This was a total suprise. I can't find the words to praise this masterpiece! It was a long time since I found a recently written book so exciting. Not only the topic focusing on blindness is fresh, the story is exciting, full of fresh innovative ideas. Of course the singularity idea is not new per se but it doesn't hinder the story at all, it enriches the thema. I couldn't wait for every next chapter. Jessica Almasy's narration is excellent, you can't wish for any better. It perfectly fits to the character. Her voice is also very easily comprehensible and pleasure to listen to. I can't recommend this book high enough to anybody who would like to see one of the possible outcomes of the inevitable singularity phenomenon.
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.
I absolutely loved all 3 books, and I loved the voice acting. I found Caitlin's voice actress simply perfect. I listened to the series in quick succession, and even the last book kept me interested right up to the last sentence.
All in all, great sci-fi
I thoroghly enjoyed this trilogy and was especially gratified that Sawyer was able to end it on a high note. "WWW:Wonder" has more than enough plot twists and surprises to earn a 5-star rating -- both for this book and for the trilogy as a whole.
Some readers may find Webmind more than a little reminiscent of Hollus - the alien for Sawyer's "Calculating God." But for those of us who also enjoyed the latter, Webmind has earned a well-deserved place in the pantheon of memorable RJS characters.
I liked the series very much.
If you liked the other 2 novels, you wont be disappointed.
Web-mind is cool !
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.
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.
The final book of the Robert Sawyer's WWW series, "Wonder" attempts to answer the ultimate question: Can an entity who knows everything. Unlike the first two books, however, it appears that Sawyer was attempting to make "Wonder" more accessible to those who had not read the previous volumes. A good 1/3 of the book involves the characters recapping action that occurred in the previous two books. This repetition becomes tedious at times, and detracts from the narrative flow of the story. I think from the onset, this story was broken down to be a trilogy, however, the final act, edited appropriately could have been told in two volumes instead of 3.
Jessica Almasy & Mark Vietor continue with their excellent characterizations from the point of view of Caitlyn and "the entity". The production greatly suffers for the disappearance of Jennifer Van Dyke's narration of the Primate Researcher Shoshanna. The passages from her point of view are ready by Almasy in this production. While there is nothing technically wrong with Almasy's characterization, her intonation and emphasis differ greatly from what we might have heard had Van Dyke had continued with the role. With the three volumes being a "tight" package, this change is somewhat jarring.
You will have to make up your own mind, about how satisfied you are with the ending of the series. Perhaps it takes the well known exclamation "Information longs to be Free." to the extreme, and I still am not very settled with how "the entity" manipulates people as a means to the end he seeks. In "Wake", "the entity" is given his prime directive by Caitlyn and the bulk of the story revolves around how an independent observer with virtually unlimited power would achieve that end.
Completing my thoughts across the books, however, I was very entertained by Sawyer's writing style and enlightened by his knowledge of both pop culture and hard science, blending it together into an interesting brand of science fiction that is highly contemporary and teeters on the edge of the possible. This was the first of his works I've read and I'm eager to go back and check out his other writings, especially the original novel "Fast Forward" upon which the ill fated ABC series of the same name was based. It will be fun to see what was actually intended and left hanging by the aborted production.