Review: Script Kiddie (Assured Destruction #2) by Michael F. Stewart


I reviewed and thoroughly enjoyed the first Assured Destruction e-book and reviewed it here. Since it was only $.96, buying the dequel was a no brainer.

Jan Rose no longer steals data from the old computers she recycles. She doesn’t need to. As the newest member of the police department’s High Tech Crime Unit, the laptop of a murderer has landed on her desk. Her job: to profile and expose a killer.

But that’s not all.

A creep lurks in the shadows, stalking a friend, and Jan must stop him before the hunt turns deadly. The clock counts down for Jan to save her friend, her job, her boyfriend–maybe even her life.

I have found a YA character that I can really geek out about. Michel has created several interesting characters in this world, but as it should be, the main one is the star. She makes stupid mistakes and the kinds of assumptions that aren’t limited to the teen set. When that happens, the author doesn’t go easy on her. Still Janus has a good heart and you want to root for her as she tries to do the right thing.

There are a few plot threads that form the main thrust of the plot and then there are the struggles that carried over from the previous book. The shop owned by Janus’ mom is in deep water and sinking fast. Janus’ mom has severe health issues and Janus still doesn’t trust her mom’s boyfriend. On top of all that, she can’t seem to make her boss, her principle, or her boyfriend happy. Michael does a great job of keeping all of these threads woven into a tight tapestry.

Michael also uses his book to introduce us to the world of hacking. You don’t have to have a technical background to enjoy the story and you’ll probably learn a thing or two. While my hacker friends might (or might not) find fault with those aspects of the story, I don’t. Any shortcuts he takes serve to move the story along.

I want to go back to Janus. I admire that he’s created an imperfect and thus realistic YA character. There might by the temptation to make the protagonist of your YA story a model citizen. Given the tremendous pressures she’s under, Janus makes the aforementioned mistakes. She lies, cheats, and steals. She does it all for reasons that she thinks is good, but he doesn’t let her off the hook. This gives her lots of opportunities for growth and development. I look forward to the next story to see how he continues to put the screws to her and and to find out what Janus will do under pressure.

I give this story five out of five gray hats.

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