Ruby loves drama – in fact, it’s the only subject that she’s not failing at school. But if she and her best friend Deva hope to attend the Ash Tree Foundation Performing Arts Camp this summer, their grades better improve, and fast! When Deva starts to miraculously impress teachers with her schoolwork, Ruby can’t help but feel a bit jealous. That is, until she discovers Deva’s secret: a new and exciting app called EchoStar. Ruby can’t resist the temptation to try it for herself!

In this intriguing cyber-thriller, Melinda Salisbury tells a cautionary tale about the perils of the digital age, deftly examining our over-reliance on technology. Ruby is a witty and charming protagonist who just wants to achieve her acting aspirations. As she embarks on a morally ambiguous path and starts to rely on EchoStar and its sophisticated AI, her interpersonal connections start to suffer. Salisbury not only explores poignant issues related to cybersecurity, but also sensitively tackles heavy themes such as loneliness, isolation, friendship and bullying.

Tension builds with each chapter, culminating in a terrifying conclusion that invites readers to question both the role of technology in our lives and how far we are willing to go to get what we want. As a Barrington Stoke title, this is an accessible and dyslexia-friendly read, perfect for reluctant readers and all of those looking for a smartly written and fast-paced modern mystery.

Book Cover - EchoStar
Publication Date
March 2024