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Monday, September 25, 2017

King of Code by C.D. Reiss

  A Review by Wendy
4 More Than The Obvious Stars
* * * * 
Spoiler Free

I first heard about this book over a year ago. Right off the bat I knew C.D. Reiss was going to do her homework and take her time to make this authentic. Before this was a thought or at least before our knowing of this up coming book, the Tech World has been making headlines... and not the type any company would want.

It has been no secret the Industry has looked upon women as less than. From harassing women gamers and programmers to female executives getting smacked by a ceiling harder to break than glass.

These behaviors have run rampant in Silicone Valley and how it has gone unchecked for years can baffle a logical mind. Yet at the same time, the people who have populated this industry may have certain common threads... and those common threads have allowed this blatant attitude... and part of the focus of this book shines a spotlight on it.

Because besides these companies being part of "An Old Boys/New Boys Network"... it is the essence of who these New Boys have been...

*Side Note*

Now please... I am going to make comments here that could be considered generalizations...They are just my personal observations and also pertain to parts of the book

These men who created this computer world and those who live in it May Be Those who were not comfortable with interpersonal interaction with women... they may have been labeled Geeks/Nerds, made fun of... may not have been regarded for what their masterful minds could do... The Teen Years are the worst... If these guys were not appreciated...if the high school years were harsh and cruel then interaction with young women may not have been positive. These boys/men developed with a bonding among themselves and it continued to protect them when they went out into the world creating their companies. Keeping women out so as they could keep the "distractions" away was a chickensh!t way to just keep their minds focused on their tasks.

Underestimating women/objectifying them gave them power they never had before... and there was a comfort in it. There was also no one who forced them to adapt and adjust... grow up and accept these women were their equals or betters. Today these companies as well as all corporations are being forced to address these inequities...These fights are in the news every day.

So there is that. Again, Generalizations for the purpose of this review.

As to the appeal of Hacking...This is addressed...we have a very clear take on how this power and ability to manipulate can become addictive ... and take someone who may not feel comfortable in person with actual people... and then have all this power by using a couple of keystrokes.

So with all of this happening as motivation and backstory for me...I entered this story.

We are taken on a hijacked journey... Taylor Harden is a man who has been on both sides of the Hacking World. As a young adult he was introduced to the dark web by a co student who was deeply in it. He was mentored, encouraged and shown all of the ways to work people's data... to any advantage.

Taylor developed his skills and with this other powerful hacker... he tripped over something that triggered the FBI at his door. What happened next was the turning point for him... He never gave up his friend... he claimed he didn't mean any harm...oops it was a mistake I did all by myself....and with the power of his lawyers...he became an asset and not a jailbird. It did force him into the White Hat category and many of the dark web felt he rolled over.

Time has gone by and Taylor has worked hard creating a company that will change the world... it will change how all the computers will work. The language he has discovered with all of his dedicated teams is written like nothing like how we compute now. Taylor's company is ready to present it to the press before the scheduled GreyHatCon...where all the major players... Black Hat and White converge... Data Companies of all types ready to see what Taylor is bringing... an unhackable new program that will revolutionize the industry.

He has the team disciplined to turn off all computers...He is ready to talk with the press and then the
impossible happens... On the overhead screen... He see something that should not be scrolling and then a black screen... He is locked out of his own program.

As you can imagine, everything goes to sh!t... and Taylor has to find the hacker. Somehow he and his team track a trace to Middle America... a place that makes no sense...A company that has long been closed.

Taylor takes off, singularly focused on finding this guy who took his code and fixing this thing before GreyHatCon...Things have to be fixed or everything is lost...

He lands in this No Man's Land... of a town that once was a Company Town...That had a thriving economy and more than 10 thousand inhabits. But now the welcome sign to the town has scratched it out to reflect maybe 1400 people total...and the cracks in the asphalt with fighting weeds growing out of them is telling...

This town has died... and only ghosts and the clinging souls determined not to leave still live there.

This is the set up of this book... and it takes us on a journey that becomes a mystery maze... we are lead just like Taylor and the leader is a genius...who does not share the same chromosomes as Taylor.

Yes, the mastermind of all of this is Harper... a woman who has a plan which is more than 3 dimensional... more like 5.

Harper carries her own pain and responsibilities... many were thrust upon her, some she takes on personally and shouldn't. Her talent is through the roof. We meet her and never underestimate her.
She is part of this town, whats left of it and because of her family was the Company, there is an extra concern and care for her from the others.

Taylor and Harper cross paths, then Taylor proceeds to be stuck in this place where he was lead... by the hacker. He is on a search for some kind of clues he has been teased with... and the hunt is on.

There is one problem... Taylor is drawn to this curious woman... it grows and develops and then explodes.

I will not go into the specifics.... but I will share... If you know and have read CD Reiss before...then you know anything that takes place between these two is so intense, so clear, real and sometimes will be experiencing it yourself as you read.

You will also be in Taylor's head through out this entire time.. you feel all of his rage, anger, confusion, concern, frustration, lust and then love. You will also see through his eyes what this town is almost a Billboard highlighting all the wrongs which have happened in this country... How towns lost their children to other cities... How those who were not given new training for the newer job markets once the traditional jobs left...All of this is front and center and lends a perspective you cannot ignore.

This book is a Romance novel, for sure..It is strong in the commitment these two characters turn out to have. They are hot and you will be there from the start... you will also be given more as the surrounding characters will cause you to be curious about them, too. It looks like there will be at least 2 more books involving characters from this.

This book also is a statement about economics and equality. It is a comment and possible conversation starter for more than a Happily Ever After. We shouldn't be surprised...because is is written by C.D.Reiss.

 A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.


If you want safe, don't read any of my books. Not even the cozy mysteries. Even the contemporary romance. You will not like them.

Some of my books are darker than others, some are quite sweet and nice. But sometimes I think stuff is safe and it's not, but since I'm not going to change what I write or the way I write it, if you want safe books you should just avoid mine.

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