Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Daemon" Review

  • Title:  "Daemon"
  • Author: Daniel Suarez
  • Finished:  February 7, 2010
  • Synopsis:  The obituary of a billionaire online computer game designer (Matthew Sobol) triggers a series of events (launched by daemons) that lead to the deaths of a computer programmer and a network system administrator.  The subsequent news stories about their deaths and (news stories about) law enforcement actions trigger other daemons.  The FBI, NSA, and many other alphabet soup government agencies are drawn into the hunt to destroy the "Daemon" that was released by the death of Sobol.  The "Daemon" uses cold, unfeeling logic in an effort to bring about the next "age of reason" organized on principals that Sobol believed. 
  • Impression of the book:  The "Daemon" contained elements of Clancy and Crichton with possibly a little Ludlum thrown in for fun.  I was thoroughly entertained by the book. The descriptions of the technical and scientific aspects of the linked "daemons" and their keyword scanning of news sites were both understandable and complete in the explanation of how they work.  This aspect of the novel does not seem outside the realm of possibility. The references to the massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) and their sub-cultures are realistic and frightening at the same time.  The book may cause network system administrators nightmares because the type of small program running in the background (daemon) described would be almost impossible to find until it had already performed its preset task. 
  • Read Again Scale: 9
    • The only reason the book doesn't get a 10 is because I checked it out from the library.  If it was in my personal library, it would make it into my "5 year rotation".
  • Read Another Book by the Same Author: 10
    • This was Suarez's first novel.  I am hoping that he has more in the hopper.
I stumbled onto this book while looking at one of the "New Fiction" displays in the lobby of the Fayetteville Public Library. Unlike some of my other stabs in the dark from these displays, it turned out to be worth my time to read.

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