Thursday, 15 August 2013

Egan's Program by Andrew Hawcroft

Review by The Mole

Egan is a tall and lanky misfit at school. He is now 17 and spends most of his time playing computer games in the privacy of his room. He is also struggling to get the course results for his A levels when the school pick him out as a candidate to help a potential benefactor for his school. All he has to do is install a game, that is still in the testing phase, on his computer, play it and write a review - it couldn't be simpler. Well, obviously it's not that simple because that wouldn't make much of a story would it? The game is called "Imaginary Companion" but his "companion" turns out to be not quite so imaginary. And the first thing on her mind? Well... yes. And had it continued like that I wouldn't have bothered finishing it, but it doesn't - it becomes a spiralling thriller set in motion by coincidences. It is interesting that Egan, towards the end of the book, reflects on whether they were coincidences after all.

I will state now that I found this book to be very badly proof edited and for me this let it down significantly  but my version is 7 months old. And technically? A program that can run on a PC and also on the world's cheapest smart phone? It ain't gonna happen! But put those to one side... along with the 'sex' and violence (neither of which is graphic) and the story is great fun and well told. The 'bad guys' felt a bit comic and stereotyped but it felt deliberate and when Egan gets hurt (and that happens more than once) we are sort of faded out and rejoin him when it's all over which is a very nice way for it to happen.

All in all I really enjoyed this book for teens (I don't think I would classify it as YA) and would recommend it - but I would recommend it more if the editing was tidied up a lot.

Publisher - Smashwords
Genre - Teen thriller, sci-fi

Buy EGAN'S PROGRAM from Amazon


  1. I'm interested that you differentiate between teens and YA. I thought they were (officially at least) the same. Which do you see as the older category? Sorry for such an obvious question but I find the standard categorisation of anything above age 12 as YA in bookshops much too wide and I'd love to know what you think.

    1. Young adult is for the late teens, early twenties, but I have read polls that suggest YA is read mostly by adults. Maybe it's some kind of hankering for their youth?

      Teens is for the age below that 13-16 although maybe includes the 12s in there too? There are more and more such genres being created and so many books fit more than one. The plot in this is one that is not mature enough, in my opinion I stress, for the YA market.