Reviews for Trackers

Booklist Reviews 2010 July #1
In a novel that unfolds as an extended interrogation with mysterious officials, Adam Henderson describes how he recruited three other teens to become trackers, the opposite of hackers, who try to protect the public from Internet criminals. The team stumbles onto a global, criminal plot, but nothing is as simple as it seems at first: the bad guys turn out to be government agents, who recruit the four into their ranks to help locate an evil computer mastermind, a shadowy figure that will no doubt be further developed in future installments of the series. This novel joins the growing list of multiplatform titles, and readers are invited to log onto a related, slick Web site (complete with menacing sound effects) to decipher plot-related puzzles and watch videos that flesh out the story. Many young people will no doubt be intrigued by the expanded media storytelling techniques offered here, but a computer companion isn't necessary; some of the same Web-based material is also included in the appendix to this exciting adventure. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Four tech junkies find themselves in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game against a duo of mysterious hackers. The novel includes directions to a website where readers can view supplementary videos and solve puzzles alongside the characters; appendices provide scripts for readers without Internet access. Although it's an interesting concept, shallow characterizations detract from the story. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 April #2
Fifteen-year-old technology genius Adam Henderson and his best friends Finn, Emily and Lewis call themselves "Trackers" (not hackers) and practice "missions" around Seattle using Adam's high-tech gadgets. Mostly cameras, these gadgets are tied into his semi-secret lab at the back of his father's computer-repair shop. When the mysterious Glyphmaster tricks Adam into solving a puzzle and then hacks Adam's unhackable computers, the friends are pulled into a mystery that is more trouble than they ever imagined. In fact, Adam relates the entire tale in an interview with an Inspector Ganz while his friends seem to be in custody elsewhere. Really just half of the story, Carman's first Trackers installment combines text with short videos and other online content unlockable with codes scattered throughout the book. Transcripts for the videos appear in lettered appendices at the back, as does the Glyph language Adam and his online friends create. A more successful multiplatform integration than the author's Skeleton Creek duology, this still suffers from light characterization and a pretty dull plot. The website is darn nifty though, and young technophiles will probably make it through on the gee-whiz factor alone. (Adventure/novelty. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 July

Gr 5-9--Fifteen-year-old wunderkind Adam Henderson grew up tinkering with the discarded components at his father's computer-repair shop and was soon given his own little annex called "The Vault," a place where he could hang out and work on his gadgets. By sixth grade--right around the time he met Finn, Emily, and Lewis--Adam was making enough money selling virtual stuff to hard-core gamers to allow him to begin developing an impressive portfolio of wireless surveillance gear. The kids discovered that they had complementary skill sets perfect for cyber-sleuthing, and the Trackers were born. In this first book of what will likely be a popular series, Adam and the Trackers have been drawn into a cryptic cat-and-mouse game by a brilliant and beautiful young woman named Zara who turns out to be working with an older accomplice named Lasko. He has managed to hack into The Vault and steal Adam's portfolio of inventions and threatens to release his designs to the public unless Adam can quickly crack a code that'll provide Lasko with backdoor access to all of the world's banks. This is an ingenious and entertaining mystery on several levels, and readers are given successive passwords to a Trackers website as the story unfolds. The site contains short videos (transcripts of which are also provided in an appendix) that help readers visualize story elements and solve the mystery, making this an excellent choice for reluctant readers.--Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI

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