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Crash Alive

(Haylie Black #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  27 reviews

"A high-tech Da Vinci Code."

Gold Medal Winner of the 2016 Operation Thriller Competition. Haylie Black is a 17-year-old hacker with a chip on her shoulder. When her brother vanishes trying to solve a legendary internet puzzle, Haylie knows that she's the only one who can track him down. As she begins to reveal the mysteries behind each clue, she's pulled deeper and deeper

Kindle Edition, 310 pages
Published March 25th 2016 by Old Ballard Press
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Brian's Book Blog
A high-tech DaVinci Code

Crash Alive is a story about an amateur high school hacker who seems to get in over her head once she realizes that her brother has been trying to solve a seemingly unsolvable internet puzzle. What comes next will lead Haylie on a high-stakes adventure and uncover a sinister plot.

The narration for Crash Alive was done by Amanda Dolan who is perfect. I read a short interview on Kerns' website with her and I can definitely see why he picked her. It just worked perfectly.
Emily Ross
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was pretty good. The pacing was great, it introduced interesting characters that I wanted to know more about. Except Ceasar, who I thought was pretty lame, being as his disappearance is the reason for the entire book, he's not a very likeable character, in my opinion.
The plot was brilliant - it was like a treasure hunt but with added stakes.
I had such a bad feeling about the Sterling brothers and their interactions
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! At first I thought it was a little too much of a fantasy, but the further I read the more the plot grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go! I read far into the night to see what was going to happen next. While I am no computer geek, and just blindly accepted what the book was explaining, I did find myself asking "is this part happening today? In the real world?" Indeed, The author, Christopher Kerns, brings up some brilliant insights as to what is possible in the world of ...more
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Fast, often funny, with a smart and determined lead. Unusual scenario for a teen novel.
Cons: Alternation of teen and adult POV/adventuring and scheming makes the pace and tone a bit uneven. Requires some suspension of disbelief. Contains techno-stuff only a few can actually wrap their head around. (Then again, you don't really need to).
Will appeal to: Fans of technology and mystery with a big side of adventure and a huge
Sandy Wallace
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lets Hear It for the Hacker Girl!!

As a female reader of a certain age (nearing 70 years old), who loves good thrillers and conspiracy novels, I really enjoyed this book. Though the heroine is a high schooler, this is not just for the YA audience. Haylie Black is a smart, independent Texas teen who knows her own mind and is a self-taught (with a little guidance from her older brother) hacker and tech wizard. In trying to solve an internet puzzle sent to her by her brother (now working in for a
Dee Martin
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Jerry Jarrell
Shelves: favorites
A smart girl, cool tech, mysterious internet puzzle, secret societiescount me in. This book was definitely a page turner. I was on a family vacation and had a little time waiting in the car so I downloaded it to my phone and finished the last few chapters. I never read on my phone but I could not wait. Many times my heart was beating faster as I read. I loved this book and I can't wait for the next one. It would be appropriate for upper middle school to adult. There are a few cuss words but ...more
Lynn Morrison
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a girl crush on Haylie Black! She is whip smart, a little sassy, and 100% confident in herself. I wish I had been half of that when I was in high school. I love the premise of this book - the world is going to end and it is up to the hackers to save it. It is the perfect blend of geeky coder talk and fast-paced action that keeps the story moving along.
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Crash Alive, an interesting tale woven around internet espionage and computers with a happy ending. Enjoyable read.
Richard Burke
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haylie Black (hacker name Crash) follows a series of clues to find her missing brother. Well written but there were a few holes in the plot, particularly towards the end.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story had such a great potential and started of quite nicely, unfortunately it got really bad really quickly.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-current, ya
This was a fun little hacker puzzle. The main evil plot was pretty silly and overly dramatic, but I didn't even care.
Ryan H
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit sceptical at the beginning because I do not know much about computer coding but the premise of the book seemed to be something that I would enjoy. The author and narrator definitely delivered! I enjoy a good treasure hunt and what was found at the end of this one is pretty wicked! The characters are well thought out and develop throughout the story and you will find yourself rooting for them as the story goes on. If a treasure hunt wasn't enough there's ...more
Elena Alvarez Dosil
Review originally published at

I was offered a free copy of this book in audio format by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Haylie Black is very smart teenage student which does not feel motivated by the daily routine at her highschool, so spends much time chatting with her friend Vector and hacking whatever she can just to feel challenged. Her older brother just vanishes one day while trying to resolve a famous internet puzzle called "Raven
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Kerns has recently released his first book, Crash Alive, from his Haylie Black series and I have to say it is one of the best thrillers that I have read in a while, and being a reviewer of thrillers that says a lot. Crash Alive is labeled as a young adult novel mainly because the protagonist, Haylie Black is a 17 year old, and like most 17 year old girls, she deals with typical adolescent issues, such as going to school, dealing with high school cliques and, of course, the ever ...more
Donna Backshall
Disclaimer: I was gifted a copy of the unabridged audio book by the author in exchange for an honest review. I'm a data scientist who loves sci-fi with plausible tech, so I was happy to give this work a listen and share my thoughts.

Plenty of others have provided a plot summary, so I won't reinvent that here. What I will share is that Crash Alive is well constructed and sustains a decent pace. One of its best features is that it's less predictable than your average action-thriller, and great care
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Step aside Bella, Anastasia, Tris, and yes, even you, Katniss. Haylie Black is the protagonist I want my nieces (and nephews!) to read about, love, and emulate. In Kerns' first novel, Black draws the reader along a high-stakes hunt to find her brother in a labyrinth spanning the digital and physical world.

In a refreshing twist, she doesn't get waylaid by two equally hunky suitors or undergo some ugly duckling transformation, she's way too focused on applying her caffeine-fueled STEM skills to
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This novel was right up my alley. I love technology and while I cannot hack anything and dont know a fraction of what Haylie Black does, I loved reading about it all. Haylie is a lonely senior in high school who know computers, code, and all thing internet. When she is approached by two big tech company CEOs with the challenge to find her missing brother, things get interesting QUICK. Crash Alive is a thrilling adventure about how
Becca Hatheway
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's always a good sign when I stay up late reading a book and then bring it to work so I can continue reading when I can find a few free minutes. Crash Alive was that sort of reading experience for me. It's a well-written page turner with a very compelling story and enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes. I love that the protagonist is a smart, tech savvy teenage girl. I love that the author includes things I wanted to learn more about, including different uses of technology, secret ...more
Alicia Marie
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an adventure! This is easily one of the best YA thrillers I have read in awhile! I found myself turning on my Kindle any chance I had to read this page-turner!

I loved the female protaganist, Haylie. She is young, sassy, and smart. Her personality mixed with the cool tech, mysterious secret societies, and a scavenger hunt makes for one exciting read. Buckle up, because this book will keep you on edge with every page you turn.

Thanks to Christopher Kerns for allowing me an ecopy to read and
Melati Lum
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!!! I didn't know what to expect as I don't usually pick up books in this genre, but this one hooked me right from the first page! Haylie has the reader routing for her from the very beginning as we are drawn further into the unseen world of hackers and power hungry psychopaths. The numerous twists and turns throughout the story kept me on the edge of my seat, and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. A high energy, well-researched, extremely entertaining YA thriller. Highly ...more
Andrew Moore
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fast-paced gripping ride. The book is accessible (and appropriate) for young adults while complex enough to please adults. A smart, sassy heroine takes on Bond like villains in a high stakes global cat-and-mouse. Kerns places real technology against a backdrop of bizarre but equally real settings to create a page-turner of a first novel. At some point, you will lift your head from the pages and wonder where the day went.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action-thriller
This is an extremely well written thriller that blends reality with fiction. The heroine is a brilliant young woman in her late teens who is a computer genius. That doesn't make life easy for her. Then she is confronted with evil forces who threaten herself and people close to her. The narrative is well paced and unexpected events keep the reader off balance. A remarkable debut novel. Perfect for Hollywood!
Pete Funk
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent cyber thriller

Hackers, nefarious plots, world spanning puzzles, government cover ups, it's all here. It's well placed. A fun, exciting read. And to top it off the main character is a kick ass girl from Texas who will take guff from no one.
Jon Barber
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. Kind of a hacker version of Da Vinci code, with enough realistic banter to make it feel very current.
Hunter Hubby
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, well paced. Nice mix of technology and thriller.
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Audiobooks: Free copies of Crash Alive, a new YA Tech Thriller, for reviewers 25 49 Feb 13, 2017 11:08AM  

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Christopher Kerns is a lifelong nerd. He is the author of SIDE QUEST and the Haylie Black series (CRASH ALIVE and CRASH INTO PIECES.) He writes fiction about the intersection of interesting characters and technology, and what happens when the two collide.

He has over two decades of experience

Other books in the series

Haylie Black (2 books)
  • Crash Into Pieces (Haylie Black #2)

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