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Omega Place
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Intrigue and adventure against a gritty urban landscape A clue-strewn novel with a gripping conclusion

About the Author

Graham Marks lives in North London, where he writes novels and works as a journalist for Publishing News. Graham's hallmark style is teen-centered dramas that don't pull any punches!

Reviews

Set in a present-day England where Orwellian visions of invasive governmental surveillance are quickly becoming a reality, Marks's (Missing in Tokyo) thriller spins out a promising plot but falls short of the mark. Paul Hendry, a 17-year-old runaway, doesn't realize-nor particularly care-how closely Big Brother is watching him until he falls in, almost accidentally, with members of an extreme activist organization known as Omega Place. Their mission: not only to destroy as many closed-circuit TV cameras as possible but also to spread their manifesto about who, exactly, is benefiting from the rapid multiplication of CCTV cameras in public spaces ("There's one camera for every 14 people in the UK! And you are being watched 24/7. almost wherever you go and whatever you are doing"). Disillusioned and lonely, Hendry sees Omega Place as a group where he can fit in and be a part of something that matters-but when members begin turning up dead, he realizes too late the dangers of vigilante activism. Unfortunately, two-dimensional characters, sporadic pacing and a lackluster ending may leave readers wishing that the concepts here had been more aggressively developed. Ages 12-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Gr 9 Up-Paul leaves home after another epic fight with his stepfather, determined to find a job and a place of his own. He follows a couple who are destroying security cameras and dropping leaflets and becomes a member of Omega Place, an organization dedicated to alerting the public to the danger to privacy posed by England's vast network of closed-circuit security cameras. Living in "squats" and traveling in stolen cars, the group's members operate like a small, disciplined guerrilla army. As Paul struggles to understand the various relationships, he discovers parallels with his own family. All is not as it appears in Omega Place. It is unclear who really calls the shots, and where the organization is getting information about top-secret government programs. The group's possession of such information attracts the attention of powerful people, leading to the events that bring the police to Paul's mother's door to inform her of his violent death in an abandoned house in London. While this is an interesting story with enough action and plot twists for most teens, the heavy use of British slang will prove an obstacle to some, and there is no glossary. One of the underlying plot elements-who started Omega Place and why-is not sufficiently explained. But the topics raised-privacy, Big Brother, passivity-are timely tie-ins to current events and constitutional issues.-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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