Thursday, September 13, 2007

Invisible Armies - Book Review

Invisible Armies
By Jon Evans
HarperCollins 2006
Website Trailer

This is a very exciting story. Mostly about how geeks and nerds save the world. By Hacking. Since I love stories about hacking, I started this one with great gusto. Half way into the book, the hacking was fine, but the violence got a bit much so I stopped reading it for a while. But have now been able to finish it.

The story starts off with Danielle (a wealthy upperclass young American woman) is asked by a friend to be a courier - to deliver a passport for an Indian woman who needs a new passport. India has a law that says Indian passports CANNOT be sent outside of the country for any reason. They must stay on the owners person or in the owners possession at all times.

This Indian woman (Jayalitha) worked for a social Justice group called Justice International. They wanted to expose a corrupt company that was illegally creating new medicines and using the people of Kerala in Southern India for non-sanctioned drug trials.

Jaya, was then forced to watch her husband and children die. She was forced to leave India with no passport. When Danielle gets to Jaya's home village, she is captured and told that Jaya is dead. The man captured with her is Laurent, who also works for Justice International. To avoid being tortured, they both escape and end up on the run in India with no papers.

How Danielle is sucked into the life of an activist, one who truely thinks she is helping people, is fascinating. The story moves from India to Paris to London to Los Angeles. And how Danielle gets herself out of activist circles with the help of some hacker friends, is just as thrilling.

Invisible Armies is a Cold War suspense of the modern age, a thriller that looks behind the power of protests and the politics of big business. [Back cover blurb]

A word of warning. These activists are violent. Unexpectedly so. Which is why I had to stop reading for a while. Whether or not they are typical of activist in the real world, I can't say. One has only to look to Greenpeace to find a commonality of sorts.

Even if Greenpeace claims that they are not a violent group, they have been affected by violence. in 1985 the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior was bombed and sunk in Auckland Harbour. When it was later discovered to have been done by the French Government, it read just like a thriller story. French spies sneaked into New Zealand, planted a bomb and then left as quickly as possible. This bombing occurred because Greenpeace was actively demonstrating against the French Nuclear Bomb testing being done at Muraroa Atoll in the Pacific. This story has also been made into a movie.

Jon Evans has written 2 earlier books - Dark Places and The Blood Price.

1 comment:

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review!