Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Assured Destruction by Michael F. Stewart - Ashley's Review + GIVEAWAY

It's a busy week on the blog, and we have another blog tour and giveaway for you! This time, Ashley is reviewing the entire Assured Destruction series (the omnibus was just released last week) by Michael F. Stewart, and Michael is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, as well as 25 eBook copies of the complete series. Don't miss your chance to win this excellent series! You can also visit the rest of the stops on the tour - which includes reviews of the individual books and excerpts - by going to the tour schedule.

About the book

Title: Assured Destruction
Author: Michael F. Stewart
Publication Date: May 9, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult

Synopsis: Teenage hacker, Janus Rose, doesn’t care about the moral choices of living multiple lives online, until the real life consequences of her actions enslave her to the local PD’s High Tech Crime Unit, forcing her to become the very creature hackers hate, a spook. 

Jan owes the world nothing. Her father left without a word. #BIGSECRET Her mother has progressive Multiple Sclerosis. And Jan juggles the need to complete homework with the need to keep pizza on the table, running the family computer recycling business. Living in an industrial park with crappy Feng Shui, Jan’s pretty sure that the only one she can depend on is herself. Maybe. And yet, just because she knows how to code, people seem to think they can depend on her to save their butts and solve their crimes.

Jan does take short cuts. She skirts the shadows of what’s right and wrong. But she has to; if she’s not multitasking then she fails out of school, or the family loses the business, or someone dies ...

It’s a brave new world. Welcome to ASSURED DESTRUCTION.

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. His most recent project, The Terminals, has been optioned for television by Sudden Storm Entertainment.

Michael lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife and four daughters. He tries very hard to keep life an adventure both on and off the page. Please come find me on Goodreads.

Ashley's Review

When I started Assured Destruction, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. A series of books about a computer hacker who gets herself into trouble? A teenager with more problems than she can handle? Sure, this series has all of that. But it's also got SO much more, and it's so worth the read! I was pleasantly surprised, and I'm so glad that I was given the opportunity to read all three books. 

Janus Rose is not your typical teenager. She's very gifted when it comes to computers - she can build them from scrap parts, write iPhone apps and other programs, and can do pretty much whatever she wants when it comes to Photoshop and social media. In fact, she's constructed many different personalities based on hard drives she was supposed to destroy. One of my favorite parts of this series was these different identities and that the actually exist online! There's Gumps, Heckleena, Frannie, Hairy, Tule, and Paradise57. Jan runs all of the Twitter accounts and blogs for these "people," and each one is unique. She also has her own Twitter account, @JFlyTrap, and other characters' accounts are referenced (and also exist!). Reading this book was an experience, and it was super neat. 

Most of the plot revolves around Jan trying to save her family's failing business, Assured Destruction, where they recycle old electronics and destroy hard drives by sending them through an industrial shredder. In the process of saving Assured Destruction, Jan somehow manages to end up on the wrong side of hackers, crackers, and basically every authority figure she knows. I enjoyed reading about how she would solve one problem after another, while juggling school, work, her mother's failing health, and a budding relationship. 

Speaking of relationships, the development of both friendships and romantic relationships is done really well. Janus is kind of a loner and her only friends exist on her network, Shadownet. She's never had a real boyfriend either, so it was actually kind of funny watching her try to figure out how to be in a romantic relationship. It takes her a while to realize that she needs to let people in, and Michael made the transformation from lone wolf to a member of a functioning group of friends very interesting and relateable. Jan grows so much over the course of the series, even though it takes place over basically the fall semester.

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone interested in mysteries or thrillers, especially those with a technological edge. The romance is just a side plot and not too heavy, so this series would also be good for anyone who doesn't really like to read books with a lot of romance. I hear there are character background stories in graphic novel form, so I'm pretty excited to check those out! I'd give the whole series a 4/5. 

Giveaway time! 

Don't forget to visit the rest of the stops on the tour, and thanks for stopping by to find out what Ashley thought about Assured Destruction

--Ashley & Paul


  1. Thanks so much for the awesome review, Ashley! Glad you enjoyed the series. :)

  2. Oh cool I love how the identities really exist that gives another layer to the story that's really neat! I like the sounds of this I should give it a try too! :) Great review!