Brain Jack by Brian Falkner

brain jackBibliographic Information:

Falkner, B. (2011). Brain Jack. New York: Ember. (978-0375843662)

Plot Summary:

In a technology-driven future where immersive online gaming has become a serious addiction, Sam is a techno-nerd whose idea of fun is hacking into impenetrable computer systems. When his latest hack lands him in Reckton Hall Juvenile Detention Center, he doesn’t realize that he has just become part of a bigger game. If he can hack his way out of Reckton, the rules of the game will change and he will be one of the players.

Critical Evaluation:

Brain Jack is an excellent addition to the very strong list of technology-driven books written for teens lately. The plot is focused, the characters are well-developed, and the setting is tomorrow. Falkner has taken the real concepts of gaming addiction, brain-computer interfaces, and computer security and weaved them a great tale.

Reader’s Annotation:

Everyone wants a neuro-headset because they allow the user to control his computer with his mind. But if your mind is connected to the Internet can it be hacked? Sam is about to find out.

Information About the Author:

Brian Falkner always wanted to be an author. According to his website he dropped out of university to write. He has worked as a reporter, an advertising copywriter, and an Internet developer (The life of Brian).

He has published several books for children and teens including The Super Freak and The Tomorrow Code.

Brian was born in Auckland, Australia in 1962.

For more information please visit Brian Falkner’s site:


  • Science fiction
  • Adventure fiction
  • Computer hackers
  • Terrorism

Curriculum Ties:

  • Computers

Booktalking Ideas:

Reading Level/Interest Age:

  • Ages 12 and up
  • Reading level: 6.3

Challenge Issues:

  • N/A

Why did you include this resource in the titles you selected?:

I read this book for the first time a couple of years ago. I was reminder of it lately after reading Little Brother.


  • Storylines Notable Books List 2010 Young Adult Fiction list.
  • New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2010 Young Adult Finalist.
  • New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2010 Young Adult Children’s Choice category winner.
  • 2011 YASLA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list


  • Anderson, K. (2010). Brain Jack. School Library Journal, 56(12), 112.

“the nicely paced plot and well-crafted story arc make this a title worth recommending, particularly to boys who like technology or science fiction.”

  • BRAIN JACK. (2010). Kirkus Reviews, 78(15), 726.

“But most will blast through to the epilogue, simultaneously satisfying and deeply unsettling, and eye their keyboards with more respect and a little nervousness. Geektastic.”

  • Chipman, I. (2010). Brain Jack. Booklist, 107(3), 82.

“Think of this as the high-octane, adrenalized sibling of Cory Doctorow’s more lesson-laden Little Brother”


Falkner, Brian. (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2013 from,%20Brian

The life of Brian. (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2013, from


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