- File Size: 542 KB
- Print Length: 323 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: liquididea press (August 7, 2013)
- Publication Date: August 7, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EEIGHDI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,930 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$13.95|
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The Last Firewall (Singularity Series Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 323 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"A fascinating and prescient take on what the world will look like once computers become smarter than people. Highly recommended." - Mat Ellis, Founder & CEO Cloudability
"A phenomenal ride through a post-scarcity world where humans are caught between rogue AIs. If you like having your mind blown, read this book!" - Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
About the Author
Brad Feld, cofounder of TechStars, called his first novel, Avogadro Corp, "a tremendous book everyone must read," and A.I. Apocalypse was nominated for the Prometheus Award.
A twenty year veteran of the technology industry, he holds ten patents on software and internet technology and is a frequent speaker at technology and writing conferences. When not writing, he works on web and social strategy.
He's been building online communities since 1986 when he ran seven phones lines into the back of his Apple //e to create an online chat system. An active blogger since 2002, his website, williamhertling.com, receives more than 50,000 visitors a year. He resides in Portland, Oregon.
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This book wasn't for me. The writing didn't click with me and the flow of the novel was a bit clunky in its dialogue and transitions. I found the characters underdeveloped and unrelatable. I did find the concept of an AI developing depression interesting, but it was quickly glossed over and clearly not the focus of the story anyway. Some other reviews remark on the romance as a surprise, because it's basically insta-love/attraction and a tossed in addition to the story. If Hertling had better developed his characters, I may be more forgiving, but I think this story favors speculation on the world itself, soemthing many sci-fi novels do while sacrificing characters (I don't agree with it, but I get it).
Also, I really did not enjoy having the insertions of Japanese, but again, I think I'm missing some background on this world. Either way, I've never been fond of writing that does this because it just makes me think of the obsessed Japanophiles and anime otaku who went just a little bit too far in their expressions of admiration, even if it made everyone around them uncomfortable. I also found it distracting whenever I'd see any content inconsistencies, such as Cat being 19, then 20, then she's ordering tequila (and we know she's in the US), and then she's back to 19. There was also the Sensei Flores that switched to Flores Sensei (which is the correct word order). I guess in this world some Japanese words have become part of the language and Japanese styled food has become the preference, but all I could think about was how unnatural it all felt.
This book started out with a bang that ends in a fizzle. The characters were alittle weak, but I could relate to them-until the end.
I had read about 80% of the book when I realized there was alot going on and not alot of pages left to make it all happen! In the back of my mind I went 'oh no- this isn't a good sign'. The author was on fire with this book. But if you aren't heading towards the ending 80% into it, then there are 2 reasons why: 1- you are planning a sequel, or 2- the Author is 'done'. Unfortunately, for me, it was #2. Frankly, I think Mr. Hertling burned himself out, woke up one day and said "I am so done with this book, I'm finishing it today no matter what"! Thats sure how it felt when I read the last 20% of it.
Without spoiling the book, let me put it this way- imagine someone telling you every detail of their upcoming wedding- the reception hall, the dresses, the food, the invitation, music and photos (you get the idea), but when the wedding happens all they tell you is 'it was nice'.
I'll give it 4 stars for the first 80%, the last 20% I'll give it a 2.5-3 star rating. Good beginning and middle but the Author got lazy at the end.
Unlike most sequels, I thought this one was a heck of a lot better than the first two books of the series. I think the author does a good job of giving you a possible scenario of how a computer program could become an artificial intelligence, as well as how a software program could spin out of control as it certainly got me thinking about it well after I completed the book. Without having a spoiler there are a few instances where you want to call "bull" on the situations, yet it was very thought-provoking and one of those books I didn't want to put down until I plowed all the way through it. However, the Walter Mitty fantasy-type moments I had while reading the book - and continue to have - certainly outweigh my previous comment.
If you like a good science fiction thriller that seems just a couple of years into the future, I'd recommend this one - especially as it seems to be free on a permanent basis in the Kindle store.
Making the book even more interesting is the character building. The Last Firewall's characters are multidimensional people I'd like to have a drink with! I could envision going to one of the "bad" guys favorite izakaya establishments with him.
When you read this book, I highly recommend setting aside some time because you may not be able to resist reading the entire book in one sitting.
Top international reviews
the basic premise starts off the series with the accidental development of AI, but then goes on to explore how humans and AI co-exist and come into conflict. recommended. just finished this one and going to buy the next in the series.
Each of the books take an aspect of the technological singularity and in this one he examines the crossover between the physical world and cyberspace and in particular how it can affect individuals. The technology is handled in an easy to understand manner, although personally I quite like hard sci-fi so I would have been happy for there to be a bit more detail, but enough is conveyed to get a feel for what is new.
It also looks at some of the aspects of how society has changed in response to the technological developments and an interesting world is constructed from this. Again I would happily have read more detail, but enough is drawn to see how things fit together.
The story is fast paced and well written and drew me through the story quickly. There were some aspects I thought as unlikely, or inadequately explained, but overall it meshed together well. Apart from wanting more detail my main criticism would be for the main protagonist. He serves his purpose well enough, but does come across as a bit of a bond villain. There were hints as to his motivations that worked for me, but again the lack of detail meant that they didn't come across as strongly as they could have been.
So this review might seem a little over critical for a book I enjoyed, and that's mainly because there was potential for this to be a stand out novel in the genre. As it is it's merely an excellent read :-)
Like all good storytellers one starts off with a storyline, which quickly develops into many storylines, one of which appears as the main one. An enjoyable read and I will probably be buying the others that William Hertling has written. I like his style.
I hadn't realised this was the third in the series, although there was some brief references to earlier times, I didn't note I was missing background of events or characters.
marked down to 4.5 because of a little sloppy editing in the last few chapters interrupted the flow.