From London to Timbuktu

Title: Hacking Timbuktu by Steven Davies
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
272 pages

This book was received as a galley from the publisher. This title will be released November 2010. 

Summary: Danny is a  freelance IT specialist—that is, a hacker. He and his pal Omar are both skilled at parkour, or freerunning, a discipline designed to enable practitioners to travel between any two points regardless of obstacles. This is fortunate, because they're off on an adventure that's filled with obstacles, from locked doors to gangs of hostile pursuers. Together they follow a cryptic clue, find a missing map, figure out how to get to Timbuktu without buying a plane ticket, and join the life-and-death treasure hunt, exchanging wisecracks and solving the puzzle one step at a time.

Review: What a ride.  I wanted to be a 16 year old hacker on this adventure.  The parkour scenes were really well done, I almost didn't want them to find a treasure, I just wanted them to keep running! But even the hacking and treasure hunting scenes kept your on your toes.  Sort of a cross between a Jason Bourne and National Treasure movie only in book form, were the action never slows down but just keeps you turning the pages.  I could actually see the parkour moves in my head they were so well written and the descriptions of Africa and Dogon country were extremely vivid and very lifelike.  My greatest wish for this book is that it had a better ending, other than that I think that anyone who thinks that jumping across rooftops, scaling walls, balancing on ledges and of course searching for treasure would be fun will enjoy this ride.

In case you are wondering what Parkour is, its a non-competitive, physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible. Skills such as jumping and climbing, or the more specific parkour moves are employed. The goal of a practitioner of parkour, called if female, is to get from one place to another using only the human body and the objects in the environment. The obstacles can be anything in one's environment, but parkour is often seen practiced in urban areas because of the many suitable public structures available such as buildings and rails.