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Daemon Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 8, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Originally self-published, Suarez's riveting debut would be a perfect gift for a favorite computer geek or anyone who appreciates thrills, chills and cyber suspense. Gaming genius Matthew Sobol, the 34-year-old head of CyberStorm Entertainment, has just died of brain cancer, but death doesn't stop him from initiating an all-out Internet war against humanity. When the authorities investigate Sobol's mansion in Thousand Oaks, Calif., they find themselves under attack from his empty house, aided by an unmanned Hummer that tears into the cops with staggering ferocity. Sobol's weapon is a daemon, a kind of computer process that not only has taken over many of the world's computer systems but also enlists the help of superintelligent human henchmen willing to carry out his diabolical plan. Complicated jargon abounds, but most complexities are reasonably explained. A final twist that runs counter to expectations will leave readers anxiously awaiting the promised sequel. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
For now, Daniel Suarez will have to be content with the inevitable comparisons to Michael Crichton and Neal Stephenson; in the publishing world, there are certainly worse fates. To be sure, Suarez's ability in Daemon to push all the right buttons regarding technology and its potential for misuse suggests a writer with a bright future. If word-of-mouth publicity is any indication (there's already strong demand for the sequel, which is due in 2010), the rigors of self-publishing are already a distant memory for Suarez. Daemon is genre fiction meant to be devoured, not savored. "Henry James fans may shudder," the Dallas Morning Newspoints out, "but the result is an almost perfect guilty-pleasure novel that passes briefly through a pulp-bound larval stage before morphing into the Big Action Movie it was meant to be."
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
Top customer reviews
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Daemon tells the story of a mad computer genius with limitless resources that designs a malevolent daemon process that is tasked with ushering in a new age to the entire world. It starts after its creator dies of brain cancer and steadily grows in power and capability over the course of several months.
The book is fast paced and keeps the reader engaged. I was particularly impressed with the accuracy of the technology described in the book. The author is a technical consultant and obviously knows what he is talking about. The story is well thought out and the technical design and systems behind the Daemon are scarily plausible. You only have to suspend disbelief in the sense that nothing as complex as the Daemon in the book could possibly work as well in real life as it does in the story. The real world is fraught with bugs and breakdowns in the implementations of even the best designs. But, then again, the Daemon was designed to be massively redundant and parallel. Perhaps the book only focused on the parts that did work....
Highly recommended. Particularly for readers with a strong technical background.
The book isn't a piece of political philosophy, but it's informed by a lot of current threads and thinking about the increasing influence and power of a few large corporations and what we can and maybe should do about it.
It's not a piece of speculative science writing, but the technologies it describes are not completely unreasonable given the state of the art today, and Mr. Suarez's writing is clearly well informed from a technology perspective. None of the "now I'll just crack the encryption" or "Now I'll upload a virus" BS that so often infects other novels that have a technological bent.
Fair criticisms: Not perfect as a novel, some characters are better drawn than others or abandoned partway, the grasp of technology is deeper than the grasp of the inner workings of government, and it's true that the beginning is generally stronger and more solid than the middle/end; but as soon as I finished it I immediately purchased the sequel (the ending here is something of a cliffhanger) and promptly plowed right through it.
Overall intelligently written and in tune with the zeitgeist of the post-9/11 area. Lots and lots of fun, and in the end that's why I read fiction.