Cameron Rush and Rosa Costas are best friends even though they have never met in person. Thanks to the multiCom, which is a computer/AI combo, they are able to connect even though Cameron lives in Wisconsin and Rosa in New Mexico. They come from very different backgrounds, but they share a love of technology. And when a new school is set up by the largest computer developer, GundTech, both of them apply for admittance.
This is an action packed novel filled with puzzles to solve. In addition to Cameron and Rosa, there is a reporter, Meagan Fletcher, who is relentless in her pursuit of the truth. She is determined to discover who is behind GundTech and their latest technological advance, a quantum computer which uses “bits called qubits, and not only do they have more than two states of being, they can be in more than one state at the same time. In short, a quantum computer can be extremely powerful and very small at the same time.”
The characters are very well developed, and I really liked both Cameron and Rosa. They came across as very real teenagers, each with his/her own personality, complete with strengths and weaknesses. I also liked Meagan, an honest reporter who is a workaholic with no personal life, but she has a drive to report the news honestly, without rumor-mongering or distortion.
There are a lot of fascinating settings in the various simulations in the book, and we get to meet such famous personages as Arthur Conan Doyle and Madame Curie. Cameron and Rosa are both extremely bright and they and their classmates devise all sorts of interesting puzzles which are great fun to solve, for the reader as well as for Cameron and Rosa.
Someone is trying to destroy GundTech and its head, and the solution to that mystery raises a host of philosophical questions which Cameron, Rosa, and Meagan must solve before it is too late. Other issues which this book deals with include providing technology to those who can’t afford it, a company’s right to patents versus a free disclosure of knowledge, time travel, the nature of reality, and what it means to be human.
Readers of science fiction, especially those who would like a bit more than merely a great story, who want to think as well as enjoy, will certainly find From the Shadows to be an exciting and compelling novel.
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