3 out of 4 stars
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Superhighway by Alex Fayman is a sci-fi action thriller, with a little touch of romance to it. It narrates the adventures of young Alex Fine who can travel through the Internet by electroporation. Written in the first person perspective, Fayman takes his readers through the emotional roller coaster of the happenings in the life of young Alex. Although the electroporation discussed in this novel is purely fictional, I like that Fayman opened the mind of his readers to the possibility of an occurrence equal to this one in our reality.
Alex Fine seems like a regular kid, other than his exceptional mind, powerful features and good looks he appears just like every other child in the Los Angelus orphanage where he has lived his whole life. However, beneath those qualities are somewhat unusual superhuman abilities, that not only enable his speed travel via the internet but also capability to download databases and manipulate archived data. Alex is also able to transport any object on him during his flight through the internet to any destination.
His discovery of this abilities was by share accident. Alex has always been fascinated by computers. He had the opportunity to operate one when a computer lab was gifted to his orphanage. On that same night, while working the new machines, Alex held and squeezed a network cable in his palm to try and connect to the internet, but instead, he was sucked into a dark tunnel that looked like a complicated maze. The incident marked the beginning of his adventures around the world through the internet. Like a superhero, he decided to use his newfound abilities for good. However, his youthful exuberance and blind desperation for revenge may prove to become life-threatening for this young protagonist.
The book has short chapters that are written in narrative forms that made reading more convenient. Also, each section connected appropriately with the other. The words used are simple and easy to understand. I enjoyed the fascinating plot, because of its well-developed character. Its strongest point is that it reveals the emotional turbulence that young people of that age ( 18 ) may undergo. It also goes to show that kids need adequate monitoring, irrespective of how smart they may seem. I was disappointed at Alex's behaviours shortly after his new found wealth. I thought he could have managed his situation better rather than flaunt a stolen item that later causes the death of an innocent girl.
Electroporation unlike teleportation of any kind is a new concept to me. It is also realistically impossible. However, I love the boldness with which Fayman introduced this concept with a complete backstory that includes detailed experimental processes, its failed attempt and even its eventual success. I experienced the feeling of the secrecy that is involved in most government inspired research, and also the extent to which they might be willing to go to protect classified information, especially those tagged as a threat to national security. Fayman did an excellent job of bringing all that to life in this first volume of the superhighway trilogy.
I found several cases of either missing words or missing letters in the book. Usually, I won't pay attention to those, but they constituted such distractions to the point that I started taking note of it. I noticed some discrepancies in the character of the person of Mrs Jenkins. She was described as a morally upright fellow, that wouldn't accept anything less. However, when Alex showed up in an expensive car too high for him to afford. Mrs Jenkins did nothing. I expected thorough scrutiny from her but was disappointed when there was none. That is my worst part of this book.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars because of the reasons stated above. I would recommend this book to lovers of science fiction everywhere. Due to the nature of its plot, I would firmly recommend it to young adults but not children. The book contains some sexual scenes that aren't fit for children.
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