Book review: Cory Doctorow's 'Red Team Blues'

I joined the Kickstarter campaign for Cory’s “Red Team Blues”, buying both the audiobook and eBook versions. I’m not really sure why I bought the audiobook, as I am not really a fan of non-dramatised audiobooks, but I was happy to receive the DRM-free eBook.

I read it in the course of a day, which is probably the best summary of how much I enjoyed it.

The plot is loosely themed around cryptocurrency and cryptography, but it is more about interpersonal relationships than about tech. There’s no need for technical knowledge, and what little is needed to advance the plot, Cory explains as and when needed.

It’s basically a modern day work of detective fiction, with a technology / west coast USA setting. The narrative flows readily, and it is easy to read. The characters are interesting, and the main ones are well developed, and it was an entirely believable plot line.

There’s a bit of sex, described in very non-explicit terms, and a bit of violence, including brief descriptions of torture (which I could have done without, but it did make sense given the plot line), and minimal technobabble.

I’m not really sure what else to say about it. I enjoyed it, and I’d happily read a sequel. Given that it is billed as “A Martin Hench novel” - Hench is the protagonist - I’m hopeful that that’s the case. Cory’s “Little Brother” trilogy was a great way of developing a theme, and showing different perspectives on an issue through different characters, but with enough commonality to work well as a series.

(Bonus marks for the DRM-free eBook. I don’t have any qualms by a DRM’d copy of a book and removing the DRM, to read it on my own personal choice of device, and it is so trivial to do that it really doesn’t add anything to the process of copying a book to my eReader, but I do still prefer DRM-free.)