ARC Review: Hacking Timbuktu

Author: Stephen Davies
Genre: YA, Adventure, Mystery
Release Date: November, 2010
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5/5

Description: Long ago in the ancient city of Timbuktu a student pulled off the most daring heist in African history, the theft of 100 million pounds worth of gold. The stolen treasure has remained hidden until now, when teenage hacker Danny Temple discovers a cryptic Arabic manuscript. It's a good job that Danny is a keen traceur (free runner) because he has to run across rooftops and leap from buildings to stay one step ahead of his pursuers. His nightmarish and adrenalin-charged quest leads him all the way to sub-Saharan Africa, and the mysterious cliffs of Bandiagara.


What I Didn't Like:

  • My main issue is the fact that the main character, Danny, is 16 and lives alone (parents are in Australia, I believe). Also it's kind of....far-fetched that a 16 year-old kid could find what the pros haven't been able to in seven centuries. I don't know. It seemed a little far fetched to me. With that being said...

What I Did Like:

  • The book was action-packed and fast-paced...especially towards the end. I could so see this as an action thriller.

  • It introduced my to the phenomena of parkour. According to Parkour Visions website, parkour is "the art of moving through your environment as swiftly and effectively as possible using only the human body." In Hacking Timbuktu, Danny and his best friend, Omar, use parkour to get away from the ones after them.

Hacking Timbuktu shows what 100 million pounds of gold can do to your morals (like, uh, forget them). This book is definitely "boy" book, especially with the action and parkour tricks. I mean, being able to jump from building to building without having to be a superhero? Awesome.