Jacked

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Pub Date 14 Jun 2016 | Archive Date 15 Jun 2016
Ragnarok Publications, Per Aspera Press

Description

In the near future, fifteen-year-old "Tar" Hutchins is a fixer.

He can repair technology just by touching it. That's a dangerous thing to be in a world after The Crash, an event that left millions dead or little more than empty, mindless shells. In the aftermath, a new regime hunts down technology and destroys machines with ruthless zeal, even executing fixers like Tar.

And Tar has caught their attention.

Now, he's running for his life, desperately searching for other fixers, avoiding the engineers responsible for The Crash, and hoping to save those whose minds have been lost. In his flight, Tar must grow up and come to realize his ability to manipulate tech is more than just "some neat trick."

Can a teenager, even a gifted one like Tar, hope to survive — much less be victorious — when an entire government is deadset against him?
In the near future, fifteen-year-old "Tar" Hutchins is a fixer.

He can repair technology just by touching it. That's a dangerous thing to be in a world after The Crash, an event that left millions...

A Note From the Publisher

You will be receiving an unpublished, "not final" version of the material for professional reading purposes. JACKED will be available on May 31 2016 in paperback, MOBI, EPUB, and PDF formats. JACKED is copyright © 2016 Kirk Dougal.

You will be receiving an unpublished, "not final" version of the material for professional reading purposes. JACKED will be available on May 31 2016 in paperback, MOBI, EPUB, and PDF formats. JACKED...


Advance Praise

"Dougal resembles a bizarro William Gibson, creating a new language from a ruined Earth whose quest for connectivity led to its destruction."
Samuel Sattin, author of The Silent End

"Dougal resembles a bizarro William Gibson, creating a new language from a ruined Earth whose quest for connectivity led to its destruction."
Samuel Sattin, author of The Silent End


Marketing Plan

Associated Press award-winning author Kirk Dougal begins his YA science-fiction thriller series with JACKED, featuring young techno-wizard Taro Hutchins.

Marketing for this title includes: reviews (that's where you can come in!), blogs, podcasts — these will include teen and adult venues — sharing book graphics on social media, a direct mail newsletter on May 31 with an interview with Kirk Dougal included as our Author of the Month.

Kirk is also doing some in-person signings at bookstores in his area and will be going to World Fantasy Con.

Associated Press award-winning author Kirk Dougal begins his YA science-fiction thriller series with JACKED, featuring young techno-wizard Taro Hutchins.

Marketing for this title includes: reviews...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781941987896
PRICE $14.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

Send To Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 21 members


Featured Reviews

I may have outgrown YA fiction, so it was a little difficult getting into the story, especially with the slang. As the story goes on, it became easier to understand what they meant. I feel the story is too straightforward, although there were obstacles in the way. Maybe one more side story woven into the main one could help the reader be more invested in the story. I find the characters too one dimensional - Tar, for example, is a typical knight in a shining armor, so I thought it may be well for him to have a little more...realistic flaws. I also wish there could be some humor in the story. Maybe some technology-related pun. The entire tone of the story is too uniform.

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I received an ARC from Ragnarok via NetGalley to give an honest review and this was an enjoyable read. There are no major faults in the story that I would describe as unrealistic yet I wasn’t totally hooked. And some things in the end weren’t to my taste as the book was build up very nicely and could have done without those elements. I liked the world building, the descriptions were very detailed and made the atmosphere of the setting nicely clear. Also, the premise of the story was interesting. It took quite a while to understand what is going on in this world, particularly because the reader is left in the dark about what the Crash actually was. Every now and then there is a little piece of information that contributes to the puzzle and this leaves room for one’s own imagination. A little sad though that the story is resolved rather quickly in the end, potentially it would have been better to leave some details out in the beginning to give the climax more attention. I don’t know if the author attempted to include some social critique in his story, nevertheless I though the topic of technological advancement is provoking some thinking. The result in the story is rather dramatic and unthinkable but it outlines the dangers that can come with the reliance on technology. Sometimes I think people should take a step back and make themselves aware of what is happening or what could be the consequences of a certain advancement. On the other hand though the book also shows that not everything has to be dangerous or catastrophic and technology actually does improve lives. There are some things though that did not add up for me. I don’t like that the main character is only 13 years old, I mean sure, in the circumstances he grew up he is probably very capable and can handle situations most 13 years old kids in our society couldn’t. But sometimes Tar seemed too mature for his age, especially when they meet this one other character. Having to fulfil a task, the man lets them lead the way as this is supposedly something Tar and his friend are better at. Even if, the man still is grown up and can aid in this situation. That was just overly ‘Tar is the hero of this story’ for me, it’s OK when the main protagonist is not able to do anything he tries. Another matter that I rolled my eyes at was the introduction of the girl. She was perfectly all right for the story but we could have done without the warm feeling that overcame Tar when he looked into her eyes. No, this was not necessary at all, everything would have worked exactly the same way without this plotline as the story made sense in itself on its own. Overall I liked spending my time reading the book because it is SciFi and an at large well-crafted story.

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A fascinating premise explored exceptionally by Dougal, Jacked wormed its way into my mind and simply refused to budge. Highly recommended.

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Interesting concept, but the ending is super rushed. Also, I'm not a fan of fake slang used instead of world-building

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Great read! Very well written with some interesting ideas - so refreshing to find in a YA novel. The technology was believable, the plot was intriguing, and the characters were well developed. I especially like the language; it effectively conveyed the near-future time but used words that the reader could apply to their current understanding. "Bricks' and 'apps' and '404' - wonderfully done! The only complaint I would have is that the ending was a bit rough. It did stretch credulity that the masses would turn on their leader so easily, but overall I rather enjoyed this novel.

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I was torn on how many stars to give this title. In the end, I gave the benefit of the doubt to the writer and for other reasons following, I rated Jacked a 3.5, rounding up to 4-stars. Pros: I liked the world building. I think the language fit the story very well with the world that was created. "App, hard boot, etc." fit much better than other dystopias I've read. Other dystopias have random words thrown in for slang. This story’s slang fit and I could imagine the changing of language over time where it would be plausible. Secondly, I liked the idea of a world wide mind. Interesting idea. The premise of fixers and being able to go around problems caused by the dead air piqued my interest. Cons: I had trouble finishing the book. Around 1/3 of the way in, I had to force myself to finish. The last 1/4 of the book, I did skip a few pages here and there. Mostly, I felt the pacing was off. Also, if there was more of a "ticking bomb" that might have helped pacing. Instead, it was just a race to stay ahead of the bad guys. My biggest problem was the villain. He was underdeveloped and I almost felt like he was a caricature of all evil villains. He wants to kill everyone who uses tech for "REASONS." His reasoning was mentioned but never fully explored. It was a shallow way to approach his mindset. I felt the villain needed to be more human in order for me to be afraid of him. Instead, he was so resoundingly evil, that I knew he would be defeated no matter what. That one fact took away any driving force for my wanting to finish the story. General: I think YA is an incorrect age-grouping for this title. It read as an older middle grade. My kids would enjoy the story (older middle-grade readers) and not have the criticisms I would. They would overlook issues I had with the novel and most likely enjoy the story for a quick read. Because of that fact, I gave Jacked 4-stars. YA would have much more romance. Older MG has a hint of a love interest, which is what I felt this story had. Finally, formatting issues: Paragraph not fully justified starting with “’Okay.’ He swung a backpack off his . . . searching the building again.” Secondly, missing beginning quote marks, "I don't see a tech box." Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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This is the story of a young boy whose been hidden away from his Uncle because of his seemingly otherworldly power with high technology objects. 15 years before The Crash happened and ended up killing or immobilizing most of the world's population. Now, a group called The Faithful lead the anti-tech revolution and promise to stomp out anyone who wants to revert to the technology ridden days of the past. Tar is one of the people that this faction most abhors: somehow he can bring tech back to life, sometimes with just a touch of his hand. A fast-paced and fascinating read, it kept quite a lot to your average dystopian tale. What set it apart from the rest to me was this whole concept of killing technology. I wanted to know more at every corner, and almost always desired the background of the how. This story was lacking a bit in background and fleshing out other characters, but the constant plot fluctuations kept this from distracting too much. There as just enough original aspects to keep the juices flowing. I hope a second book is in the works, if the ending is any inclination.

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acked is the story of Taro “Tar” Hutchins, a teenager trying to eke out an existence in a post-technological world. Tar was born shortly after The Crash, as the destruction of the World Wide Mind has come to be known, and which was an event that destroyed the majority of Earthy’s technology, and left the majority of the population either dead or a brain dead husk. Into this power vacuum emerged a new political force, the Black Shirts, a quasi-religious order of luddites convinced that the destruction of all technology, and those that relied upon it, was God’s will. Needless to say Tar’s life is complicated. Making matters worse is the fact that he’s a “fixer,” someone who can fix technology simply by touching it, and someone that the Black Shirts will hunt down at all costs. Tar is forced to go on the run, desperately trying to find other fixers, while simultaneously getting to the bottom of what destroyed the World Wide Mind. Jacked is an admirable YA attempt to follow in the footsteps of some of cyberpunks all time greats. As a sucker for the genre it’s easy to see how the author was influenced by the Stephenson’s and Gibson’s of the world. Once the plot gets moving it rolls along at a nice clip, with plenty of taut action and heroics as Tar and his friends go on the run from the Black Shirts and try to find a way to put the world back together. Characterization is light, but things move along at such a good pace that it’s easy not to notice. While the plot of Jacked is quite entertaining, the narrative does occasionally get bogged down with post-crash dialect. Characters don’t die, they go “hard boot.” The Black Shirts aren’t searching for Tar and his friends, they’re “pinging” them. While a little dialect can add some nice spice to the proceedings, when it’s every third word it can be downright distracting. All in all Jacked isn’t a bad YA introduction to the cyberpunk genre. It has a fun story that zips along at a good clip, that, unfortunately doesn’t quite stick the landing. Two WiFi bars out of five. Review by Peter Rowley

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Well-written and imaginative! Post-Apocalyptic fiction at its best. Has enough twists in it to make it original and intriguing to any reader, not only YA. Tar's ability to "fix" electronic equipment with only a touch is only the tip of the iceberg! Fast-paced, bet you will read it in one sitting! Recommended.

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'Jacked' , by Kirk Dougal is a fast-paced read, set in a disturbing dystopian future. The main character, Taro, is special among the wreck of humans still lving, he is a fixer. Fixers have the ability to fix technology, which was fried during ''The Crash''. During The Crash, millions died who were linked-in to The Mind, best described as an instant connection to the internet through a brain implant. Since then, technology has been outlawed by religious zealots called Black Shirts. Taro has to hide his secret so the Black Shirts don't hunt him down. The world Dougal has created is a frightening one, with the Black Shirts truly fear=inspiring villains. Dourgal has even created his own slang for his dystopian world, which I must admit did become irritating on occasion.. This is a novel about a society which has paid the ultimate price for its reliance on technology but with fixers, there is hope for the future. I thoroughly enjoyed entering this world.

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Interesting premise, plus I really enjoy a good dystopian story. I felt as though the main character was a bit young, but he acted older, at times. World building was done well and this was an overall good read.

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'Jacked' , by Kirk Dougal is a fast-paced read, set in a disturbing dystopian future. The main character, Taro, is special among the wreck of humans still lving, he is a fixer. Fixers have the ability to fix technology, which was fried during ''The Crash''. During The Crash, millions died who were linked-in to The Mind, best described as an instant connection to the internet through a brain implant. Since then, technology has been outlawed by religious zealots called Black Shirts. Taro has to hide his secret so the Black Shirts don't hunt him down. The world Dougal has created is a frightening one, with the Black Shirts truly fear=inspiring villains. Dourgal has even created his own slang for his dystopian world, which I must admit did become irritating on occasion.. This is a novel about a society which has paid the ultimate price for its reliance on technology but with fixers, there is hope for the future. I thoroughly enjoyed entering this world.

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In the near future, fifteen-year-old "Tar" Hutchins is a fixer. He can repair technology just by touching it. That's a dangerous thing to be in a world after The Crash, an event that left millions dead or little more than empty, mindless shells. In the aftermath, a new regime hunts down technology and destroys machines with ruthless zeal, even executing fixers like Tar. And Tar has caught their attention. Now, he's running for his life, desperately searching for other fixers, avoiding the engineers responsible for The Crash, and hoping to save those whose minds have been lost. In his flight, Tar must grow up and come to realize his ability to manipulate tech is more than just "some neat trick." Can a teenager, even a gifted one like Tar, hope to survive — much less be victorious — when an entire government is deadset against him? A good strong storyline with believable characters that helped take the story line along at a fast pace. Well written and constructed.

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