Friday, May 22, 2015

Cool Jazz Spy (review)

Not a blog post, but content I generated; a review I posted on Goodreads.  Are you on Goodreads?


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'll attempt to remain spoiler free.

Cool Jazz Spy is a spy novel with a technology focus. Like many others in the genre, he takes inspiration from current events and weaves a tale around reality. Being grounded in reality, we may still be surprised where things end up. It is my hope that we don't live through the attack that Mr Bartusiak describes, and hope that our defenses are better able to withstand any such attacks.

On to the book itself.

It almost feels as if there are two books here, one focused on the technologies used in the attack and one a cloak and dagger action story. The segues are handled by focusing on those featured in the action side and their brief forays in to the technical side.

As is common to the genre, the author starts off with a hook, pulling the reader in to the story and trying to lock the reader in for the duration. This introduction is good, and sets the tone that there is to be a cyber aspect to this thriller. It takes a while for the reader to resolve "why" some of the things that happened in this introduction happened; perhaps a bit more of the answer would set a stronger hook?

The technical chapters can be quite dense, almost tedious to read, while the action chapters flow much more rapidly. I fear that Mr. Bartusiak may lose some readers with the early technical chapters -- later in the book, by the time the reader is involved in the story, it is easier to accept them and move forward. Bear in mind I am a software engineering professional, I've worked in this general arena for twenty years; my read is definitely influenced by that - looking for the details, trying to mesh them up as realistic or not, etc. Someone outside the industry might more rapidly move through these areas.

The action chapters flow quite quickly, as one expects for action.

The book ends with the current story arc completed, but the stage is set for a follow on. Whether that is with the protagonist, the next cyber activity, or a look at life after the attack, the door has been left open.

Finally, I received this book from the author. Thanks Paul!

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