Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Michael F. Stewart - Assured Destruction - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Sixteen-year-old Jan Rose knows that nothing is ever truly deleted. At least, not from the hard drives she scours to create the online identities she calls the Shadownet.

Hobby? Art form? Sad, pathetic plea to garner friendship, even virtually? Sure, Jan is guilty on all counts. Maybe she’s even addicted to it. It’s an exploration. Everyone has something to hide. The Shadownet’s hard drives are Jan’s secrets. They're stolen from her family’s computer recycling business Assured Destruction. If the police found out, Jan’s family would lose their livelihood.

When the real people behind Shadownet’s hard drives endure vicious cyber attacks, Jan realizes she is responsible. She doesn’t know who is targeting these people or why but as her life collapses Jan must use all her tech savvy to bring the perpetrators to justice before she becomes the next victim.

My Review

I never read a Young Adult mystery before and I have to say I rather enjoyed this nifty sub-genre. Michael F. Stewart does a fantastic job in building suspense throughout his whodunit of a tale, Assured Destruction. Who is the person who hacked into Janus' super network and is now framing her for online bullying and identity theft? Sure, Janus isn't so innocent. She should have destroyed the hard drives that were brought into her mother's computer shop instead of prying through their personal contents, but she doesn't. Some of them belonged to a few of her classmates, and unfortunately her curiosity gets the best of her.

I have to admit I didn't guess the real culprit. But I wanted to slap myself for not figuring it out when the person is revealed. Putting two and two together, it is a brilliant choice. I tip my hat to Stewart for that. It's always the one you least suspect. The build-up to the climax is intense and fast paced. The plot veers from the frantic one-by-one disabling of Janus' computers to a nail biting stake-out in the seedy part of town. Let's just say by the conclusion, everything goes up in flames as Janus risks her life to bring this thug to justice.

If you like teenage sleuths like Veronica Mars combined with the techno-geekdom of Birkhoff from Nikita, you'll love the intricate web of deceit that Stewart spins with this social media morality tale.


Assured Destruction can be purchased at:
Amazon (paperback), Kindle

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook, $8.99 paperback
Pages: 185
ISBN: 9780981269948
Publisher: Non Sequitur Press
Release: March 22, 2013
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

After crewing ships in the Antarctic and the Baltic Sea and some fun in venture capital, Michael anchored himself (happily) to a marriage and a boatload of kids. Now he injects his adventurous spirit into his writing with brief respites for research into the jungles of Sumatra and Guatemala, the ruins of Egypt and Tik’al, paddling the Zambezi and diving whatever cave or ocean reef will have him. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and SF Canada, and the author of the Assured Destruction series, 24 Bones, The Sand Dragon, Hurakan, Ruination and several award winning graphic novels for young adults.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much, Carol. Funny you've compared it Nikita meets Veronica Mars and Character Connection said Sybil meets Lisbeth Salander. I was actually going for Veronica Mars meets Lisbeth Salander!
    Thanks so much for the review!

  2. Carol, thanks a million for the review! Glad you enjoyed it :)

    P.S. Michael, I can totally see Veronica Mars + Lisbeth Salander = Janus

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