Brain Jack
Goodreads ratings
3.88 / 5

"Brain Jack" Summary

By Brian Falkner

science fiction | 368 pages | Published in NaN

Another terrifying sci-fi page-turner from the author of The Tomorrow Code!Las Vegas is gone—destroyed in a terrorist attack. Black Hawk helicopters patrol the skies over New York City. And immersive online gaming is the most dangerous street drug around. In this dystopic near-future, technology has leapt forward once again, and neuro-headsets have replaced computer keyboards. Just slip on a headset, and it’s the Internet at the speed of thought.For teen hacker Sam Wilson, a headset is a must. But as he becomes familiar with the new technology, he has a terrifying realization. If anything on his computer is vulnerable to a hack, what happens when his mind is linked to the system? Could consciousness itself be hijacked? Before he realizes what’s happened, Sam’s incursion against the world’s largest telecommunications company leads him to the heart of the nation’s cyberdefense network and brings him face to face with a terrifying and unforeseen threat.Brian Falkner, author of The Tomorrow Code, has created an action-packed and thought-provoking science fiction adventure in which a brilliant young computer hacker fights to prevent the human race from being deleted.Fans of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and M. T. Anderson’s Feed will love this high-octane techno thriller.From the Hardcover edition.


Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

In a near-future world, a teen hacker becomes entangled in a dangerous cyberwarfare plot.


"Brain Jack" by Brian Falkner is a gripping science fiction novel that delves into the world of hacking, technology, and cyber warfare. Set in a near-future New York City, the story follows the protagonist, Sam Wilson, as he becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of cyber espionage and political intrigue. With its fast-paced plot and thought-provoking themes, "Brain Jack" offers an exhilarating exploration of the potential consequences of our increasing reliance on technology.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story is set in a dystopian New York City, where technology reigns supreme, and cyber warfare is a constant threat. Sam Wilson, a teenage hacker with a troubled past, is drawn into a world of high-stakes cyber espionage when he hacks into the world's most powerful computer network. As Sam navigates the dangerous world of hacking and cyber terrorism, he uncovers a sinister plot that could have devastating consequences for the entire city.


The novel is primarily set in a futuristic New York City, where advanced technology and cyber networks dominate daily life. The city is portrayed as a sprawling metropolis where the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds are increasingly blurred. The omnipresence of technology creates an atmosphere of both wonder and unease, as the characters grapple with the potential dangers and benefits of a hyper-connected society.

Main Characters

The characters in "Brain Jack" play crucial roles in driving the narrative forward and grappling with the moral and ethical implications of their actions.

Sam WilsonThe protagonist, a talented teenage hacker with a troubled past, who becomes embroiled in a dangerous cyber conspiracy.
DodgeSam's best friend and fellow hacker, who assists him in navigating the treacherous world of cyber espionage.
KikiA skilled hacker and love interest of Sam, who becomes entangled in the high-stakes cyber warfare alongside him.
Dr. Anatole KonradA brilliant but enigmatic scientist who holds the key to a groundbreaking technological advancement with far-reaching implications.

Summary of Different Story Points Over Chapters

Chapters 1-5

Sam Wilson, a teenage hacker living in New York City, discovers a vulnerability in the world's most powerful computer network, the AURA. His hacking prowess attracts the attention of a shadowy government organization, which recruits him to use his skills for their own purposes. Sam is thrust into a world of high-stakes cyber espionage, where he must navigate the dangerous intersection of technology and politics.

Chapters 6-10

As Sam delves deeper into the world of hacking and cyber warfare, he forms alliances with other skilled hackers, including his best friend Dodge and the enigmatic Kiki. Together, they uncover a sinister plot that involves a groundbreaking technology developed by the brilliant scientist, Dr. Anatole Konrad. The stakes escalate as Sam and his allies race against time to unravel the conspiracy and prevent a catastrophic cyber attack.

Chapters 11-15

The true extent of the conspiracy becomes clear as Sam and his allies uncover the government's involvement in the AURA network and its potential for mass surveillance and control. As the tension mounts, Sam grapples with the ethical implications of his actions and the potential consequences of his hacking exploits. The lines between friend and foe blur as the characters navigate a treacherous web of deceit and betrayal.

Chapters 16-20

The climax of the story unfolds as Sam and his allies confront the forces behind the cyber conspiracy and strive to prevent a devastating cyber attack on New York City. The narrative builds to a heart-pounding crescendo as the characters face off against powerful adversaries and must draw upon all their hacking skills and resourcefulness to avert disaster.

Main Events

The novel is punctuated by several key events that drive the plot forward and heighten the tension:

  1. Sam's discovery of the vulnerability in the AURA network.
  2. The recruitment of Sam by a shadowy government organization for cyber espionage.
  3. The alliance formed between Sam, Dodge, and Kiki as they uncover the cyber conspiracy.
  4. The revelation of the government's involvement in the AURA network and its potential for mass surveillance.
  5. The climax, where the characters confront the forces behind the cyber conspiracy and strive to prevent a devastating cyber attack on New York City.

Themes and Insights


"Brain Jack" explores a multitude of themes that resonate with contemporary societal concerns and the rapid advancement of technology:

  1. Ethics of Technology: The novel raises questions about the ethical implications of technology and the potential for abuse of power in a hyper-connected world.
  2. Cyber Warfare: It delves into the dangers of cyber warfare and the vulnerability of society to large-scale cyber attacks.
  3. Surveillance and Control: The theme of mass surveillance and control is prevalent, highlighting the potential consequences of unchecked technological advancement.


The novel offers insights into the following areas:

  1. The precarious balance between technological innovation and ethical responsibility.
  2. The vulnerabilities inherent in interconnected digital systems and the potential for exploitation by malicious actors.
  3. The complex interplay between individual agency and the influence of powerful institutions in shaping the future of technology.

Reader's Takeaway

"Brain Jack" provides readers with a thrilling and thought-provoking exploration of the intersection between technology, power, and ethics. The fast-paced narrative, relatable characters, and prescient themes make it a compelling read for anyone interested in the societal implications of technological advancement and the ethical dilemmas posed by a hyper-connected world.


In conclusion, "Brain Jack" by Brian Falkner offers a captivating and insightful exploration of the perils and promises of technology in a near-future society. Through its engaging plot, well-drawn characters, and thought-provoking themes, the novel leaves a lasting impression on readers, prompting them to reflect on the ethical and societal implications of our increasingly interconnected digital world.

Brain Jack FAQ

  1. What is 'Brain Jack' about?

    Brain Jack is a science fiction novel that follows the story of a teenage hacker who gets caught up in a cyberwar between the United States and China.

  2. Who is the author of 'Brain Jack'?

    The author of 'Brain Jack' is Brian Falkner.

  3. Is 'Brain Jack' suitable for young adult readers?

    Yes, 'Brain Jack' is suitable for young adult readers due to its themes and protagonist.

  4. Are there any sequels to 'Brain Jack'?

    No, 'Brain Jack' does not have any sequels.

  5. What genre does 'Brain Jack' fall into?

    'Brain Jack' falls into the science fiction genre with a focus on technology and cyberwarfare.