Daemon

Daemon

A Novel

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
16
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After the premature death of Matthew Sobol, a legendary computer game designer, a daemon that he designed to dismantle society and bring about a new world order is activated and it's up to an unlikely alliance to decipher Sobol's intricate plans and wrest the world from the grasp of his computer program.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, c2009.
ISBN: 9780525951117
0525951113
Branch Call Number: FIC Suare 9254mv 1
FIC Suare 9254ag 1
Characteristics: 432 p. ; 24 cm.

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p
PearlyBaker
Jun 19, 2017

Once I drove to Lamoni, Iowa to get some blotter-25 from a Chemistry Professor. On the road back to San Jose', Missourah little red demons started melting through the windshield and screaming as they flew past our ears. When my brother thought we were jogging on a quarter mile track I knew it was time to stop driving. For the next 14 hours all I saw were crystals melting and moving as 4 packs of Marlboro lights disappeared. I was not an animal and had to watch my health in case I made it past the 80's so I no longer smoked the Reds. As dawn broke and our vision started to return I then became convinced this was going to be permanent and I would never stop hallucinating. The next 72 hours of self induced psychosis sans sleep was so nightmarish that it almost rivaled the time I was awake for a fortnight on God's Breath watching Pink Floyd The Wall in the late 90's. Anyway I would rather go through those experiences again than read Daemon #2. This POS was less believable than Donald Trump's lawyer and more boring than a Mormon baby shower in Provo. I would rather marry Kellyanne Conway and have Sean Spicer as my girlfriend on the side than read Daemon #2. I am insulted first as a reader and secondly as a human being that the very title of this piece implies that a Daemon #2 actually exists.

This book ends abruptly with a promise of more answers in the next book. Normally that would piss me off, but I was so happy that this amazing story wasn’t over yet that I instead felt relief. The novel covers so many ideas in science and social justice, yet it still qualifies as a page-turner because it is so tightly crafted; it doesn’t let the grand ideas bog down the narrative flow. The tech is believable and not over-played, the characters are complex and true to themselves, and the plot keeps surprising you with twists and turns. I can’t wait for more.

r
rahmmie
Nov 14, 2016

It was okay but neither revolutionary nor memorable

p
postrand1
Jul 19, 2016

OK... a little too much techie detail for my taste, and the ending was a bit unfulfilling. Too much like it was setting up a sequel.

e
Ethan_Annis
Jul 13, 2016

This riveting techno-thriller centers on the chaos unleashed by an automated computer process known as a daemon. What sets Daemon apart from other techno-thriller's I have read are the projections about what can be done with existing technology and the questions about the sustainability of our current situation. (Many other techno-thrillers rely on alien technology or technology from the future, which to me feels like cheating.) Freedom, Suarez's second book, completes the story.

j
johnp_yvr
Oct 31, 2013

Brilliant, gripping book for those who like clever thrillers. With a bit of social criticism thrown in.

That said, unlike some reviewers, I ain't totally convinced about the tech. The author avoids having to bring in a "full AI" (think HAL in 2001 Space Odyssey), mostly because full AI is much more scifi at this point than credible in a contemporary techno-thriller.

Yes, you could script fairly sophisticated behavior by responding to news events and the like.

But... as time went on and you diverged more and more from your initial starting point, the scripts would have more and more problems with their simple "if X happens, do Y".

Just because X may not have been foreseen.

Near the end of Daemon, I got the impression that the AI was, in fact, rather cleverer than presented at the beginning. Perhaps another layer of deception?

e
Evans D Tucker
Jan 15, 2013

This is the best book I've read in a while! It's got a lot of real, bleeding-edge technology that's been combined in innovative ways to create a fascinating story of what could happen in our future. It's a perfect book for a techno-survivalist or anyone interested in the open source movement. But I particularly recommend it for my co-worker Ben Shumway, who refuses to read books even though this one is perfect for him. I hope he finds this review one day and reads this book before it becomes to dated.

e
elloyd74
Nov 03, 2012

A library patron recommended "Daemon" to me and I owe him a thanks: it was a blast to read, and I likely wouldn't have found it otherwise. I think I enjoyed this book the way some enjoyed Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One" (which was full of insurmountable holes for me--though I see from other reviews on GoodReads that some had the same feeling about "Daemon"). Similarly to "Ready Player One", "Daemon" starts with the death of a programming and game-writing titan who's devised a little surprise for humankind. But instead of a contest, Matthew Sobol's left behind a daemon--a program that, once set in motion, needs no human interference to keep running. Sobol's daemon is designed to expose and exploit all the weaknesses of society as we know it--perhaps to "prove" that democracy is outmoded in a time when a free individual has access to enough technology and computer power to wreak huge havoc. It was a fun, fast-paced read with lots of things I usually don't go for (at least not at the movies): explosions, automated vehicles, etc--and it was also smart and full of psychological insights that worked, at least, for me. While it might not be quite as brainy as "Snow Crash" or "Neuromancer", my enjoyment of it felt similar to my enjoyment of those. And it was much, much brainier and more well-thought-out than "Ready Player One".

JeremiahSutherland Aug 28, 2012

DNF

d
daveydudely
Jul 28, 2011

Awesome! Daemon and it's sequel Freedom (tm) are terrific speculative fiction- light on character development but big on insight.

Many of the ideas Suarez deals with regarding our modern world are not new, but he makes them fresh in this plot-driven cult classic. And instead of just pointing out how humanity is doomed, he at least fictionally proposes alternatives to the seeming inevitability.

Everybody who's ever clicked a mouse should read Daemon!

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