DAEMON by Daniel Suarez [Review]
The death of the world’s most successful computer game designer, Matthew Sobol, sets into motion a series of events that has everyone in Silicon Valley on edge. After the bizarre murders of two of Sobol’s co-workers, Detective Pete Sebeck comes to the conclusion that the murderer is Sobol himself via a Daemon, an autonomous computer program. As the Daemon uses the technology we find in our everyday life to implement Sobol’s plans, the authorities feel helpless to stop it. When a raid on Sobol’s house goes disastrously wrong, Detective Sebeck soon finds himself in the Daemon’s crosshairs. How do you stop technology from ruining your life when it’s all around you?
I had originally heard of Daemon on a few tech podcasts which were praising how good the book was and how Suarez bases the Daemon and events in the book on a solid, real world technology. In fact, the story highlights how much technology has permeated every part of our life from work to transportation to entertainment, and the associated dangers. The book also brings in lots of different sub-cultures into the story line, whether it’s online gaming, the rave community or hackers, and these parts are blended in very well to the overall storyline and plot. The book moves along at a good pace, without getting too bogged down in descriptions of technology or inane technobabble. My favorite part of the story was the raid on Sobol’s house, because it brought in some interesting concepts in technology and home security that I had not thought of before. If there is any weakness in the story is near the climax, when they identify Sobol’s accomplices in the Daemon, because it seemed like there wasn’t enough there to tie the accomplices to the Daemon and I don’t think the FBI or police would make that big of a miscalculation.
Daemon is a great book for fans of techno-thrillers or readers who don’t mind their fiction with a lot of technology mixed in. It is age appropriate for older teens and up, as the plot is a little difficult to follow for younger readers and there are one or two graphic moments that may be a little too much. I listened to the audiobook version of Daemon from Audible.com, narrated by Jeff Gurner, which is 15+ hours long but it goes by quickly. Suarez also wrote a follow up to Daemon, called Freedom(TM).
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Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars | Narrator: Jeff Gurner | Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks | Length: 15 Hours, 57 min | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon