Skip to main content

Attack Surface


Attack Surface

Technology is truly amazing. With it, we can use cell phones that aren’t physically attached to anything, access the internet and converse instantly with people on the other side of the world. Used wisely, it’s an invaluable tool; in the wrong hands, it’s a formidable weapon.

Masha Maximow is a techno wiz who specializes in counterterrorism. She has been employed by several cybersecurity firms throughout the years. These companies work with government agencies to set up surveillance of civilians by keeping a particularly close eye on protestors and those who resist authority. Masha gets paid very good money to do her job and has been told that her skills are needed to keep our country safe.

"...a fascinating technothriller... Doctorow opened my eyes to [technology's] endless possibilities."

At first Masha believed that, but now things have changed. After seeing her protesting friends in Portland being targeted using software that she helped develop, she has been questioning her life. Is she really doing the right thing? Is she making the situation better? Circumstances force her to choose. No matter which way she goes, someone will get hurt. Will it be her?

ATTACK SURFACE is a fascinating technothriller. I thought I knew a fair amount about technology and how it can be used (and is being used) in our everyday lives, but author Cory Doctorow opened my eyes to its endless possibilities. Although I did not grasp all of the technical terms and lingo that he uses throughout the text, I understood enough to follow along with the storyline. The subject matter is certainly a timely one as part of the story deals with the protests in Portland, although naturally they are somewhat fictionalized here.

I look forward to exploring more of Doctorow’s work, as his impressive backlist for both adults and teens includes WALKAWAY, IN REAL LIFE, INFORMATION DOESN'T WANT TO BE FREE, LITTLE BROTHER and HOMELAND.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on November 13, 2020

Attack Surface
by Cory Doctorow