Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: M.O.D.

M.O.D. by J.C. Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Thriller Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a Smashwords coupon for a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Where would you draw the line between right and wrong? 

When a wanted hacker from the 80's resurfaces with the means and intent to overthrow what he perceives to be a corrupt government, this question becomes of tantamount importance to the future of the country. Scott Carver is asked to make this decision when this hacker, going by the acronym "M.O.D." asks him to help plan a revolution.

Scott is a young FBI agent partnered with a 14-year veteran, the temperamental Sheelia Tanner. MOD hand-picks the two agents to toy with in their home town of Vero Beach, Florida, with the ultimate goal of recruiting them.

While eluding authorities for decades, MOD has pirated trillions of dollars in fund and equipment for his rebellion. He aims to topple the government in the name of the Constitution and its founding fathers, making several compelling arguments. Is he maniacal? ... or is he right?

While Scott accepts the offer to join, Sheelia rejects it and vows to hunt her old partner down along with MOD. One of MOD's old adversaries, "MaStErMiNd," who is still serving time in federal prison for crimes for which he believes MOD set him up, approaches Sheelia with an offer to help. He thinks he can catch MOD, for a price: his freedom.

Sheelia, with the full support of the President, accepts the offer, kicking off a digital struggle over the fate of the country. Political and ethical lines are blurred, right and wrong are no longer black and white, only fuzzy shades of gray. The two sides debate and wrestle with these issues as they prepare for the showdown that will change history forever.

My Thoughts: I’ve had this book since last fall, but only just now had the chance to read it. I find the timing to be especially fortuitous with President Obama having recently signed an Executive Order that, essentially, allows U.S. troops to fire upon U.S. citizens without our own country, a dangerous step towards this government finally gaining full-fledged tyrannical status. I possibly have a slightly different perspective on this, having been raised by a patriot to believe that the way this country is being run is completely in opposition to the way it was originally set up, and not finding myself opposed to revolution to regain independence if that is what is necessary. I’m quite certain that the British considered the colonists to be dangerous terrorists in their time, yet they were simply trying to achieve the same aim as M.O.D. in this book – freedom from oppression and the chance to live in a country that is truly by the people and for the people.

I will admit that the M.O.D. base of operations seems to be rather Utopian – it may be that I am overly cynical, but I have a really hard time believing over 500,000 people are all living and working together in total harmony, with no one striving to one-up anyone else, and no one willing to become a reverse turn-coat and go back to the government with information. I imagine the money being poured into the thing helps – no matter how much people claim to want to stand for something, the truth is that if it is inconvenient or difficult, way too many people will turn back around and take “security” over freedom any day – that’s how this country has hit the lows it has managed to hit over the years, which have accelerated greatly since 9/11 and the institution of Homeland Security, who have been steadily encroaching on our rights for the past 10 ½ years now. I would like to believe there are enough people to be able to join together like this, but I did find it a little difficult to fully believe that aspect of the story. I was also surprised that the amazing advances that M.O.D. had made weren’t being used for financing rather than stealing money, or at least some of them. I can see where the technological advances would be kept to themselves, to keep themselves ahead of the game, but from the sound of it some of the medical advances could have been shared, at least.

I read a few negative reviews that frankly left me puzzled – one complained that there was too much technical jargon. There was very little technical jargon, and what there is, is necessary – for instance, conversations between hackers. Another complained that there were “only two FBI agents” involved in the manhunt, no one else, which is frankly ridiculous. All the FBI, the military, the NSA, Homeland Security – everyone in the government is involved in the search for M.O.D. I have to wonder if these reviewers even read the whole book, or if they just reviewed based upon the descriptions and an excerpt or two. I also believe there were some sour grapes involved for those who are overly fond of our current administration.

Having said all that, I also want to say THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME!! I spent a lot of this book literally sitting forward, tense, worried about what would happen, and spent the last 20 or so pages punching the air and yelling YES! I loved the new Constitution and law structure proposed by the M.O.D. that basically gets the government’s nose out of everyone’s business and lets people get on with their lives without having to worry if they are going to have institutionalized discrimination against them because they are a small-business owner, or GLBT, or a woman, or what have you. Again, some of the thoughts are rather idealistic, and I don’t know how realistic they would be, but I sure loved them and would definitely prefer to live in a country under that sort of government rather than the one we have now, which is bloated with its own power and importance, not the lean-and-mean government that the originators of this country envisioned. But I think I’ve gone on my soapbox enough in this review – I’ll just again say I loved this book and I can’t recommend it enough! You need to get this book and read it!

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  1. Very thought provoking review.
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    Just keep reading,

    1. Hey, thanks! Glad to have you on board. Drop by Monday, I'll be hosting a giveaway - you won't want to miss it! :-)


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