Kevin Plattret
Red Team Blues, by Cory Doctorow

Red Team Blues

Cory Doctorow

I really wanted to like this novel and I think I did, just about. This is the first fiction I read by Cory Doctorow and I'll definitely read more, but I admit I found the story a little underwhelming overall. The heavy use of tech jargon and buzz-words, right from the beginning, made me cringe slightly, and then it got better, or maybe I just got used to it. Throughout the first few chapters, I just couldn't shake the feeling that the narrator was trying too hard to sound smart and trendy. Eventually I did warm up to the story though, and got to enjoy it.

However cliché, as a Silicon Valley veteran, Martin Hench is a likeable character. He is a true ladies' man, has a taste for fine beverages and food, understands cyber-security better than the vast majority of people, and has a knack for solving complex challenges in the mass surveillance world we live in. More importantly, Martin comes across as a decent person, with similarly decent principles. I wish we explored his personality in more detail, something that the rest of the series might offer us.

The author's voice is clearly recognisable here, with the quasi-omnipresence of mild satire that reflects his values and the ideals he fights for. All in all, this was entertaining enough and I'm curious to read the already-announced sequel.