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Daemon Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 8, 2009
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Doctor and author Robin Cook is widely credited with introducing the word "medical" to the thriller genre. Thirty-one years after the publication of his breakthrough novel, Coma, he continues to dominate the category he created, including his most recent bestseller, Foreign Body, which explores a growing trend of medical tourism--first-world citizens traveling to third-world countries for 21st-century surgery.
Daemon is an ambitious novel, which sets out not only to entertain, which it surely does, but also to challenge the reader to consider social issues as broad as the implications of living in a technologically advanced world and whether democracy can survive in such a world.
The storyline portrays one possible world consequent to the development of the technological innovations that we currently live with and the reality that the author, Suarez, imagines will evolve, and it is chilling and tense (on www.thedaemon.com the reader can find evidence that the seemingly incredible advances Suarez proposes could in fact become real). Daemon is filled with multiple scenes involving power displays by the Daemon's allies resulting in complete loss of control by its enemies, violence with new and innovative weaponry, explosions, car crashes, blood, guts, and limbs-cut-off galore.
As far as computer complexity, Daemon will satisfy any computer geek's thirst. I was thankful for Pete Sebeck, the detective in the book whose average-person understanding of computers necessitates an occasional explanation about what is going on. I came away from the novel with a new understanding, respect, and fear of computer capability.
In the end, Suarez invites the reader to enter the "second age of reason," to think about where recent and imminent advances in computer technology are taking us and whether we want to go there. For me, it is this "thinking" aspect of the novel which makes it a particularly fun, satisfying, and significant read.
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Others have summarized it, but there are a few details missing, so I will make a few points. This book is about few really central characters, but a cast of a dozen or so important characters, including the titular Daemon. It tells the precautionary story of what can happen when a very bright person gets very angry with society. Or perceives it to have outlasted its usefulness. Choose your poison.
Matthew Sobol, the best game designer in the world, has died. With his death, a stunning series of events begins to take place, starting with the deaths of a few programmers, and extending to the endangering of the entire world. Very few people can hope to stop his plan. These include Tripwire Merritt, "Jon Ross", Natalie Phillips, and a certain police detective you meet at the beginning of the book.
There were a number of thoughts that went through my head as I read this book. First, it is paced to within an inch of its life. There are no slow parts, there are no parts where the plotting moves too fast and loses detail. Second, this is like Michael Crichton, only better. More accurate stories, more realistic, more detailed, more interesting characters (and more of them). Third, this compares well to The Stand and The Matrix, two of the epics of our time. Like the latter, technology plays a central role in this story, and like the latter, it doesn't end here.
The only reason that I don't give this book five stars is that the ending is not complete enough. The last discussion in the book lacks the details, the philosophy, and the explanation, to raise this even further above the bar for techno-thrillers. Instead, it is left for later.Read more ›
Daemon is the story of... Well, it's a little hard to summarize. The catalyst of this novel is the death (from brain cancer) of Matthew Sobol. Sobol is the young, multi-millionaire genius behind a computer gaming empire. Specifically, he made his fortune designing MMORPGs, and if you're like me, you're a reader who doesn't know squat about Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games. That's okay, you'll get educated along the way.
So, Matthew Sobol spent a lot of time thinking about society and the world we live in as his death approached, and apparently he found it lacking. Or, perhaps, the tumors in his brain drove him mad. Take your pick. In either case, Sobol set in motion an elaborate plan that would be kicked off, only after a computer read of his obituary in the news. That was the catalyst that released the eponymous computer daemon into the world.
For those that don't know (i.e. me), a daemon is a process that runs in the background and performs a specified operation at predefined times or in response to certain events. And that's precisely what Sobol's Daemon does. The obituary triggers the murders of some of the programmers that took part in the daemon's creation--in quite creative ways, I might add. And that is literally the start of the novel, and how we get introduced to homicide detective Peter Sebeck.Read more ›
This book has a number of wonder reviews on the back by people not otherwise known for their critiques of books. That should say everything one needs to know, but let me provide this further note: this book is like taking a wonderful Sunday drive that ends up with a flat tire ten miles from the closest service station. It is an entertaining read, just don't expect a satisfying conclusion.
Don't get me wrong. I will buy other books by Mr. Suarez and I look forward to his next novel(s). I'm just saving my rave reviews for his next works, which I'm sure will be much better and more accomplished.
It starts out with an obituary on Matthew Sobol, a top computer game designer who's designed a half dozen games and he leaves behind kind of a super game in the form of a daemon that scans internet obituaries and news articles for keywords that trigger a world changing sequence of events. A detective, Peter Sebeck, who is investigating a pair of Internet-related homicides and Jon Ross, who is trying to help his company battle a virus become involved in trying to stop this destructive force from causing irreparable damage to the world.
Anyone involved or interested in online gaming and virtual environments should find the technology aspect of this book especially intriguing. The plot revolves around an online game where it becomes a fine line between a virtual world and the material one.
I understand that this is the first book by Daniel Suarez and that he published it under another name, Leinad Zeraus, a little over a year ago. He's an amazing writer and has another book in the works for next year. This one reads like you're watching a movie. You know how you can see the characters interacting and watch the action unfolding as you read some books? This is like that. It reminded me of a high tech Michael Crichton novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Starts a little slow, but blossoms into a great adventure. Kind of wish the good stuff had started sooner. Was about to stop at the first book, but will keep reading now.Published 11 days ago by Caleb
Warning- if you truly know computers and security, you will be saying "IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT" a lot. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Seeking
Everyone wonders what can be done with the technology at hand. What that next massively multi player online will be that takes over the youth of the world? Read morePublished 21 days ago by Deusdark
This well written book grabbed me from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. The ominous view that computers have the abiity to run and manipulate the country is disturbing,... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Adam J. Titone
Chose this book based on recent reviews and was not disappointed. The concept alone is worth a read if you are someone who is aware of the potential dangers of associated with the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by W. Barley
Loved it. Might be a bit technical and/or intricate if you're not a computer geek, but great story, chillingly plausible. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MPhoto
I really enjoyed this author's writing. Very knowledgeable and cutting edge technology. I learned alot while enjoying the story.Published 1 month ago by William L. Sanders
Five stars are really not enough for a book like this. The plot and character development are not outstanding, but the story idea is so original that it alone is worthy of a Hugo... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Al Singh
This is one awesome book!!! I have read it several times and I like it more each time I read it! This book really makes you think about the future, the government, and the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by CraftyGalYucaipa