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Phantom Wheel


3.77  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  52 reviews
The digital apocalypse has arrived and the future is here in this addictive technological thriller full of twists and turns. Perfect for fans of Nerve!

Being recruited by the CIA to join a top-secret intelligence program should be the opportunity of a lifetime. For Issa, it's a shot at creating a new and better life for herself and her siblings. For clever con artist Harpe
Published October 16th 2018 by Little, Brown Young Readers
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  179 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Nicole Chinnici
Phantom Wheel was a contemporary young adult novel reminiscent of the nineties movie Hackers.

A fast paced, plot driven story, this is told from the perspective of three of the characters, with a few text message conversations and other documents interspersed throughout. I’ve seen very similar storylines before but Phantom Wheel still held my interest and I zipped right through it. And this had a cinematic quality to it, enabling me to vividly imagine everything. I do think this would make a grea
Kath (Read Forevermore)
An arc of this book was sent to me by The NOVL in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 / 5

The Phantom Wheel is a fast-paced story told from the perspectives of three of the main characters. It’s an action packed, crazy plotted, character driven story about six hackers who get “played” by the supposed CIA and end up creating the most devastating virus ever.

— writing
This book was very fast paced, and whenever I had the time, I zipped right through the pages
Vicky Again
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

If you're like me and you love anything science-y tech-y, especially books about hackers (even though it's not technically sci-fi), then you'll definitely want to pick up Deebs' latest novel, Phantom Wheel.

What I loved about this was all the science and the tech and it was like a totally geek out book for me. I can say right off the bat that this book isn't for everyone if you don't feel gripped by coding jargon mixed with action.

But I personally adored this sort of action/adventure nov
The Blonde Bookworm
Phantom Wheel was an extremely catchy story that held my attention from start to finish. I loved the fast pace of the novel and found it entertaining that the story was told by three alternating characters. I often found myself having to back track a little to make sure I knew which character was speaking, but it didn't throw me off too badly. I think Deebs could have made each of the character's voices a little different, but it wasn't something that really changed my opinion of the novel.

Clare O'Beara
This is a lively tale of six young people who hack for various reasons, some to do harm, some not. As is usual in current YA books, they are a wide mix of backgrounds and girls are featured equally with guys. The CIA invites them all to come to LA and pass a hacking test... if they manage it they may be offered college and jobs. We mainly follow an impoverished young lady who needs the offer, but another guy turns the prospect down flat. Later he searches for the others on line and contacts them ...more
Paige Green
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Little Brown Young Readers and The Novl. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4/5

Publication Date: October 16th, 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Recommended Age: 14+ (hacking, the digital apocalypse, some language, some romance)

Pages: 403

Author Website

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Believing they have been recruited by the CIA, six teen hackers arrive in LA for a hacking aptitude test with the promise of a college scholarship and a job with the CIA after graduation. B
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to The Novl for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Phantom Wheel was an action-packed, high-stakes hacker novel with a great cast of characters, an elaborate and extreme plot, and great humor.
First, let's talk characters. We had six protagonists, and got perspectives of about four. I did wonder why we lacked the other perspectives, since all characters got equal "show time," but this was still a great way of telling the story. The voices did tend to run t
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Even tough this was rife with computer hacking terms, I did enjoy it. The characters were likable and the plot line was interesting for a cold winter day long before winter is officially here. It made me glad that I don't have a cell phone.
Maria Mitchell
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book is all over the place.
Emmi Rose  (emmirosereads)
I'm still trying to wrap my head around what went down in this book but I honestly had so much fun reading it! I can't sit here and say that this is the most incredible book ever or one of the best books I've ever read. It definitely had it's problems and it's flaws but it was extremely enjoyable to read. It was crazy, intense, emotional, hilarious at times and so much more. I went in honestly with kind of low expectations because I hadn't been hearing the best reviews after I received a copy an ...more
Lily (latestreads)
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*Thank you to TheNovl for sending me a copy of this book to review. Please know that all of the opinions are my honest thoughts.

4.5 Stars

I just flew through the Phantom Wheel by Tracy Deebs! The idea for the book was unique and intriguing, and I knew that I would love it. A bunch of teenagers hackers getting played by a group pretending to be the CIA and accidentally creating the worlds most dangerous computer virus and having to fix it all during and before finals? SIGN ME UP!

As I mentioned bef
Aaron Daniels
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
2.5 stars from me.

This took me much longer to read than I anticipated. Normally I devour stories like this but I struggled to really get into the story with the massive info-dumping and heavy, heavy tech talk. I'll work on my review and have it up soon.

HUGE thanks to The Novl and LB for the copy! I received an arc as a LBYR Partner in exchange for an honest review.


Full review can be found here:

This was one of those books that I was honestly curiou
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, scifi, arc, novl
Holy suspense Batman~ Tracy Deebs got me on this one.

First, thank you to The Novl and Little, Brown Young Readers for providing me this book in exchange for an honest review. #LBYRPARTNER

Now on to the goo parts. This book was a ONE SITTING end to end finish. I picked it up and could NOT STOP READING. It was phenomenal on action and suspense. The characters were amazing and I was rooting for them the entire time.

Phantom Wheel follows the story of six hackers and our st
Oh man, I wish I hadn't waited a week to review this. Hmm, let me try to remember my thoughts.

Most important thoughts:
- Yay, a hacker book! Though I am certainly no hacker, the characters sound very natural and seem to know what they're talking about. Deebs seems to have done her research or had a good consultant.
- Diverse representation: we have POCs with a variety of backgrounds (foster kid, asexual, Japanese, British, Colombian, and more)
- A book dealing with an important issue of the day --
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC from TheNovl for an honest review.

I'd rate more as 4.25 stars.

Okay, I kind of really loved this book?? I was really intrigued by the synopsis- 6 teen hackers, 1 bad corporation, a high-stakes digital catastrophe if they don't succeed in stopping it- YES, sign me right up! I've haven't read any of the author's previous works, but this one was so much fun and I'm looking forward to more books in this series. It's like a contemporary/sci-fi mix, set in modern day, and so very rel
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Blog | YouTube | Instagram

I’m surprised that I haven’t seen this book around on social media as much as I usually do with other YA novels so I didn’t know too much about this book until I had the opportunity to reach it from the Novl. I’m glad to say that I am thoroughly surprised by it because I actually really enjoyed it.

I loved the action and the geekiness of it especially with all of those computer hacking jargons. While the overall plot was really basic and simple, I thought that the autho
Unseen Library
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy Phantom Wheel from Hachette Australia to review.

When six genius teen hackers are invited to audition for the CIA in order to receive an exclusive scholarship and job offer, five of them, Issa, Harper, Ezra, Alika and Seth, jump at the opportunity and create the code that is requested of them. The sixth teen, Owen, walks out of the room, refusing to participate. Later, when the other five return home they each receive a message for Owen, “You’ve been played.” Owen has uncovered
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to the Novl for sending me a copy for review! I look forward to posting a full review.

Full review: https://mindofabookdragon.wordpress.c...

This book starts a little slow, but it picks up after the five remaining hackers perform their hack. It is heavily plot driven and full of action. This was probably the best part of the book -- it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

It's told from three perspectives, and while this is really nice to see inside their heads, I felt t
Erin Moulton
Overall, I enjoyed this fast paced hacker novel. I loved all the hacking talk and the fast paced action. It made me feel really smart just reading it because it was like I was being let in on a lingo I basically know nothing about. The cast was laudibly diverse and the characters, for the most part, had depth. The action was exciting and super interesting.

The one gripe I had was that a few of the characters felt stereotypical or from stereotypical situations. i.e. the Asian girl, though wicked
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I'd give this an upward leaning 3.5 stars, but it's not quite up to par with earning a 4-star rating.
Six teenage hackers with very different personalities get a chance to prove their skills to the CIA and earn a scholarship and a guaranteed job... or so they think. It's a story that's been told at least 100 times before so it doesn't get many points for originality, but the hackers are all different and well-developed enough that the story does end up pulling you in.
And that might just be my mai
Jess (bookwyrmbella)
This was a fantastic read! Each of the six main characters had unique personalities and flaws but brought their own skills to the team. The story was fast paced but still allowed the reader to learn more about the background. The computer jargon was sometimes a bit confusing but I got the overall gist of what they were trying to accomplish. The chapters went back and forth from different POV's from the six teens. There was also lots of witty banter between the characters that added some comic re ...more
Louis Skye
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a fun and very light read. It's YA so don't expect it to get too deep. Every plot point is obviously stated. But the narrative moves at a lively pace, at that's good.

All the characters are teenagers and they have issues™️. They're also the only ones who can take down a mega evil super bad corporation. Why don't they go to the police? Because then there would be no story.

The romances were very annoying though. The protagonists are evenly split - three girls, three boys - but even though
John Clark
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take a bunch of teens who have one thing in common-superb computer hacking skills, but are completely different otherwise, then let them get sucked into a fake CIA recruiting test. Watch one smell a rat while the others fall for the ruse and create a set of extremely dangerous hacks that have the potential to give one company control of technology and social media. Let the one hacker who refused to bite stew until he has to alert the others to his discoveries. Mix well and serve. What ensues is ...more
Karen Treadwell
This book is about six hackers that are duped into creating an apocalyptic computer virus under the pretense of competing for a college scholarship. After they figure out that they have been fooled, they ban together stop the corporation from spreading the virus. The story is told from the perspective of three of the hackers. Sometimes it's confusing who is speaking because one of the hackers has given everyone nicknames. Also some of the texting parts just have initials for who his talking and ...more
I would like to thank Hachette Romans and the Netgalley website for this partnership.

There are six young hackers who are brought by the CIA to pass an aptitude test with a scholarship and a promise of a job, except that five of them accept. The only one who refused realized that there was something wrong with the test statement. And indeed it is not the Central Intelligence Agency but the Jacento company that is trying to create a phantom wheel, a virus ghost wheel that would allow access to ev
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tracy brings yet another imaginative book to life and creatives such a great story with action, drama, humor, and even some flirting ;)

But more importantly, she writes these characters that have grit and an intelligence that goes beyond their years. There age does not define them nor does it stop them from making change and taking action. They learn to trust and build a community with each other by taking responsibility for a mistake they made and they fight back against the Power who is trying
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a fun, super action-packed read, and I was really into it for the first 150 pages or so. And then my disbelief started to kick in and I could never quite shake it: Supposedly “ordinary” teens who have amazing hacking abilities but who go on to pull off James Bond level action? Ehhhh.....
The action level in this story is turned up to 11. Teens who love action will like this book. But realistic fiction and mystery fans might get a bit lost in the non stop chases, flying bullets and more t
Destiny Bridwell
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. I have been in love with things about hackers and computer active world since I saw and read the book Hackers. This book was an adventure that I just had to go on. It show that a lot can be accomplished when you recognize that you have made a mistake and with their talents what they can do to make up for those mistakes and make a better world. It was not all smooth sailing there are some feuds on who is right and wrong and how it all t ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I started reading Phantom Wheel especially since I'm not a very tech savvy person. But, I'm so glad I did read this! The story line had me hooked and it flowed very well. It was interesting how diverse the characters were and how the played off each other strengths and weaknesses.
The only negative thing I would say is that sometimes, I would forget the names because they are also called by nicknames so I would have to try to remember who was being talke
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