Tuesday, February 5, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Daemon by Daniel Suarez


Daemon is a techno-thriller originally published by Verdugo Press in 2006 and written by Daniel Suarez under a pseudonym. It was re-released on 7 January 2010 by Quercus. I purchased this book. The ISBN number is 1847249612.


PLOT

Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer--the architect behind half a dozen popular online games. His premature death from brain cancer depressed both gamers and his company's stock price. But Sobol's fans weren't the only ones to note his passing. He left behind something that was scanning Internet obituaries, too--something that put in motion a whole series of programs upon his death. Programs that moved money. Programs that recruited people. Programs that killed.

Confronted with a killer from beyond the grave, Detective Peter Sebeck comes face-to-face with the full implications of our increasingly complex and interconnected world--one where the dead can read headlines, steal identities, and carry out far-reaching plans without fear of retribution. Sebeck must find a way to stop Sobol's web of programs--his Daemon--before it achieves its ultimate purpose. And to do so, he must uncover what that purpose is . . .

WHY I BOUGHT IT

I am a big fan of techno thrillers and their authors like Clive Cussler and the late Michael Crichton.  There is a lot of buzz out there that says Daniel Suarez is their successor so I thought I check it out and see if it really was a fair comparison.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Completely blown away by this first instalment in the duology. I think the comparisons with Crichton are reasonably fair there are similarities though I am certainly not suddenly declaring that he is as good an author simply that I would compare this book favourably with say NEXT which is probably my favourite Crichton novel.

This book has a wide array of characters and chapters move from one to the next quickly so you may feel a little lost at first but I’m quite used to reading thriller books like this so I got used to it quickly enough plus most of the characters you meet stick around for quite some time which mean you get to know them eventually.

The technology and the ideas around social networking and augmented reality are eye opening and remind me a lot of the current trend of sci-fi mange and anime like Psycho-Pass for instance. Some of the technology seems like it might be based in fact but a little of it seems like it is more theoretical than anything else but that doesn’t affect your enjoyment of the book in the slightest.

The characters in the book are quite layered which is a definite plus but it is the case that some are more than others but you should keep in mind that this is part of 2 part series so there is room for character growth and background in the final instalment.

I can thoroughly recommend Daemon as a thrilling ride and if you’re cynical like me you will see the messages about the finance industry and the nature of the global economy as a cautionary tale.

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