I was excited to be able to do an official HiR book review, especially for an internationally acclaimed author. Really, I was happy to read a thick tome of investigation into the social interactions of modern teenagers and the digital economy. Cory Doctorow has skills as an author that I enjoy, especially his ability to take concepts and event of real life, shake them up into a story and present us with a very plausible near future, a-la Little Brother.
I finished the book with a profound sense of meh. And, I didn't want to. In the end I felt the story ran a good 200 pages more than it needed to, even though the book didn't feel padded. The story just seemed that it could fit into the confines of a shorter book and be even more though provoking and relevant to a YA reader. Having been a young reader back in my, well, younger, days I know just the size of this novel would have been off putting for many. I know a good number of young readers can handle novels of this length but there is always that nag in the back of a teenage mind that there is something important that might take precedence over knocking out hundreds of pages. I can easily see the novel being applied to a political or economical theory course and and can hear the goans of much of the class as the instructor hands out stacks of thick paperbacks.