I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Overall I found this novel quite weak. While the narration was excellent, the characterization of the main protagonist seemed simplistic and bland. I found the story itself slow moving and mostly uninteresting. There have been many very good stories involving emergent computer based intelligence and there is little that is both new and worth reading in Wake. The novel had virtually no action at all, and almost no fresh concepts are presented.
Although I have no problem with the possibility of web based artificial intelligence, I found the science in Wake annoyingly weak. There was a little mathematics that was not complete hogwash, but the rest of the story was pretty silly. I won’t be reading the rest of the series.
This might be more appropriate for a young teen reader, but I wouldn’t have recommended Wake to any young reader with any interest in science. The best thing I can say for the novel, other than the narration, is having a blind female being mathematically inclined would be good for some young female readers.
I thought the premise of the story was fascinating but the book ended up being one long introduction without much of a plot. Near the end of the book, I understood why the separate stories in China and with the apes were brought up, but it was such a long road to get to minor points in the book. All in all, this book felt like one very long, tedious introduction. Although the performances were good, it did not save the story. I would guess (hope) that the next two books have more of a plot and storyline, but I'm just not willing to spend my money or time on them.
reader of books
First the bad. There was more product placement in this book than in anything else I have ever read. It was distracting and not really necessary. In ten years it will greatly out date the book. Second, the few places of sexual innuendo or puns made me groan. Again, distracting, unrealistic and unnecessary.
The good, the characters were very interesting as was the story. The wakening was well done I thought and the character interactions were very believable. As for audio quality, it was great. Multiple voices, well executed! I was pleasantly surprised by the use of original material near the end about which I will say nothing more.
Yes the premise is far-fetched but then isn't all SF that way? I think that it takes place in this day and age is what amplifies this. I will be downloading the next one very soon.
Well conceived, thoughtout, written and narrated. Robert J. Sawyer creates characters that I really liked and wanted to know better and places them in fascinating settings that are believable. Caitlin is young and smart without being disagreeable. He captured a young, brilliant mind as she deftly and easily deals with today's technology in spite of her blindness and then adds some amazing additional technology that could possibly change her life . . . if not the world! Amazing book. Excellent narration. I look forward to the trilogy.
I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.
SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW! WARNING! I'm writing this for parents who want to get this for their pre-teen and teen children.
The story of WebMind was great. The characters were well thought out but in some cases sterotypical. The kid who tries to take advantage of Kaitlyn and then bullies Matt is one such case.
That said, the story revolving around WebMind is fantastic and extraordinary. I also enjoyed Hobo the chimp/benobo although his making a choice not to be violent was too far fetched for me, at least in this story.
Now on to the elephant in the room. Regardless of what a perfect world is or how the characters think it should be; parents encouraging their 16 year old daughter to first sext her bare breasts to her new boyfriend and then just days after first kissing a boy (not just this boy, any boy) they let their daughter her have sex with him, is not the mindset I want to instill in the world I live in.
The mother finding the sexting bare breast picture on her daughter's phone and sees the sext she sent to her boyfriend but when she shows the father, he is not only not upset, but he tells her there is nothing wrong with it. That is crazy in my book, sorry for the pun. Sure, they didn't tell her directly "Hey Kaitlyn, sexting is fine and by the way, having sex is great and we think you should have it now too" but their actions (and lack of action) spell it out very clearly. They knew full well that their daughter who was born blind and had just gained sight, had her very first kiss and sent naked pictures of herself to said boy. They also knew that just days after gaining sight, etc. she was going to have sex. They accepted it as a forgone conclusion.
I think the sexting and Kaitlyn losing her virginity added nothing to the overall story other than an irresponsible influence on many pre-teen and teen children who will read this book. I don't think books should be censored or banned. I read many, many books per year, sometimes two or more per week and I run across many situations like this but this one is different in that it is a book specifically geared for young girls. I don't know how to handle it other than by writing this review.
The above is why I dropped 2 full stars from the overall and 3 from the story, If those two situations were handled differently I would have given this book a full 5 star review. It was that good. It is not something I normally read but someone recommended the first book and I was pulled in. :)
I really do find it interesting that I am a dissenting voice here, compared to most of the other reviews. The voice acting was good. It often can detract for me from a story to hear multiple real voices in and out of the book, but this one worked well. Unfortunately, it didn't help the very long dragged out parts in the story that really just seemed to go on forever without any cohesion in sight (seriously no pun intended, as opposed to the ones in the book).
I started to think/hope that would end up being like "cloud atlas" and there would be a whole "oooooooohhhhhh, clever" at the end... there wasn't. Another thing that really bothered me was the constant Interactive brands mentioned. I work in Interactive and already those things are crazy outdated for the most part (well, not Google of course ;)) so that lost a lot for me.
Don't get me wrong, I liked how the author put in technical information about how the web works, but at times it was too much and it didnt further the story even though it made me want to write it down to hand to people who ask me those questions day to day ;)
The story - it had promise, but I just cant bring myself to slog through 3 more hours of the online being's self awareness transformation or all the subplots that are so fleshed out and then just dropped unresolved. Maybe they will be in the next books, but I really cant bring myself to find out.
Can somebody just tell me how it all ends?
I wouldn't recommend this unless they really have a lot of patience.
The gorilla painting... what does that say?
It has a follow-up book, but I just cant see myself reading it. It needs one for sure as there were lots and lots of loose ends. Personally, I will just create my own ending in my head. That way I can save the 10 hours.
I really enjoyed the glimpse into the world of modern technology with out eyes. Some fun and new ideas are played around in this book. But... I think I could best say it comes off a bit preachy. Maybe the ending is overdone. I don't know how else to describe it.
Nothing... i quit listening several times but told myself the entire audio cant all be this terrible... ha! It kept getting worse... sad disappointment...
It attempted to explain the www and maneuvering as if you were a complete idiot. Even a complete novice would be insulted.
I cannot believe the author has published more than one book... after my experience with www, i have no desire to checkout his other literary failures.
All around disappointment...
Dont waste your time or money / credits on this audiobook... you have been warned!!
Would I listen to this book again, probably not. It was not so deep that I think I may gleam more from a second time listening to the book. I did enjoy the book quite a bit more than I expected. Though truth be told I am a sucker for A.I. stories, or more accurately stories of spontaneous High Tech Life.
While listening to this book I developed the impression that my teenage nieces and nephews would enjoy this book. I recognize that this though most likely come from the fact that the main character is a teenager. Even so I recommend WWW:Wake to them, as well the adult in my circles.
For myself it was good enough for me to elect on completing the trilogy. Where before I had thought to just read the WWW:Wake and leave it at that. Wake did drag slowly in a few places and is predictable, but not in a way that detracted from the story for me.
It is a good and easy read. Enjoy.
I loved it! It was one of the best reads (or listens) in quite some time! This is an intelligent, engaging story and I could not put it down. If you like smart stories that make you think...this one's for you.