Monday, January 21, 2013

Upload / Collin Tobin

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Techno-Thriller

Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Although he has degrees in English and Education, Collin Tobin works in the software industry. He has had several poems published in various venues.
This is his first novel.


“Someone’s always watching.

Jay Brooks’s life is in chaos. His mother’s sudden death has unhinged his father, making Jay a stranger in his own home. He seeks solace by spending his spare time with his best friend, Bennie, but matters are further complicated by his crush on Chloe, Bennie’s older sister.

A wheelchair-bound hacker, Bennie Welch practically lives in his basement computer lab. Longing to make genuine connections to the outside world, he secretly films people’s precious memories for later sale and surfs the crowds at rave parties, despite the danger to his frail body.

One night, Jay’s hobby of Wi-Fi hotspot hunting turns serious when he unwittingly blunders into the scene of a crime and downloads a mysterious transmission. When Jay brings Bennie the contents of the transfer, Bennie embraces the opportunity to use his skills to investigate.

As Jay and Bennie dig deeper into the world of electronic secrets, they find that the simple video has far-reaching implications that not only threaten their lives, but society as they know it. Tracing the mysterious coalition responsible leads them on an inexorable journey that will change them forever.”


Would I be saying too much about myself if I admit that one of the things I liked about Upload is that Jay and Bennie, the two main characters, are … pick your word, nerds or geeks. They’re the kids with different interests than the typical teen, maybe not as socially adept, and in Bennie’s case, a disability that sets him apart further. I’ve got nothing against books with teen protagonists who are cheerleaders, jocks, or some other flavor of big-person-on-campus and have enjoyed lots, but, umm, without naming names, some people (maybe a lot of people), may relate easier to the geeks.

Good characters are a good start, but in a thriller you need a story with some thrills. Upload has that too. A mix of technology, both real and slightly futuristic, but not so far into the future as to be unbelievable, some evil villains, and an ending that was a surprise on several levels, all kept the tension building to the end. A good read for adults and older teens.


A small amount of adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Unknown said...

Thanks so much for your time and the review, Al. If readers are interested, you can connect with me on facebook at

BooksAndPals said...

Thanks, Collin

?wazithinkin said...

Sounds like an interesting book, Mr. Tobin.

Rafflecopter hates me. IJS My luck with them has got to change sooner or later, right?

Laura Warner said...

Great review, Al! Linda, my luck is just as bad as yours.

Unknown said...

Ha, best of luck to you both! Thanks for joining in :)

?wazithinkin said...

Squeeee! Laura the author wished us luck! That has got to help, right? :D