A Book Review: Daemon by Daniel Suarez
Let me start this review by stating that this book is fantastic. What a debut for Mr. Suarez.
Any time I read a book like Daemon, classified as science fiction, I get a little nervous. That genre covers a host of ideas these days, some that are of interest, others too far out of my comfort zone. I always have a need to add, “This is not what I would normally read,” to any review I do.
Yet some of the books in Sci-Fi have a huge number of ratings and reviews. Which is why I finally bought Daemon in the audio version. The first book that drew me away from my favorite mystery/suspense/thriller was a book called Ready Player One. If you have read that, I would love to hear from you. If you haven’t, I wish you would. It has over 16,000 ratings/reviews, so you can see why I was curious. I loved it from start to finish, and suggested it to so many friends so often that several of them finally read it too. After the success with that science fiction selection I was ready for another.
As in Ready Player One, Daemon is definitely a novel I would recommend to everyone. Both are considered science fiction because of technology. It is completely earthbound with no vampires, aliens, or anything like that. It is current, a lot of it is plausible, and a too much of it may be probable.
This first book by Daniel Suarez is book one in a two part series. It does leave you midway through an incredible tale. A few loose ends are tied, but the story clearly has a long way to go. I will be starting the second book in another week or two. Its title is Freedom.
This first book has over 8,000 ratings/reviews, so I figured it should be a good one to check out. It was so worth it. Technology and its effect on society fascinate me.
Matthew Sobol is a very successful designer of some of the most popular computer games. When he dies, a little computer program called a daemon reads the obituary and goes active. In effect, Mr. Sobol is still at work after is death, controlling companies, funds, changing lives—and their histories, with a specific purpose in mind. What that purpose is however, we don’t know.
Anyone who gets in his way will be killed. With the technology available, he can know everyone about anyone online, knowledge that he uses to recruit, implicate, and destroy. Few are aware of what is going on. As the police, the FBI gather to stop Sobol’s plan, it appears that the hackers and gamers may have a better chance.
You may consider the story unrealistic. I suppose parts of it seem that way to me too, but there is so much of it that could be our future that it requires a closer look and read. I am not a gamer at all. I have an average knowledge of computers. A few parts with the technology went in and out of my brain, but it didn’t stop me from getting the idea at any point. I hope you won’t let that stop you.
Computers already control so much of our lives today. The virtual world has existed now for years. We’ve seen over and over how a few manage to hack their way into restricted information. It’s easy for me to believe that a computer could change a person’s history as you see completely in Daemon.
It is also sadly easy to see how the youth in the book would be drawn to the Daemon, to change the order of life as it is today. I don’t want to say much more that might give away anything in the story. There is so much that could be happening even now. It’s definitely worth the read to see if you agree. I’m not sure if you will find it scary, prophetic, or simply someone’s imagination, but I bet it will make you think about the possibilities.
I enjoyed the audiobook. Jeff Gurner does an excellent job narrating, handling the various voices beautifully. Whether you read or listen, it’s a book for everyone to appreciate.
One last note, the author Daniel Suarez has been a systems consultant to “fortune 1000” companies, so he knows what he is talking about. That is clear in all of his novels.