FeaturedYoung Adult

Project HALO


Loved it! 😍

An unruly teen must fight to save his friends after his father's company implants a biochip in his head and threatens to release a virus.

We've all disagreed with our parents, but what if your father's company kidnapped you and literally threatened to kill everyone you care about? This is the predicament of Charlie Walker--the 17-year-old snarky bisexual criminal hero of C.G. Jorgensen's YA science fiction novel Project HALO.

Charlie lives in near-future Norway, where terrorist attacks have decimated the country, including causing his mother's death. His father runs the biggest security intelligence organization, the NIC, which is increasingly focusing on surveillance tactics. When Charlie tries to flee his home after a school expulsion, he ends up getting kidnapped by the NIC. Next thing he knows, doctors are performing surgery on him.

Turns out, the NIC's inserted a biochip into the back of Charlie's neck--linked straight to his brain. They claim this chip can be used for good, like curing diseases, but of course the company's real intentions are much more controlling and nefarious. After a sympathetic doctor helps Charlie escape from the facility, he enters a tense race against the clock: if he doesn't hand over a flash drive with essential files to the NIC within a week, they'll unleash a deadly virus. The vaccine can be released by the biochip, which means Charlie will survive, but everyone else won't (unless they get a chip of their own).

Charlie quickly enlists the help of his computer savvy ex-best-friend Mikey, and the two of them team up with a well-known hacktivist collective to try to take down the NIC. As Charlie trains and uncovers more subterfuge, he makes friends with (and develops romantic feelings for) members of the hacker group. Will they be able to foil the NIC's sinister plot in time? And does everyone in the group really have Charlie's best interests in mind?

Project HALO is an action-driven book that breezes by, despite being over 300 pages. Author C.G. Jorgensen manages to pack this YA novel with both plenty of adventurous scenes of intrigue and tons of intimate moments of teenage relationship drama. The text drags a bit in the center, with a slower subplot about a jealous weapons-trainer, but overall Project HALO is engaging, exciting, and entertaining. I'm hoping the surprise ending means that a sequel is on the way.

Reviewed by

Michelle Hogmire is a West Virginian writer with an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She's the co-founder of the Appalachian publication The Haint. Her work has been featured in Rampant Magazine, BOMB, KGB Bar Lit Mag, & Columbia Journal. She's currently finishing her first book in Chicago.


About the author

C.G. Jorgensen is the author of YA sci-fi thriller PROJECT HALO. She was born and raised in the rainiest city in Norway, and has also lived in Australia, England, and America. She's studied English literature, religious studies, creative writing, psychology, and is a certified high school teacher. view profile

Published on May 21, 2020

100000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Young Adult

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