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Deep State (Dagmar Shaw) Paperback – February 7, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
In many cases Walter Jon Williams gets this balance right. He was quite successful in achieving this balance in "This is Not a Game", the predecessor to "Deep State". At the end of Deep State, the balance was lost. As others have noted, the "High Zap" which is introduced at the start of the novel is problematic. It did not have to be so. Williams could have simply described the "High Zap", with out giving details about how it was achieved. And he could have avoided going into technical counter measures. Unfortunately Williams succumbed to the temptation to provide unnecessary technical detail and the result makes no sense, at least to someone who understands the technology. Digging an even deeper hole, Williams develops the technology for a counter measure and then never uses it in the plot, suggesting that it could have been left out entirely. This would have been good, since the counter measure is entirely nonsensical from a technical point of view.
Even with these flaws, Deep State was a good read, although I kept cringing when Williams suggested technically ridiculous things near the end.
Deep State is set in Turkey. Right before I read Deep State, I read Ian McDonald's Dervish House (which I highly recommend). Like Deep State, Dervish House is set in Turkey. Perhaps Istanbul is becoming the new Tokyo for science fiction novels.
I am not one who especially likes series with a recurring hero/heroine, but Dagmar Shaw is pleasantly believable: flawed without being overwrought and angst-ridden, capable without being a Mary Sue, concerned about the ethics of her job without getting preachy. Williams also does a nice job of sketching out the various locations in which the narrative occurs, providing enough detail to help the mind's eye without getting bogged down in florid detail.
Your perception of this book is almost certain to be improved if you have read its predecessor, This Is Not a Game. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but Dagmar's character will be richer if you have read the other book first.
Following events of This Is Not A Game, Dagmar suffers from hallucinations and nightmares about her experiences in the previous novel, which makes her character ultimately believable and flawed. Unfortunately, Dagmar is the only character to truly shine in the novel, as most of the other characters feel particularly flat. Lincoln, aka Chatsworth, is possibly the only other truly interesting character, though with all of the information he withholds from Dagmar throughout the book, readers are left wondering exactly who this man is, and what's he's not saying.
Williams is obviously proficient with computers, as evidenced by the frequent and long descriptions of technology, filled with computer jargon. Though accurate, these scenes rarely provide actual benefit to the story, and serve as page-filler for the most part.
The novel is split into two sections, which feel very much different-almost like two separate novels. The first section introduces readers to Dagmar once again, and just what it is that she does for a living. It also introduces the antagonist of the novel, General Bozbeyli, the military leader of Turkey. Williams spends a lot of time in Dagmar's head, describing her hesitations about the job, her love life, and her seemingly increasing mental instability.Read more ›
And then Dagmar and some of her people are invited to meet the generals, and Dagmar accidentally offends the head of the junta, General Bozbeyli.
Dagmar, her immediate boss Lincoln, and her top on-site American and Turkish employees, have to evade the junta while staging the last live event of the ARG--and that means moving the live event at very short notice. Dagmar and her team work out a way to do it, wrap up the game, and head home.
But before she leaves, Lincoln offers her a new job. Lincoln, it turns out, works for the US government and is in Special Ops. The current Turkish junta, unlike previous ones, is not interested in restoring a secular state and then turning the government back to democracy; they're in it for the money. Lincoln wants to use Dagmar's game-running skills to peacefully destabilize the current Turkish regime and force a return to democracy.
Working from a British military base on Cyprus, Dagmar and her team--Turks Ismet, Tuna, and Refet; Americans Judy, Lloyd, Lola, Magnus, and Byron--set to work, running an Augmented Reality Game with the very real-world goal of bringing down a government. Flash crowds form in places where it's hard for the police to respond quickly, and melt away before they can react.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting idea, but not well developed. Author seems to get bored with his stories before finishing them fully.Published 1 month ago by Just a Guy
As was the case with "This is not a game " Walter Jon Williams creates a near future experience not that improbable what with today's use of media and social neworking and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by A.E. Shugart
After trying several times to read this book, I found that it failed to keep my attention for any length of time. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Silverscarf
I'm a little biased as I am a big fan of WIlliams. This book kept was a good read and raised interesting ideas.Published 20 months ago by hamishsteiner
While not as exciting as some of his books, this is still first class Sci Fi with well developed characters, a believable world, good action and some very clever ideas.Published on May 2, 2014 by Eric
Sequel to THIS IS NOT A GAME. It is no a game was the best of the trilogy. this on is the average one. However it is a good reading. Read morePublished on December 24, 2013 by Henry H
I really enjoyed Deep State.
I did not read the previous book 'This is Not a Game', so I approached this book essentially as a stand-alone novel. Read more
In most ways I liked this sequel to "This is not a Game" better than the first one. Here Dagmar- our protagonist- is mostly not physically caught up in the globe-hopping... Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Cissa