The ending is definitely done in such a way as to require a sequel. I really wish he would have done it a bit better considering this was his first book; but maybe that's why it is the way it is. I really enjoyed the book, and i'm looking forward to Freedom. I hope he ends it without the cliffhanger feeling, so that he can expand on the world he has created without needing to force us to wait for more stories.
Yes, I agree that it's a weak ending -- I read the second half in a single sitting and, being a bit disappointed in the ending, I immediately came online to see these reviews. I'll read a sequel (unless the movie comes out first;-)
Dunno if you saw the discussion elsewhere, but apparently he already *did* have an ending. The publishers didn't want the whole thing, due to size/cost, so he cut it at a cliffhanger point and already has (much of?) the rest written for the sequel.
Jay: Since the first edition was self-published, that explanation doesn't make a whole lot of sense, unless Suarez made revisions after being rejected by three agents and before starting a company (Verdugo Press) to publish his own book. See the article in Wired magazine, issue 16.05 (21 Apr 2008), for details.
I also heard that explanation from the author when he came around to talk about the book. Basically it was all written, but he had to split it into THREE books when going through a publisher. He's also updating/reworking the other books to keep up to date as these were written already a couple of years ago and things move fast. I have no issue with that, if the concept/story can be stretched without losing substance then it's great and I can't wait for the next books/movies...t-shirts and mugs :))
This was a helluva lot better book then I was expecting for my Saturday potboiler read. You think its a sharp little techno-thriller, but it turns into the first part of an apocalyptic trilogy that Isaac Asimov would have written if he'd been born fifty years later and raised on video-games. Doesn't have the literary flash of Neal Stephenson, but the blunt political and social analysis is dead on.
[POSSIBLE SPOILERS] Actually, I think the ending worked out quite well. It is unsatisfying, but then again giving us an ending with closure isn't really the point. Sobol's vision of the world at the crossroads led him to create Daemon, to show us all those gaps between what we think is an orderly world and the world that really is. While existing powers - the government and segments of private industry - want us to think that everything is under their control, Sobol/Daemon knew otherwise. Sobol's AI program worked by holding the initiiative, forcing its enemy to respond to it, rather than the other way around. The end result is unsettling, and closely related to our own world where complications constantly keep individuals from taking control of their own lives. Suarez probably wanted a happy ending, a Hollywood ending but then he realized that anything with your typical brand of closure would make the book far less sinister (if still more exotic) than the threats of real life. Do they have polls on Amazon - maybe readers should vote on whether they'd prefer a sequel, or leave scary-enough alone.
I'm interested in seeing the potential interaction between Gragg & Sebeck. Gragg was told by Sobel that he was viewed as his heir. Sebeck was told that he's got quite a bit of power in the Daemon stuff. I don't think that the two will have a happy-happy meeting or anything.