by Michael F. Stewart
published by Non Sequitur
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Sophomore, 100 Books in a Year
Michael Stewart is back with his spunky heroine, Janus Rose in the second Assured Destruction novel, Script Kiddie. Still recovering from the events at the end of Assured Destruction, Janus also has to serve 2000 hours of community service. Because Detective Williams sees more to Janus than just a juvenile delinquent, she gets Janus assigned to help in the cyber crimes division for her community service. Janus's first case involves someone stealing account numbers from a bank - the bank that is about to take back the mortgage on her mom's store. Mrs. Rose's MS is getting worse, leaving Janus to run Assured Destruction alone...with some unwanted help from her mom's new boyfriend, Pete. As if Janus does not already have enough on her plate, her friend Hannah asks for her help to stop an older guy she met online from stalking her. Janus is feeling pretty good about herself, until she ventures onto an hacker forum and is called a script kiddie. Now Janus must prove to the police, Hannah, Pete, and herself that she has what it takes to truly be a good hacker.
Script Kiddie was go, go, go from the first page. Stewart really knows how to keep the action moving with an intriguing and compelling plot and a lovable heroine - even if her methods are somewhat unethical. Stewart does a good job weaving together multiple storylines but some of the situations are rather unrealistic. I'm not talking about Janus's actions, but those regarding her school and what seems like a wavering truancy policy. This is just a small thing, though, and does not hinder the story in any way.
Script Kiddie is a very fun read - but anything with Janus Rose as a main character is bound to be a thrill ride. Michael Stewart has a winner in his Assured Destruction series, which is unlike any other YA on the market today.