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Kill Decision [Kindle Edition]

Daniel Suarez
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Daemon comes
a terrifying, breathtaking,and all-too-plausible vision of the world's near future.

It's no secret that America relies on remotely piloted drones to target adversaries overseas.  But now fifty other nations are developing drones of their own, and the next generation of unmanned weapons are much scarier: autonomous drones that acquire and destroy targets without direct human intervention.

Bestselling author Daniel Suarez--dubbed the "heir to Michael Crichton" by Publishers Weekly - imagines--a shocking but all-too-possible world of autonomous swarming drones and the dawn of anonymous warfare with his new tech-thriller Kill Decision.

In Kill Decision, Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist whose research focuses on African weaver ants--one of the most organized and aggressive species on earth.  The chemical-based communication of weaver ants allows vast colonies to act as a single, collective intelligence, killing anything that enters their territory.  What McKinney doesn't know is that her research has been stolen by unknown forces who have co-opted her software model to power an army of autonomous swarming drones--and recent attacks on the U.S. homeland indicate where that swarm might be released.

Saved from a drone attack herself by a secretive Special Ops soldier known as Odin, McKinney is suddenly propelled into a war she never dreamed existed. Together, McKinney and Odin must slow the spread of these swarming weapons long enough for the world to recognize their destructive power--and stay alive long enough to discover who is behind them.

McKinney knows the stakes go far beyond her own fate. For thousands of years the 'kill decision' in war has been in human hands, and offloading that responsibility to mass-produced, insect-like machines would bring unintended, possibly irreversible, consequences for us all.

A cutting-edge thriller with important contemporary relevance, Kill Decision is an adrenaline-filled page-turner that will shock readers
with its realism and frightening plausibility.

Editorial Reviews


"Perfectly blending nail-biting suspense with accessible science, bestseller Suarez establishes himself as a legitimate heir to Michael Crichton with this gripping present-day thriller."
     --Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"A confident thriller that leaves us wondering not whether its fictional premise will one day become reality, but when. "
     --Kirkus Reviews on Kill Decision"

A plausible account of how, and more importantly, why, the real 'skynet' might be created."
     --Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc.

"Kill Decision is a fantastic techno-thriller.  As someone who has designed combat robots myself, I found the technology depicted both accurate and chilling."    
Alexander Rose, Roboticist & Executive Director of The Long Now Foundation

"Suarez's fiction is closer to reality than most people think."                                                                     --Chris Anderson, Author & Editor-in-Chief, Wired Magazine

"I think Daniel Suarez may be one of the best "near term science fiction writers" alive today."
        --Brad Feld, author, VC & Co-Founder, Tech Stars & Foundry Group

"For me, Suarez is the Jules Verne of the digital age." 
     --Frank Schirrmacher, Author & Publisher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)

From the Author

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Daemon and Freedom™, comes a terrifying, breathtaking, and all-too-possible vision of the world's near future. In his new novel, Kill Decision, Daniel Suarez turns to the timely and increasingly important topic of combat drones.  The book tells the story of myrmecologist Linda McKinney--a scientist studying weaver ants--who is forced to team up with a Special Ops soldier after her research is stolen and used by unknown forces to power autonomous swarming weapons.  Suarez's well researched thrillers are based on real science and technology, and in Kill Decision he takes the very real implications of automated war to its next logical step.

Product Details

  • File Size: 651 KB
  • Print Length: 513 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451417704
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; Reprint edition (July 19, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0073XV2W2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,194 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Daniel Suarez has done it again (Daemon, Freedom). He's written the tech thriller of the year.

He's managed to get his mind around the most complex and terrifying military technology of our time, DRONES, and turn it into a thriller that will keep on the edge of your seat.

What is a drone and why is it terrifying? It's a flying robot that can kill with precision. Drones are currently being used across the world from Pakistan to Yemen to the Philippines, to continuously watch and kill people. Already, thousands of people are being killed by drones each year, and that number will rapidly grow beyond everyone's expectations. Why? Moore's law. Drones are going to get very cheap and very smart much faster than anyone anticipates (in the same way cell phones and personal computers got cheap and powerful). That means they will be many, many more of them, used very often, in a plethora of places.

This is where Dan Suarez steps in. He takes this lethal technology and projects it forward in a way that feels right. Why? He (rightly) uses myrmecology (the study of ants, think E.O. Wilson's Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition) as his pattern for the evolution of drone technology.
He then puts it into a fast paced story replete with military special operators (in SAPs), corrupt defense contractors, and lots of very creepy drones -- which combine to keep you on the edge of your seat.

So, BUY this book. Treat yourself to an education, a thrill, and a scare all at the same time.

Read it before you see it in the theaters (this WILL become a movie).
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43 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smart? Yes. Thrilling? Not so much... August 16, 2012
Daniel Suarez's first two novels, Daemon and Freedom (tm), turned me into a fan. Therefore, I was excited to learn of the publication of a new stand-alone thriller. I did not find Kill Decision to be as strong as Suarez's prior novels, but I'm still a fan. I can't help it; I'm a sucker for smart fiction.

This time around, Suarez is writing about the threat of autonomous drones being used by the military. After several opening scenes which illustrate the dangers of these devices, the story builds around a military man on a secret mission to investigate a series of drone attacks on U.S. soil and a scientist who gets caught up in the action. She researches ant behavior--but it seems that her pure research has other, darker applications. Now these two are teamed up with, well, a team. They need to stay alive, stop the drone attacks, and hopefully get the military to see that machines can't be trusted to make life or death decisions.

Now, that's a fairly sparse synopsis coming from me, and you may have noticed that I used no names. I didn't really see the point. The characters were so superficially drawn that I could barely remember who the supporting characters were, and the male and female protagonists were awfully generic as well. I have to admit that I had a very hard time caring about them or getting invested in their story. Plus, they all had ridiculous monikers like Odin, Mooch, and Foxy. (Or you'd have a character nicknamed Ripper interacting with a character named Ritter. Do you really need to make things that difficult, Mr. Suarez?)

And it wasn't merely the characters that had a generic feel about them; some of the dialogue was downright cringe-worthy. An example: at one point the lady scientist asks the military man why he's drawn to war.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch out Tom Clancy August 3, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can't say this is science fiction so much as a near (actually, really near) future war story. I know a guy in Boulder, CO. that consults for the military creating a specialized Android OS specific to the US Air Force designed to fly, remotely, jets. As in F18 type jets. He told me almost 2 years ago about how they had to have autonomous operations if they were cut off from remote control and much of what I read in this book sounds very similar to concepts my friend told me about over lunch at a restaurant on Pearl street in 2010.


So, not so 'near future' as 'tomorrow or the day after' future.

As far as this book is concerned.. exceptionally well written. He's using a Tom Clancy like style and, for a story like this, it works beautifully. Fast paced, (reasonably) believable characters and an excellent plot line.

The only thing that bugs me (and the reason I'm giving this a 4 instead of a 5 star rating) is his trick of getting me to buy the 'whole' story twice. He did this with his first two books (Daemon and Freedom). It's effectively a clever selling technique to make more money. He's not exactly serializing the story like the old SciFi guys used to. He takes a longer story, finds a good break point in the middle, and prints the first book (1/2 the story) at full price, then the second book (finishing the story), also at full price. You'll notice this book is a little short. That's because, I'm betting, he's not done (at least, I hope not. There were some major plot lines left unanswered).

Still, if you like his first two (really one) books, and Tom Clancy's style, you'll love Kill Decision.

Kill Decision
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing story about computer technology
Each of Daniel's books improves his mastery of technology and suspense. Based on how technology is advancing, this could happen today and the bad guys are already building these... Read more
Published 5 hours ago by NTH Rich
3.0 out of 5 stars ... miht be in but the book is in very excellent condition.
I was s little worried abt the confition it miht be in but the book is in very excellent condition.
Published 18 days ago by M. Hernandez-Maldonado
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great novel pushing the envelope of what currently is
Another great novel pushing the envelope of what currently is.... and what could be very shortly. If you enjoyed his other books you will not be disappointed by this one.
Published 1 month ago by styx
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As usual, a very entertaining story with a ton of actual cutting edge tech
Published 1 month ago by Anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Daniel Suarez hits another home run!
Daniel Suarez hits another home run with "Kill Decision," this time with the subject of military drones. Read more
Published 1 month ago by N. P. Jacobsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Suarez rocks
I am, at this point, convinced that Daniel Suarez is the premier writer of techno-thrillers in the US today. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This guy is a great High Tech Thriller writer. So glad he's putting these out!
Published 2 months ago by Mark E Jacoby
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting ideas about drones and the future of drones.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Totally loved this book! Fast paced and kept my attention.
Published 3 months ago by Paula
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Action, adventure, sci-fi all the way through! Really great entertainment.
Published 3 months ago by nanabeth
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More About the Author

DANIEL SUAREZ is the author of the New York Times bestseller Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, and Influx. A former systems consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, he has designed and developed software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. With a lifelong interest in both IT systems and creative writing, his high-tech and sci-fi thrillers focus on technology-driven change. Suarez is a past speaker at TED Global, MIT Media Lab, NASA Ames, the Long Now Foundation, and the headquarters of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon -- among many others. Self-taught in software development, he is a graduate from the University of Delaware with a BA in English Literature. An avid PC and console gamer, his own world-building skills were bolstered through years as a pen & paper role-playing game moderator. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Topic From this Discussion
Release Date for Kill Decision - Kindle Edition
Yeah, should have been over 6 weeks ago - have asked the author via Twitter.
Sep 8, 2012 by Nathanael Coyne (Boehm) |  See all 2 posts
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