Lisa Toye


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Smashwords book reviews by Lisa Toye

  • The Kurchatov Penetration on Aug. 05, 2012

    I had read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson and was so intrigued by the main character, Lisbeth Salander, that I decided to search for more books with computer hackers. Luckily, I found The Kurchatov Penetration by Tim Jacobson. It was just what I was looking for, and I was hooked by the third page. The tale begins in Russia with a risk-filled heist of uranium. The danger of the Russian mafia, combined with the threat of a nuclear bomb and unexpected twists kept me turning pages way past my bedtime. The novel presents many layers of complexity by involving CIA, FSB, FBI, Etallat, and Mossad characters. The book has many different settings that kept me on my toes: Iran, The White House, Vienna, Austria, and London, to name a few. I made a connection with the Madison setting due to the fact that I am from Wisconsin. I loved learning how Kent, the computer hacker from Madison, was working on a computer project for class that was to use artificial intelligence. He challenged and tested the computing power of his digital creation by attempting to decode encrypted messages. Although only a high school student, the brilliant protagonist was taking some college classes and ended up tutoring a college student for whom he developed a crush. The interaction of Kent and Sam is a sweet reminder of puppy love. Kent also has a friend Gene that he enlists to help him with feats of computing that had been thought to be impossible. The book explodes with assassinations and a ton of action, including a riveting scene of a manhunt through the storm sewers of Madison. The action includes trains, Ka-50 Black Shark attack helicopters, and MiG fighter jets. This novel would lend itself well to becoming an action-packed movie. The Kurchatov Penetration is fast paced and very engaging. The vocabulary is rich, colorful and concise. It was thrilling and exciting to read. I carried the book around in my purse to read during every moment I could steal during the day. I even went to bed early so I could curl up with the book and find out what would happen next. I highly recommend this book to my friends and anyone who loves to read!