Title: Data Runner
Series: Data Runner #1
Author: Sam A. Patel
Publisher: Diversion Books
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: In the not-too-distant future, in what was once the old City of New York, megacorporations have taken over everything. Now even the internet is owned, and the only way to transmit sensitive information is by a network of highly skilled couriers called "data runners" who run it over the sneakernet. It is a dangerous gig in a dirty world, but Jack Nill doesn't have much choice in the matter. A brilliant young math whiz and champion of parkour, Jack must become one of these data runners in order to get his father out of a major gambling debt. But when a mysterious stranger loads Jack's chip with a cryptic cargo that everybody wants, he soon becomes the key figure in a conspiracy that could affect the entire North American Alliance. Now it's all up to Jack. With the help of his best friend, Dexter, and a girl who runs under the name Red Tail, Jack will have to use all his skills to outrun the retrievers and uncover the truth before they catch him and clip him for good.
This book had a very very slow start to it. I wasn’t sure I was going to finish it, to tell you the truth. It’s a very different sort of book than I normally read, and it opened with an information dump to acclimate the reader to the unique world of the story. It was confusing and difficult to follow at times.
And then when I realized how much of the story relied on the fad of parkour, I definitely almost put it down. That trend went viral last year and then died down again. Reading about it now felt a bit dated – especially in a book set in the future. But I pushed through because I’ve been in a reading rut and I wanted to read something different.
And by the time I got to the end, I was glad I did.
About halfway through the action really ramped up. The pace picked up and it stayed up right until the end. My heart was in my chest while I rooted for Jack to figure out the truth and save his friend – and himself. In the end, most of the questions were tidily answered and everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow. But there were just enough new questions left to segue into the next book in the series (which I will definitely read).