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Kill Decision Hardcover – July 19, 2012
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"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
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.
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Frankly, the stories themselves are rather bland, since it is a rescue mission that became harder due to 'backstabbing', hence I'm taking one star off from the rating.
However, I don't consider a major setback since I think how he completes the story with technologies that seem plausible. Auto sniper, face recognition system, SNS manipulation by bots, cool gadgets and swarm robots that appear in this book are all possible by current technology standard. So I think this book could very be used as a guidance to where the future drone warfare will go, as well as how future war might change due to drones.
Other than the thechnological parts, in this book the swarm drones kill people without human 'consent'. I believe this will be a major debating point in the future(I actually believe this is already underway) as it will decide who gets killed. This will make already very debatable ethics of war much more confusing. Hope there are lot of public sector that are involved in this effort.
And often someone who uses those many details lets that slow the story down. Tom Clancy, one of my former favorite authors, used to do that. You had to wade through the technical explanation to get to the story. Suarez doesn't do that. Another author I have recently reviewed, A.G. Riddle, of Atlantis Plague fame, has lots of excitement, energy and action in his stories, but doesn't slow down enough for you to get to know the characters. Suarez doesn't make that mistake. He has plenty of action, but I also cared very much for what happened to the characters in the end.
If there were a rating higher than five stars (out of five), I would give it to him.
Regardless, I really like this author; his writing is compelling, and while not quite as succinct and imanginative as someone like Michael Crichton, he still writes in a very intelligent, well researched, and well paced manner. The novel itself is an interesting "what if" exploration of a future in which humans are removed from the decision making process of remotely killing targets on and off the battlefield ... but as appropriate for a novel, things quickly get complicated, a cast of characters are introduced, and a greater threat must be stopped.
I would give the novel an easy 5 stars, but, in addition to the genre switch I mentioned, the author introduces some elements which are a bit much to accept ... again, I can't say much without ruining the plot, but as the novel moves forward into near-future sci-fi, Saurez goes a little too far into FICTION and doesn't maintain enough footing in the realm of SCIENCE. Further, some of the plot elements didn't seem to get wrapped up by the end of the novel, unless I missed something.
Author: Daniel Suarez
Daniel Suarez continues his love for studying the bleeding edge of technology with this next book in his collection of thrillers that have yet to disappoint. Before, with his book series Daemon and Freedom, he dipped his toes into all aspects of humanity’s extension through techologies tying themselves to the Internet and even to thoughts of the outer edges of the Singularity. Here in Kill Decision, Mr. Suarez leaves the global focus of the web and human communication, and continues through the more dangerous and scary thoughts of directed self-guided killing machines.
As the title hints, the book covers the idea of the “kill decision”. The question is, who is in control of whether a person lives or dies? In the eyes of where we are, it’s in some form of human…. could be a judge, a jury, or even that moment when a soldier is pulling the trigger, fighting for his life.
Now a days, there’s drone wars. The soldier’s life is no longer in danger. A simple search of the internet will find many articles and blog posts that show a day in the life of a drone pilot. And along with these articles, there are many that now show that people are leaving the profession in droves. It pushes them to the limit. Or it even is just boring…
So is the answer something else? Suarez’ book covers the idea of, what if the robots that we have created were given the decision? Given that ability to decide to kill…
Mr. Suarez did his due diligence, once again showing that he always has the pulse of technology under his fingers. And with that knowledge at hand, he weaves a story that scratches an itch within the reader that lingers even after putting the book down.
The swarming technology, the robot technology, the technology brought through this book can really REALLY scare.
Buy it now at Amazon!
Most recent customer reviews
Quenches your thirst for action and technology. Very satisfying.