Some alien invasions are loud and bloody -- some are quiet and friendly. The blue-skinned girl named Carabella thinks she's escaping the oppression of her own world, but instead she's exposing the earth to an invasion so soft and friendly that everyone welcomes it -- until Carabella herself sees what's happening and tries to make someone, anyone, see that our websites and our cell phones are being used to steal first the privacy and then the freedom of everyone on Earth.
This cautionary tale outstrips simple purposefulness to provide a rip-roaring good story. Without resorting to didacticism or slowing the action, each character provides a point of view that requires careful reader evaluation to weigh the thoughtful mix of fact and opinion. This package offers much for casual readers as well as book groups and curriculum designers.
In the world of Networked, the enemy of personal freedom is less our government and more avaricious moneymen (in collusion with the gummint, of course) looking for ways to mold a compliant consumer class. In its way, this book reads like a lighter updating of seventies era paranoid movie thrillers like The Conversation. Some story conflicts never lose their relevance -- unfortunately.