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.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
I enjoyed Wake and Watch and keenly anticipated Wonder to the point that I waited a month before I picked it up. Although I found the re-cap at the beginning a bit tiresome, this is a small criticism, because as soon as we returned to the broken Chinese hacker, I was back on track and the storyline was humming.
As far as storylines go, this was a brave one. It's bound to offend someone. For one thing, I can't see it being highly recommended in some countries, but I guess that is one of the author's points.
I enjoyed the Caitlin Dexter character more, although I think it's still hard for dinosaurs like me to really relate to her. Barb' was easier for me to get a handle on. I also thought the autism angle an interesting one, although not quite the match for the clinical definition, I'm told by someone who reads DSM4 for fun. Again, the Hobo character had a great ability to provoke a mental segue (for me at least) to "2001" and "Planet of the Apes".
As with the previous two instalments, I thought the vocal performances were very good. The Mark Vietor double take was particularly amusing. Jessica Almasy is outstanding.
Although I feel this was pitched at a younger audience (20's to 30's), it was still entertaining and had an Asimovic "Foundation" like optimism. It was well worth the waiting and rewarded the reader of all three books.
Having a series on television has definitely had an effect on Sawyer's writing style. This book, though mildly entertaining and well-read by the narrators, was still a dumbed-down take on William Gibson's Neuromancer. At least he gave Gibson a few hat-tips in the book. It should probably be in the young adult category, not grown-up sci-fi.
With a strong feeling of relief I feel the author barely pulled this story out of it's death spiral that started in the 2nd book. Fortunately, though still present, he tuned down the gay rights, anti God rhetoric that he seemed he couldn't stop spouting in the 2nd book, and concentrated on the story. I almost barfed with the irritating 16 year old girl OMG lines. But his going back to the development of Webmind ended up saving the story, and so I'm satisfied. That being said, it's such a shame that he started out with such a good story in book 1 and in the end failed to carry that story all the way to the end. I really feel that this story could have become a classic in scifi. I feel he ultimately failed because of the PREACHY attitude he took promoting atheism, gay rights, and pro teenage sex to the detriment of the story. None of the wanderings into these topics had anything to do with the story or of the development of web mind. "Come on", if you're going to include these things, at least show how it helped in the development of your characters. He says he spent six years on this trilogy, I'm sorry to say Mr. Sawyer it was 6 years wasted. To finish off I'd like to say that the one good thing in this book is that it did end cleanly with no major questions unanswered and no wish for it to continue.
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.
I only finished this because I had invested in the previous books in the series. The author seems to have an agenda to push when it comes to human sexuality (especially teenage sexuality). It really distracts from the story. Also the rest of the story plays out in a fairly shallow way (IMHO). Not a great read, but it has its moments.
Instead of focusing and developing the story the author seems to be preaching a very disturbing agenda. He tries to build a story where his agenda is right because the result is better for humanity. In his opinion child pornography and teenage sex is morally right. His justification is "everybody does it, why should we be ashamed? While teen sex is common it shouldn't be encouraged as morally right. We shouldn't be saying sending nude pictures is morally right.
Per the story:
Atheism is best
Teenage sex is morally ok
Child pornography is ok
Hackers can be used for the good
Republicans are bigots
Liberalism is the natural result of humanity
While the series does open up interesting issues we shouldn't encourage our teens to read it.
I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.
Sawyer's book are always good. This is good, maybe even very good, but most of his stories are exceptionally good. This is book 3 by the way, so make sure you read the first two. If you've not read some of his other stuff (Counting God, Hominid, Rollback, Flashforward), I enjoyed those more than this.
Listening is not the same as reading, but it is still fun
I like the story but the readers don't always do a good job. The good guys in the story are way too simple.
You people are getting Jamaican accents wrong. The Jamaican accent as read sounds like a person from Trinidad. As a Jamaican I find it a little irritating.
Otherwise a good story
This book was so politically biased and predictable I could not help but think it should be marketed to the tween audience. I have no interest in reading the other two previous books by this author.