Already an underground sensation, a high-tech thriller for the wireless age that explores the unthinkable consequences of a computer program running without human control—a daemon—designed to dismantle society and bring about a new world order
Technology controls almost everything in our modern-day world, from remote entry on our cars to access to our homes, from the flight controls of our airplanes to the movements of the entire world economy. Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can’t always be said for the people who design them.
Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer—the architect behind half-a-dozen popular online games. His premature death depressed both gamers and his company’s stock price. But Sobol’s fans aren’t the only ones to note his passing. When his obituary is posted online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events intended to unravel the fabric of our hyper-efficient, interconnected world. With Sobol’s secrets buried along with him, and as new layers of his daemon are unleashed at every turn, it’s up to an unlikely alliance to decipher his intricate plans and wrest the world from the grasp of a nameless, faceless enemy—or learn to live in a society in which we are no longer in control. . . .
Computer technology expert Daniel Suarez blends haunting high-tech realism with gripping suspense in an authentic, complex thriller in the tradition of Michael Crichton, Neal Stephenson, and William Gibson.
Robin Cook on Daemon
Doctor and author Robin Cook is widely credited with introducing the word "medical" to the thriller genre. Thirty-one years after the publication of his breakthrough novel, Coma, he continues to dominate the category he created, including his most recent bestseller, Foreign Body, which explores a growing trend of medical tourism--first-world citizens traveling to third-world countries for 21st-century surgery.
Daemon is an ambitious novel, which sets out not only to entertain, which it surely does, but also to challenge the reader to consider social issues as broad as the implications of living in a technologically advanced world and whether democracy can survive in such a world.
The storyline portrays one possible world consequent to the development of the technological innovations that we currently live with and the reality that the author, Suarez, imagines will evolve, and it is chilling and tense (on www.thedaemon.com the reader can find evidence that the seemingly incredible advances Suarez proposes could in fact become real). Daemon is filled with multiple scenes involving power displays by the Daemon's allies resulting in complete loss of control by its enemies, violence with new and innovative weaponry, explosions, car crashes, blood, guts, and limbs-cut-off galore.
As far as computer complexity, Daemon will satisfy any computer geek's thirst. I was thankful for Pete Sebeck, the detective in the book whose average-person understanding of computers necessitates an occasional explanation about what is going on. I came away from the novel with a new understanding, respect, and fear of computer capability.
In the end, Suarez invites the reader to enter the "second age of reason," to think about where recent and imminent advances in computer technology are taking us and whether we want to go there. For me, it is this "thinking" aspect of the novel which makes it a particularly fun, satisfying, and significant read.