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Customer Review

on November 15, 2007

First of all, this is a retelling of Shelley's Frankenstein. Shelly's lets the monster find a home in the artic wastes. Zeraus has the monster living in the cold virtual domain of networked war games. Like Shelley, telling the rise of the monster is both fun and frightening. The Daemon's emergence is exceptionally well done and a lot more real than Shelley (at least to modern readers). The way Zeraus blends real and virtual worlds is magical.

I found the books conclusion somewhat unsatisfying. I was unconvinced that we should finally learn to love the monster. The daemon's willingness to kill 10 million to save billions struck me as rather Stalinist, and made things a lot less fun than the initial cops and robbers excitement. I never really bought the idea that the monster was really a good guy come to rid the world of evil plutocrats. This battle is far from over by the end of the book. All we really know if the nature of the monster's mission. The book does a very good job of outlining the ways the Internet can create super-men (super violent, super-controlling, all-knowing, etc.), but I don't see why Zeraus needed to convince us these guys really have the average Joe's best interests at heart.

Zeraus does not explore the ways 'peak oil' will interact with our network monsters. The Daemon is just as careless with energy as was Captain Nemo in 1880. Unlike energy cost trends from 1700 to 1960, real energy costs are now rising. I wonder how much longer stories about folks wasting incredible amounts of energy will interest us.

All in all, a lot of fun, and very thought provoking.
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