Data Runner by Sam A. Patel
This is definitely a unique book with an interesting concept and that's what drew me to it. Jack is a free runner, an expert in parkour, in a not-too-distant future where megacorporations rule and even the internet is owned by someone. The only way to transmit data is through the use of data runners, which is a dangerous job in itself. Jack is pulled into the world of data running to get his father out of a serious gambling debt and is recruited by one of the top and most secretive data running companies. When Jack's chip is uploaded with a cryptic cargo that everyone wants to get their hands on, or destroy, he soon becomes a part of a key conspiracy that could change the shape of the world order.
I have to admit I haven't read too many hardcore sci-fi novels before and one thing that threw me when I started reading Data Runner was that Patel threw the reader into the action and the world without much explanation to the different meanings and jargon that was being used, but overlooking that what Data Runner provides is a thrilling read with lots of twists and turns as the reader is thrown into the chase through the city with Jack and all of the dangers and pitfalls that lay ahead for him.
One of the things I loved with Data Runner was the in-depth explanation of parkour, it really showed that Patel had experience with the sport and it helped to paint the details of what Jack was really doing. The characters all had different personalities and that was great to see, Jack was a fantastic character to follow through the story with an interesting backstory and a tough life that it made it easy to cheer him on as he's being chased.
There were a couple of parts that I felt lagged a bit and I just wanted Patel to get back to the action scenes, which he writes so well, but overall this was an interesting story with a unique take on the sic-fi novel. I recommend this to anyone who loves hardcore sci-fi's or just a thrilling cyber novel.
Source: NetGalley2013 Debut Author Challenge: #8 of 12