Title: Joe is Online
Author: Chris Wimpress
In 1997 a 13 year-old boy with no friends called Joe went online. He decided the offline world was too harsh be real. With the help of an internet psychic called Magda Magenta, Joe unleashes a series of co-ordinated attacks on the world, beginning online and spreading into the offline world. He develops an online cult populated by people who've also been let down badly by the real world. Nobody can trace their source until a quiet, shy professor in terrorism called Penelope Hunt discovers a link to Joe. She finds herself sucked into a conspiracy which transcends race and religion. With only a radical tele-atheist to help her, Penny decides to shut down Joe's activities, placing her own life in grave danger in the process.
'Joe is Online' spans continents and decades. Its setting is the boundary where the online and offline worlds meet.
This was a very different read for me. When I say that, I mean this is not written in the typical story format. This is a story told from multiple perspectives, through blog posts, diary/journal entries, emails, webpages and chatroom logs. Since it was written in a different format than I was used to, I did find it a little difficult to keep track of some of the players involved in the story. 'Joe is Online' also spans time. The entries and the story starts in 1996 and ends sometime during or after the year 2020. I found the story to be very intriguing.
A warning though; 'Joe is Online' does contain very strong language and adult themes which some people might find disturbing.
I think what I liked most, was figuring out how everyone was connected. How each person somehow fit in to what was taking place in the online and real world. Overall I found 'Joe is Online' to be a very fast and enjoyable read.
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