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Homeland (Little Brother #2)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  4,740 ratings  ·  684 reviews
In Cory Doctorow's wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco--an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.

A few years later, California's e
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ebook, 400 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Tor Teen
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Josh Bancroft
So very, very, good. But not for the usual reasons I call book "good".

This book will make you want to do something, even if its just exploring the world of privacy, encryption, and the technologies that strengthen them (and weaken them). It might make you want to go out and join and Occupy protest. Or get involved in campaigning for an independent political candidate. It might make you consider starting to use TrueCrypt to protect your personal data. It might make you finally get around to figu
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Stacey
Well crap. Once again Doctorow paints a pretty grim and believable picture of what happens when we allow our rights to privacy, autonomy and freedom of expression to be circumscribed in the name of "safety" and "protection."

The most disturbing thing about the potential of this tale to become reality, is that many of the MOST disturbing plot aspects of the novel have already occurred, and even as the perpetrators get their hands slapped, their attorneys rewrite service agreements, that we click
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Demercel
Mar 07, 2013 Demercel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Demercel by: Sandino
Shelves: sci-fi
The book is nice, same basic plot as its predecessor - Little Brother. But it is less scary and less original - exactly because it has a similar plot. It also lacks a climax at the end. I am not the guy that wants every book to end like some western movie with the hero riding toward the sunset with the beautiful girl, but I still want the story to have a real end. I suspect the reason it lacks a climax is intentional, because the story is supposed to be motivational and as a result of this "rea ...more
Pat F.
This sequel to "Little Brother" doesn't quite live up to its predecessor. At the end of LB, Marcus has gone from a somewhat cocky teen rebel to a wiser, scarred near-adult. He learns; he grows; he evolves. In contrast, Marcus ends Homeland in basically the same shape he starts in. It's a shame, because the writing in both books is good, if a bit tech-y in places.

In any event, the book begins with Marcus and his girlfriend Ange having a great time at Burning Man. They run into Masha, a former bad
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Tom Lee
At first I refused to believe this book was a YA novel, and consequently disliked it. I cracked this open as part of a book club assignment -- I hadn't read any of Doctorow's other fiction. I knew that the first book in this series, Little Brother, had been billed as a YA novel. But isn't that just something people say these days when they're vaguely embarrassed by their novel's enthusiasm for chase scenes or wizards?

But no: this is a straight-up YA novel. It's written in the first person, it's
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Kelly
Older does not necessarily mean wiser, not for Marcus Yallow, hero of Cory Doctorow’s bestselling and award winning novel, Little Brother. The sequel, Homeland, is set a couple of years later and opens with Marcus and his girlfriend, Ange, living it up at the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. There, in the middle of nowhere, Marcus’ demons come to haunt him.

First is Masha, who used to be on the wrong side, but might now be on the right side. She hands Marcus her insurance
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Jana
Homeland

I was very excited to read this and I was well aware that I would compare this to Little Brother constantly. Little Brother blew me away and any novel so closely related to it in scope and theme would have a hard time passing scrutiny.

The first chapter didn’t quite pull me in. I understood that it was supposed to set the tone, that the freedom of the Burning Man festival was intended as a stark contrast to the oppressiveness and bleakness of the ‘real world’ waiting back of Chicago. I fo
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Melody
I should never start a Doctorow book in the evening because I will surely be up all night alternately reading and pacing and Googling and despairing and hoping.

This sequel to Little Brother is splendid. The technology bits make me frightened and determined to learn more. The story is gripping, the people (with the possible exception of Carrie because I just can't believe in that much evil- for my own tenuous sanity, I mean) are real and wonderful. The quiet defeat of Marcus' parents is heartbrea
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Thomas
Homeland was a book I hadn't really planned to read as part of my "finish up my unfinished series" project for the year. I enjoyed Little Brother, but I wasn't itching to see where the story went from there. At the last minute, I decided to add it to the list, and now that I've finished it, I can say that I made the wrong decision. I should have gone with my first instinct and left it well enough alone.

That's not to say that the book is bad; it's not. It's actually quite readable, compelling, an
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Nicholas
The best measure of how I feel about Cory Doctorow's Homeland is that I read it in the course of two incredibly busy days. I carved out time late at night and between highly productive work projects to devour this book. I really enjoyed it and it made me tear up a time or two.

It's not perfect. It doesn't have the impact of Little Brother, but it is a worthy follow up and does a number of things better than the first one. I think it does a better job of serving as a gate-way drug to geek skills
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James Swenson
If you loved Little Brother, you'll want to read this, too. It's the same mix: one teenage moral dilemma after another, blended with evangelism for freedom through cryptography.

Since Cory Doctorow is a fellow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, I was irritated by his use of a sandstorm to literally blow his main characters into a tent containing three of the leading lights of the EFF -- and Wil Wheaton, the internet hero formerly of Star Trek: The Next Generation and eponym of Wheaton's Law.
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Rob
This is a "Young Adult" novel so although it is well written, there is a healthy dose of over-explanation (as you might expect). I might be showing my age here, but it did irk me that Marcus (or Doctorow) felt he could trust the reader to get the oblique "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" reference but needed to explain a quote from "2001: A Space Odyssey" to death.

While Little Brother was concerned with the "war on terror", Patriot Act and Guantanamo, the background to this novel is the Occu
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Ricky
Is it too much to hope that this book lives up to the high-water mark of its predecessor?

Apparently not. While there's a lot less action and/or humor than the first book, the general spirit of rebellion and justice remains, and it's still a most satisfying read. After all, Joss Whedon stated that he would like to make The Avengers 2 something "smaller" and "more personal" than the first. Doctorow seems to have followed a similar philosophy here. The book depends more on small moments than big, s
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the golden witch.
4.5/5 stars.

I didn't think Doctorow could top himself in terms of perfectly blending social commentary with important issues that more YA readers should be looking at with "Pirate Cinema", but I was wrong. "Homeland", the follow up to the 2008 release, "Little Brother", absolutely blows everything else out of the water. And yes, while he gets a bit didactic in this and his other works, it's stuff we need to be reading. It's stuff that's firmly rooted in reality that is absolutely frightening, a
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Derek Newman-Stille
Marcus was known as m1k3y when he was younger, a web protestor and advocate of human rights who exposed government corruption. In Homeland, Marcus is a young adult, just beginning life outside of university. He has all of the regular issues facing a young person – searching for a job, dealing with student loans, new relationships… but he also has had a new set of responsibilities placed on him. When two of his friends are kidnapped, they leave him with a huge document listing and proving a remar ...more
Brick
Another book of ideas, to be read after Little Brother, its predecessor. Same criticism of character development, and as before, it is often more than a little preachy, putting the protagonist and his family in the middle of the many difficulties of the 2008 recession, compounded by the logical results of Marcus' activities, his father's loss of his security clearance, etc. Most ironic, and sad, is the afterword by Aaron Swartz who has since been hounded to suicide by Federal prosecutors, and th ...more
terry gibbs
Despite being more than slightly didactic (Doctorow slips in lectures on politics, internet privacy, and making good coffee, and the maker and free software movements) Homeland (like "Little Brother," to which it is the sequel) manages to be entertaining and suspenseful, primarily because its viewpoint character, Marcus is so credible as a young hacker who becomes increasingly politically radicalized in the face of escalating violations of privacy and civil liberties in the US (in Doctorow's "if ...more
Gert
Feb 11, 2015 Gert rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gert by: Bert Heymans
Shelves: audiobook
Let's start off with the audiobook part. The reading was excellent. Wil Wheaton did an excellent job and it was a pleasant listen.

The story rating? A gentle three stars.
A short insight into the why:
I was a bit disappointed by this book. It started off with a lot of potential but the main threads weren't as expansive as I hoped. The main characters are teenagers & all problems and solutions are really on a teenage-y level. And I don't like teenage-y stuff (anymore). My personal rating would b
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Laura
I adored Little Brother, so I was really looking forward to this follow-up. While it's very similar in both storyline and tone, I thought it did a great job of moving the story forward. This is set in a near-future world in which a huge terrorist attack took place in San Francisco, and the scary part is that it isn't too different from our current world: constant surveillance, far-ranging government power, etc. (hence why I tagged it as "bleak"). Not quite as pulse-poundingly exciting as the fir ...more
James
I'm not normally a great consumer of audiobooks. Generally, I find they require too much concentration for the times and locations that they claim to be perfect for – I like to concentrate on my driving while driving, I don't have a garden to tend and, to be honest, while I'm out running I'm too busy thinking about avoiding traffic and not having a heart attack to be listening to audiobooks. Train journey's, flights and other travelling it's just as easy to read a book proper anyway, so why both ...more
Arthur
The easiest way to review Homeland is in relation to Doctorow's other YA novels. This one is not substantively different in style or content; he seems to be settling into a form that either works for you or it doesn't. He may not have an exceptional gift for style; his language, plots, and characters are all unremarkable, but effective. It seems that reading Doctorow's novels is like reading his blogs, which in turn appear to be not that different than sitting in his mind for a bit. And because ...more
Courtney
Marcus "M1k3y" Yallow's story continues two years after the events in Little Brother. We catch up to him at Burning Man where he is attempting to show off his 3d printer with the aid of his girlfriend, Ange. Regrettably, the playa dust is causing some technical difficulties, so Marcus and Ange have given up and moved on to enjoy the Burning Man scene. Imagine Marcus's surprise when he encounters a face from his not-too-distant past: Masha. Masha has tracked Marcus down to deliver a USB drive wit ...more
Nick
I didn't realize going in that 'Homeland' was intended for young adults. I'm not sure if knowing that would have changed my opinion about it. The novel has what seems to be a consistent problem for Doctorow: all-pervasive narrative contrivance. The protagonist knows all the right moves, everything from how to whip up some delicious pho (it's pronounced 'fah' in one of Doctorow's many moments of pretentiousness) beat a lie detector (practice puckering your butt beforehand so you can do it while t ...more
Katie
This is the sequel to his awesome book, Little Brother. It is full of computer hacking heroes who battle covert government agencies that want to track citizen's every move. It had burning man festivals, homemade drones, fancy computer coding tricks(that I didn't understand), massive San Francisco demonstrations, evil police brutality, outrage over student loans and unemployment, independent politicians trying to change government, and a distinct love for wikileaks. It was definitely a call to ac ...more
Laura Martinelli
I don’t really seek out overtly political books—mainly nonfiction, but when I come across a fiction book that’s very political, I tend to side-eye it a little more. There’s a reason why books like Fahrenheit 451 works so well is that the politics they discuss aren’t so topically specific. And as a personal preference, I don’t really seek out books that I know I’m going to disagree with or something that’s way more extreme than I believe. (I consider myself a moderate, for the record.) While I co ...more
Stefan
3.5 stars

To prepare for Homeland, the sequel to Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful 2007 YA novel Little Brother, I decided to give that first book a quick re-read. Not for the first time, I was struck by how clever and awesome it is that Doctorow offers his novels as free downloads under a Creative Commons license because, even though I’m positive that I own at least two physical copies of the book, I couldn’t find them anywhere. (Hey, I just moved, give me a break. They’ll turn up.) So, I happil
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Dan
Books like Homeland remind me why I enjoy fiction in the first place. When done well, fiction helps us learn, it helps us with self reflection and of course it entertains us.

I have a friend who said to me recently that he used to read self help books but quit when he realized that they were so often formulaic. I'll paraphrase since I can't remember the (way more eloquent) way he put it: sure they can help you, IF you dedicate your life to mindlessly following the pattern described - And here's
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Monica
I must say that, after reading -and greatly enjoying- Cory's first book in the series, Little Brother, I found Homeland, the sequel, a little disappointing.
The plot and the main theme are more or less the same as the previous novel, following Marcus Yallow and his friends in their fight for freedom and civil rights.
But, if both the goal and the message are highly remarkable, the plot simply isn't.
Don't get me wrong, it's a nice, enjoyable read. But it can't be compared to the previous novel.
It
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Jeff
I couldn't put this book down. It felt cyberpunky. It felt like a hip spy-novel. It was great. For the first 260 pages or so. Then, it starts to break down. Like the message is more important than the story. Which is sad because the message is so important. Just read the 2 afterwords and the bibliography to realize how important. I was reading for the story and the story falls flat.

The story follows Marcus as he comes into possession of some influential data. What he does with the data. And how
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Steven Slaughter
If I could, I would give Homeland a 2.5 because I feel completely in the middle about it. I am a fan of Doctorow in general, especially Little Brother and Makers. This much anticipated sequel tended to drag, though, without enough genuine danger. I also struggled with the amount of techy explanation he goes into. I know that this is a real treat for some people, but for me, it weakens the story whenever it bogs down the pacing. Not that I am a big action fan that expects non-stop thrills...but t ...more
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12581
Canadian blogger, journalist and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing.

He is an activist in favor of liberalizing copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books.

Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, Disney, and post-scarcity economics.

http://us.macmillan.com
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More about Cory Doctorow...

Other Books in the Series

Little Brother (2 books)
  • Little Brother (Little Brother, #1)
Little Brother (Little Brother, #1) In Real Life Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom For the Win Makers

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“I hate that," I said. "It's like there's no human beings in the chain of responsibility, just things-that-happen. It's the ultimate cop-out. The system did it. The company did it. The government did it. What about the person who pulls the trigger?” 10 likes
“It was like finding Attila the Hun at a yoga class. Like finding Darth Vader playing ultimate Frisbee in the park. Like finding Megatron volunteering at a children's hospital. Like finding Nightmare Moon having a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.” 9 likes
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