Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Web of Darkness

Web of Darkness by Bali Rai
Published by Corgi Childrens
5th June 2014
Paperback Edition


When the incredibly attractive Benedict befriends Lily online, she is thrilled. He is so much more mature than boys her age and he seems to know exactly how she's feeling. She finds herself opening up to him, telling him things she wouldn't tell anybody else.

And she needs someone to confide in more than ever before as a spate of apparent suicides rocks her school - and her group of friends.

But is Benedict the kind, charming person that he seemed to be initially? Lily soon realises that now, with half our lives spent online, you can be found - even if you try to hide . . .

After interviewing Bali for my blog, I just had to get my hands on his latest book Web of Darkness and I was incredibly lucky as he sent me a signed copy to say thank you.  The other week I couldn't choose which book to read, and a twitter friend suggested this title, and I'm so glad that she did, as I couldn't put it down.

We all know about hackers and stalkers etc on the internet, and Web of Darkness explores just that issue.  A group of teenagers are all innocently hacked by two men known only as the Spider and the Other whose sole aims are to destroy their lives.  Facebook is so easily a focal point for this story; a gorgeous American teenager called Benedict sends Lily a friend request and soon they are 'chatting' online all the time.  Benedict is totally hot and though Lily initially questions how he actually 'found' her, soon she has fallen for his charms.

She is not the only one to have a secret online friend however, and it is the fact that these relationships are kept secret that is the key here.  As our hackers are able to manipulate and control these teenagers, they are able to infiltrate their lives and their minds, to devastating effect.

As the book progresses, Lily starts to question Benedict's motives, but it is too late for her to regain control of the situation, or will more lives be lost as the hackers move in for the ultimate kill?

This was a gripping read, and certainly not just for the YA market.  Having read it, and as a teacher myself,  I think it would be fantastic if this book was actually taught as part of the secondary curriculum so that more teenagers could become aware of the dangers of life on the internet if someone sets out to target you.  Web of Darkness is both an exhilarating read, and a worrying realism of our cyber world today.

Happy Reading

Miss Chapter x

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