Review: Against All Silence

After being a key figure in the exposing of government corruption, Max Stein has spent a quiet semester abroad in Paris, studying, staying off the Internet, and looking for his long-lost mother. But just as he is about to fly back to the United States for the holidays, trouble manages to find him once again.

Max receives a call from Penny, his on-again-off-again girlfriend who is part of the expert hacking duo DoubleThink. She wants him to meet with Ada Kiesler, a high-profile whistleblower hiding out at a foreign embassy in Berlin. Max has no interest in getting drawn into another corporate conspiracy. But when airport security suddenly detains him on suspicion of cyber-terrorism, he has little choice but to get involved. Soon Max and Penny are tangling with a new group of shadowy figures who are determined to control how the world shares its information. And some figures from Max s past resurface, including his own mother, whose life has mirrored his own in more ways than he d realized.

Against All Silence picks up with Max a year after the events in the Silence of Six.  He is just finished his study-abroad semester in senior year and is at the airport ready to go home for Christmas, but his plans come to a halt when he is flagged on France’s no-fly list. He soon meets up with Penny in Berlin and the two are on a new mission to help save the internet as they know it and how information is shared.  Things get even more crazy as people from Max’s past resurface… including his mother.

I was expecting a lot out of this book, considering how much I loved its predecessor, however, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still a good story and there was plenty of conspiracy going on, but there was also a lot of Internet/hacker talk that got too detailed and I’d find myself kind of spacing while reading.  The pacing of the story is definitely much slower than the first book, but it does have moments where it picks up.

Max and Penny’s relationship was a little ‘meh’ because they were hot and cold throughout the book, so it got a little annoying.  Though honestly, I was more interested in Max reuniting with his mom and how that played out.  I wasn’t disappointed there.  Then I found myself missing Risse a lot – I wish she’d had a more prominent role in this book like she did the last one.

Overall, good read and great series.  I actually wouldn’t mind seeing it continue if the authors chose to do so.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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