’t take this lying down. San Francisco is becomes a police state where citizens are randomly stopped on the street, and searched. Marcus finds out that government surveillance is beginning to become a lot more extreme than anyone had realized. Everyone’s moves are recorded with street cameras and license plate scanners. Everything they do is under a microscope, in the name of “national security” and “to catch the terrorists”. No one is allowed privacy, and no one should question it because you know, “terrorists”. Sound familiar?
(I began reading this on January 1st, 2021, and finished reading it on the 4th. I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend this book.)
Fast forward two days, January 6th. While Congress was in session to verify the electoral college votes for the presidential election, THE U.S. CAPITOL BUILDING was stormed by Trump-supporting rioters that believed the election was “stolen”. One person was fatally shot while in the building. Three people died of medial emergencies due to the chaos. Worst of all, a Capitol police officer was bludgeoned to death by the raging crowd, after initially being hit with a fire extinguisher.
While being glued to my phone searching for updates, all I could think about was the book I had just read. Was the whole nation going to be locked down?