Review: 1985 – Stories from SOS

1985: Stori3s from SOS is a collection of three novellas that serve as a wonderful expansion to the SOS world for new readers and the most rabid fan. These three novellas are yet another puzzle piece in the heart-pounding world filled with shadowy conspiracies and bold hacktivists.

The first story in the collection, “S.O.S.,” is a prequel to the first novel, The Silence of Six, that chronicles Evan Baxter’s frantic final twenty-four hours leading to his shocking decision that sets the stage for the series. “Doublethink” connects the dots between The Silence of Six and its sequel, Against All Silence, by letting us inside the head of teenage hacktivist Penny Polonsky. Penny faces a mysterious new challenge that could change her life-and potentially the internet-forever. And “1985,” the final story in the collection, takes us back to the early activist days of Max Stein’s parents when they were teenagers living in New York City in the mid-1980s. When they meet at a political protest in New York City, Bradley and Lianna Stein hatch a risky plan to expose unethical practices at Bradley’s university and begin to fall in love.

1985: Stori3s From SOS contains three short stories/novellas that tie in with the SOS universe.  The first story is about Evan Baxter the day before the events in The Silence of Six, which gives us a little more insight to his character.  I honestly wish he had an entire prequel novel devoted to him because he seems like a really great character that I’d like to read more of.

The second story, DoubleThink, follows Penny in between the events of the first book and the second book.  It shows what happened after SOS and how she ended up in Germany in Against All Silence.  I liked that we were able to see more of her and Risse as well as get a little more of their own backstory.  However, to be honest, this was the story I actually had the least interest in, which is weird because I really like Penny in the two main novels.

The last story, 1985, is about Max Stein’s parents – Brad and Lianna.  The two of them meet during a protest and become involved in a scheme to hack into Columbia University’s computer system to gain access to information on the school board members to get some leverage against the school.  It was quite fun to read about Max’s parents and how they each got involved in the world of computer hacking, as well as a blast to the past reading about Brad and his roommate playing the video games of the time.

Overall, I liked these short stories, but I did feel as though Penny’s was the weaker link.  I also would have liked to see more of Evan’s story prior to what we are given, as he was my favorite in this collection.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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