Yes, it is Science Fiction but there are some great messages for the human race. The series, and especially this book, causes me to think more and more about what could be accomplished if we, all sides, looked at issues from different perspectives.
This book is aimed at someone with low technical knowledge. It is full of technical errors starting in the preface with a misunderstanding of Moore's law up to fundamental flaws that spoil the story. The writer simply doesn't do his research. The plot itself has more holes than plot; I'll avoid the big things which would involve spoilers, but even when the hackers go missing, their leave their families thinking they're dead just because nobody thinks to tell them they got jobs for webmind. It's full of examples where if you think about what's going on it drives you nuts.
The author is also more concerned about pushing his own political agenda, and many times sacrifices the story to score a political point. This also causes many flaws in the plot.
No, I knew up front Sawyer is a horrible writer, but this was bad even for him.
The narrators were perfectly cast and did an excellent job. In that respect it's actually one of the best on Audible and the performance quality is the main reason I bought the book since I expect very little of Sawyer. The only criticism is the pronunciation of
The China story line. It's just about the author spouting political babble and only weakens the rest of the story.
It's a very insightful story with some great ideas. In the hands of a competent author it could have been one of the great genre-transcending works of the 21st century. With the high quality of the narrators it could have been an excellent audio book too. As it is, it falls flat in the hands of an a lousy writer.
Ooops - I wrote this for another book...but to paraphrase: It was nice to listen to a book that didn't make technology into the devil. A good and easy book to listen to while driving.
Mom, married, website designer, portfolio manager in self-imposed exile (yeah Greg Smith!!), former California native, Episcopalian.
The third book, WWW:Wonder, didn't grab my interest as thoroughly and quickly as the first two books. Even so, it was still a fun book with great twists. By the time I was half-way through, I was listening as often as I could manage. I enjoyed the characters, the narrators, the plot, all well done. I hope the publisher comes out with a set so I can give it as a gift. The entire series was well worth the read.
I am a huge fan of Robert J. Sawyer or at least I was till I read this book. I have met him several times and he signed my complete set of the Neanderthal Parallax. However, I was very disappointed with his effort here. While Flashforward was one of his best stories to date, I was sorry to see that it's success and industry's weak effort to make it a TV show caused Hollywood's liberal elite to have a negative effect on him. By the time WebMind makes his acceptance speak late in the story I had become tired of the liberal, secular diatribe that was continuously being trodden out. A majority of it had nothing to the story and just became annoying by the time you reached the end. In the past he has kept these issues at the ???food for thought??? level. There are several examples of this in Calculating God and the aforementioned Neanderthal Parallax where I would stop reading to sit and think about a point that had been made, but it here it crossed the line to just plain preaching/bashing.
I realize as an author it is his prerogative to write as he see's fit and I still look forward to his next story, but if this trend continues, I am sorry to it will be the last I read.
Avid audiobook addict!
There's absolutely no subtlety at all in this book. The dialogue is a study in how people NEVER talk to one another. It could have been way shorter, but the author puts in all sorts of mundane and unimportant details (like what the characters are having for breakfast). The premise IS interesting though, and the narrators are good--using several different people to narrate is much better than having one person fake a bunch of gender/accents.
first the praise: I enjoyed the series. An interesting imaginary tale. Good writing, good characters, different social political ideas.
This critical part does not change my mind about how I enjoyed the series but does warrant commenting
First, Robert Sawyer always says you can read his series books as a stand alone novel. This is not at all the case with this series, especially this 3rd book. I actually prefer to not have a full recap of the previous books in the series, so for me it was better to have it not be continuously recapped.
Second, the sociopolitical message that Robert Sawyer makes obvious in his books is an interesting take on life. I do not agree with him on many things but I am not insulted by ideas. Since I form my own ideas and opinions he is free to write books stating his world view and I can buy and read or not. It is entertaining but if you are easily offended then I would advise that you spend your credits elsewhere.
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Sawyer has not disappointed me yet!... And if all his novels are like this, I doubt he could!
I’m sure that mine is the most boring positive review written for this book, but I don’t have much else to say other than: Loved it!
Although it’s a Sci-Fi story, I think it can easily appeal to a wider audience because the premise of Artificial Intelligence is just this side of credible, and Sawyer had a great knack for making people think. I felt exactly the same way after reading the Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy. In both cases, I would recommend that you read all 3 books back to back to back in order to really sink into the story properly.
This review really doesn’t tell you much about the plot, I know, but you can read the publisher’s summary for that. If you were debating whether or not to read the trilogy, hopefully I can influence you to do so - I’d be surprised if you were disappointed!
The voice acting was superb and the discussions the characters have on the nature and evolution of consciousness are enlightening.