Reviewed by Vennessa Ng
Predator by Terri Blackstock
"Blackstock once again proves herself as a master of suspense. Predator is both entertaining and thought provoking."
In an age where the world is
embracing online social networks, Predator makes you stop and wonder
just how vulnerable you and your loved ones are.
I couldn’t help but reflect on my own online activity, and that of
my children. Being “friends” with a lot of my nieces, nephews,
and younger cousins has made me aware of how much information they really
do give out via their postings. Today it doesn’t stop at just computer
use. With most sites now integrating mobile phone updates, it is so easy
to quickly send a status update. Children, as well as adults, carelessly
give out information which could be potentially harmful.
The premise of Predator sent shivers down my spine. How easily this could turn into someone’s reality.
A predator is scouring social networking sites and has already taken the life of fourteen-year-old Ella Carmichael. Devastated by her younger sister’s death, Krista sets out to stop more girls from becoming his next victim. When she fails to get Ryan Adkins, CEO of a social networking site called GrapeVyne, to accept responsibility for her sister’s death, Krista takes matters into her own hands and sets up a fake persona on GrapeVyne. She spends hours scouring Ella’s “friends” on GrapeVyne, searching for anyone who seems out of place, ready to bait any potential killers.
Ryan Adkins never dreamed his dorm-room idea for a social network would turn into a billion-dollar company within five years. Neither did he imagine it would be used for evil. When his concerns fall on death ears, Ryan realises he must take matters into his own hands.
Ryan realises he must join forces with Krista. Together they help raise online safety awareness among teens and go in search of the predator. But can they really outsmart the evil lurking behind the online pages? Digging too keep, they soon find themselves running for their lives when the predator turns his attention onto them.
Blackstock once again proves herself as a master of suspense. Predator is both entertaining and thought provoking. More than once I found myself stopping to ponder the plotline, only to be pulled back into the story by believable characters.
With a major networking site recently under the spotlight regarding their privacy settings, Predator is a timely release set to make many parents nervous about their children’s online behaviour. I highly recommend this book to any parent with children on social networks. I also recommend they get their children to read it for themselves.
Vennessa Ng lives in New Zealand with her husband and three children. As an avid reader with a passion for Christian worldview fiction, she works to help authors improve their craft through her freelance editing service, Aotearoa Editorial Services (www.aotearoaeditorial.com), and helps publicize books and authors via her review site, Illuminating Fiction (www.illuminatingfiction.com). She has also reviewed for Focus On Fiction, Infuze Magazine, Novel Reviews, 1340 Magazine, and now TitleTrakk. In her spare time she pursues her own passion for writing and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.