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Did you enjoy the previous three Stealing the Network books? Are you looking for more? Then move along now, nothing to see here.
The prior books were interesting because they introduced the reader to new ideas or new angles on old ideas, then moved on without belaboring them. If you wanted more details, there were often URLs provided. The last two tied the stories together with the intriguing Knuth character. But the folks running the project chose to switch to a new format, with fewer characters and stories, not to mention fewer authors, and fewer ways to split the profits.
After three books with the same (proven) formula, it's understandable the authors would want to try something new. Alas, it's a disaster.
Welcome to "How to Own a Shadow," aka "The SQL Injection Adventures of Pawn." Pawn is one of the new characters in this volume, and is the first StN character I hoped would get shot to death by the cops in a mini-mall parking lot. Yes, he's that irritating. Particularly after reading 40 pages about his childhood as a high-functioning autistic (or something like that), and around 100 pages of him performing SQL injection attacks. Most of which is totally unrelated to Knuth. Note to the authors: SQL injection is interesting, but if you want to write a book about it, just write a book about it. I even gave you a title, what more do you want? You can even recycle much of this book, like you recycled part of the last one here.
Oh, you noticed the real subtitle of the book, "The Chase for Knuth." First, one chases _after_ fugitives, and hunts or searches _for_ them. Not that it matters, because there's not much chasing or hunting going on in this book. There isn't much Knuth, either. We see him in the first hundred pages, which is mostly about his son analyzing poker software. That's the last we see of either of them. Because, really, this is "The Biography of Pawn." We do get 50 pages of Knuth at the end of the book, but don't get excited: it's all from the last book, added as obvious filler.
Speaking of filler, there's a 17 page advertorial thrown in for BiDiBLAH, which is commercial software by SensePost. Oddly enough, they're listed as technical advisors for the book. I'm sure it's a fine app, but the authors have forgotten about Knuth again, since it has nothing to do with the story. If it had been relevant, it might have been a less obnoxious addition.
Not everything is bad. There's a brief bit about RFID, which of course turns into how to use RFID for SQL attacks. We get to meet Knuth's supposedly dead wife, and a charming shrew she is. All in all, though, this book isn't worth reading unless you're a truly devoted fan of the series, or SQL. I'm still a fan of the previous books, and I hope the authors can recapture what made them so intriguing for their next book. I won't be buying that one until I'm sure it's not Book Two of the Pawn Saga, however.