Cover image for The doubt factory
The doubt factory
Bacigalupi, Paolo, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2014.
Physical Description:
484 pages ; 22 cm
"When a radical band of teen activists [claims] that Alix's powerful father covers up wrongdoing by corporations that knowingly allow innocent victims to die in order to make enormous profits from unsafe products, she must decide if she will blow the whistle on his misdeeds"--
General Note:
"A novel"--Jacket.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Audubon Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Collins Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Crane Branch Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Dudley Branch Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Eden Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Grand Island Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Hamburg Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Lake Shore Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
North Park Branch Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Newstead Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Orchard Park Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
City of Tonawanda Library Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



In this page-turning contemporary thriller, National Book Award Finalist, Printz Award winner, and New York Times bestselling author Paolo Bacigalupi explores the timely issue of how public information is distorted for monetary gain, and how those who exploit it must be stopped.
Everything Alix knows about her life is a lie. At least that's what a mysterious young man who's stalking her keeps saying. But then she begins investigating the disturbing claims he makes against her father. Could her dad really be at the helm of a firm that distorts the truth and covers up wrongdoing by hugely profitable corporations that have allowed innocent victims to die? Is it possible that her father is the bad guy, and that the undeniably alluring criminal who calls himself Moses--and his radical band of teen activists--is right? Alix has to make a choice, and time is running out, but can she truly risk everything and blow the whistle on the man who loves her and raised her?

Author Notes

Paolo Bacigalupi won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards for his debut novel, The Windup Girl, which was published in 2009. His short story collection Pump Six and Other Stories was a 2008 Locus Award winner for Best Collection and his young adult novel Ship Breaker won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature and was finalist for the National Book Award. His work has also appeared in High Country News,, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Bacigalupi channels Cory Doctorow with this sorely needed thriller about the life-and-death struggle of public relations. (You read that right.) Alix doesn't give much thought to her father's PR business until a group calling itself 2.0 launches a series of large-scale pranks exposing the firm's MO of creating doubt around any science counterproductive to their drug-company clientele. From there, it's a difficult story not to spoil, as Bacigalupi withholds a lot until a midbook meeting between Alix and 2.0's leader, a magnetic truth-teller named Moses, who explains his radical motives. If it sounds preachy, remember that Bacigalupi is the guy who turned a book called Zombie Baseball Beatdown (2013) into a thought-provoking middle-grade read. There are bumps: 2.0 is the grungy, skateboarding clutch you'd expect, and their conversations can be repetitive. Still, this novel is a searing indictment. Bacigalupi, unafraid to name names, makes readers question the morality of everyday decisions, forces a consideration of duty versus family, and recommends that all of us be cynics when it comes to megaconglomerates. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Multi-award-winning Bacigalupi is becoming an indispensable voice in YA, and select author appearances and Comic-Con promotions should put this one in the limelight.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Starred Review. In this provocative thriller, Bacigalupi (The Drowned Cities) traces the awakening of a smart, compassionate, and privileged girl named Alix Banks to ugly realities of contemporary life, while seeking to open readers eyes, as well. Alixs life is thrown into disarray when an activist group targets her family, its eyes on her fathers powerful public relations business. Moses is a charismatic black teen living off the money from a settlement with a pharmaceutical company after one of its medications killed his parents. Along with four other brilliant teens who have lost family to this sort of legal/medical maleficence, Moses hopes to enlist Alixs help to release incriminating data from her fathers files, a la Edward Snowden. This openly didactic novel asks challenging questions about the immorality of the profit motive and capitalism, but does so within the context of a highly believable plot (backed up with references to actual front groups, lawsuits, warning labels, and literature on the subject, which will send readers to their search engines) and well-developed, multifaceted characters. Fans of Cory Doctorows work should love this book. Ages 15-up. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Alix Banks lives a cushy life in a rich, mostly white, Connecticut suburb. She attends a prestigious private high school, is loved by her parents, and gets along with her ADHD younger brother. Her privileged world is shattered when her school is attacked by the enigmatic renegade 2.0, who appears to be stalking her. Alix's father is well connected, and soon the house is swarming with security professionals, including Alix's own personal bodyguard. But that doesn't protect her from a terrifying encounter with 2.0, whose real name is Moses Cruz, and the other members of his multicultural band of teen rebels. Moses tells Alix that her father's company, Banks Strategy Partners-otherwise known as the Doubt Factory-was the lead defense consultant for several major corporations that produced faulty drugs and other products that caused countless people to die. Alix's love for her father conflicts with her growing anxiety that Moses may be telling the truth. Is her devoted dad really a killer? Uncertainty causes Alix to do some investigating on her own and forces her to make a fateful decision. Bacigalupi's characters are clearly drawn and believable. This gripping, outstanding contemporary story cites actual cases of corporate greed, which adds realism to the plot. Suspense builds at a steady pace, leading to increasingly dramatic plot twists and a climax that will leave readers' hearts pounding. Some swearing and mention of drugs and sex make this suitable for older readers.- Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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