Happy Saturday friends! The sun is shining, the birds are cold and for the first time in a long time, the heat has no need to be on in the car (and yes, I am typing this as we make our way to Mankato).  Some mornings, I wake up and breathe in the feelings of happiness and today is no different. With this being said, I am thrilled to be able to review for you today Assured Destruction by Michael F.Stewart.


Sixteen-year-old Jan Rose knows that nothing is ever truly deleted. At least, not from the hard drives she scours to create the online identities she calls the Shadownet.

Hobby? Art form? Sad, pathetic plea to garner friendship, even virtually? Sure, Jan is guilty on all counts. Maybe she’s even addicted to it. It’s an exploration. Everyone has something to hide. The Shadownet’s hard drives are Jan’s secrets. They're stolen from her family’s computer recycling business Assured Destruction. If the police found out, Jan’s family would lose their livelihood.

When the real people behind Shadownet’s hard drives endure vicious cyber attacks, Jan realizes she is responsible. She doesn’t know who is targeting these people or why but as her life collapses Jan must use all her tech savvy to bring the perpetrators to justice before she becomes the next victim.


First of all, I must start with how cleverly titled this book was. Assured Destruction could be the main theme of the book and it held steady throughout. Not only was it the name of the business where most of the plot took place, it could also be the theme of Jans’s life. Before I get too deep into the review, let me introduce you to Jan: She is a teenager struggling to make friends and make it through high school days while juggling  a job, boys, a sick mother, and social media. In short, a lot of people can relate to Jan. I think this will hit home with the YA group that the book is aimed towards and this makes the book an instant hit. While most teens don’t create alias’ from their friends hard drives and create a network in their basement (aka the ShadowNet), a lot of teens can relate to staying connected by social media.
When Jan is hacked and her life takes a turn for the worst, it is up to her and only her to get her life on the right track as friends now look at her as the enemy, her mom (and her new boyfriend) starts to distrust her and the police are on her tale for crimes that she didn’t commit. This is where Jan relies solely on herself taught ways as she tracks down the person who hacked her. Little did she know that she would uncover her own ‘assured destruction’ and stop the demolition that was sure to happen.

In all, this was a clever book and a fast read. I think it is a perfect read for today’s YA group and shows them that there can be downfalls to this thing that we call social media. This is a techy read with a cliffhanger ending.

Want to get in the loop? Purchase Assured Destruction at:



About the author:
After crewing ships in the Antarctic and the Baltic Sea and some fun in venture capital, Michael anchored himself (happily) to a marriage and a boatload of kids. Now he injects his adventurous spirit into his writing with brief respites for research into the jungles of Sumatra and Guatemala, the ruins of Egypt and Tik’al, paddling the Zambezi and diving whatever cave or ocean reef will have him. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and SF Canada, and the author of the Assured Destruction series, 24 Bones, The Sand Dragon, Hurakan, Ruination and several award winning graphic novels for young adults.

 -Cheers friends!
2 Responses
  1. Thanks for the great review, Em. I really appreciate it!

  2. Em, I'm glad you feel Michael's book will be a hit with a YA audience. Thanks for the wonderful review :)

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