Earthquake Zone, California | Member Since 2013
While its set in the "old days" of the cold war, this Le Carre novel's subtext about the inner motivations of cold warriors, what makes them tick, their doubts, their cynical calculations and justifications, is really refreshing.
This is not a battle between "good" and "evil" as we see so often from the jingoistic media these days, but a battle between flawed but determined opponents playing out a convoluted struggle for power and control.
I enjoyed it very much.
The unsatisfying ending seems to scream SEQUEL in big bold letters and I wonder if the plodding pace and overstuffed details that are unevenly distributed in the book are a means to bulk up this offering for those of us who judge a book by it's size.
Brown weaves in a well-spun adventure when the student houses battle each other for dominance, but the story seems to borrow heavily from more successful endeavors such as "Ender's Game," the "Hunger Games" and even the Harry Potter series. It's almost as if he's trying to write specifically to fit into a new genre called "children coming of age in a future dystopia."
The narrator does a fairly good job other than a kind of plodding pace that to be fair might be the narration rather than the narrator.
I found the amount of harbored long term rage, both from the hero and from his enemies, more than a little is unbelievable. I was also unconvinced by the miraculous transition of the hero from slave to superman. How does someone go from pure ignorance to top of class on sheer will power alone, especially if any speed-reading technology is also available to the upper class folks he is competing with? How does futuristic cosmetic surgery make a working class boy into an elite warrior in a way that the elites who own planets could not afford to do for themselves?
This book pretends to champion democratic and meritocratic values, but I fear it undermines this goal by letting its hero take shortcuts to greatness because he was born to be better than others.
A great story about a small elite special forces strike group that takes on the well connected and well financed forces of high tech evil.
What I enjoy most about this and other Suarez books is this author's extremely cynical view of the people manipulating power behind the scenes in America, and how advances in technology could give unscrupulous elites the means to eliminate American democracy. It really makes you look at current events in a whole new light.
The bad - like an offshoot from a NASA survival class, this story digs into a lot of minutiae about jury rigging life support systems that seemingly only an engineer could want to hear. It got pretty tedious and I'm an engineer.
The good - engineering humor gave me belly laughs several times. I loved the camaraderie of the astronauts and the whole world uniting in support of the astronaut stranded on Mars.
The early part of the book gets bogged down (lethargic narration by the woman who plays Ender's sister accentuates this) but the story picks up once Ender gets to the military training school.
I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this book is because it highlights the duality of human nature – the smart sensitive kid who is mainly victorious over those who try to bully him, and who excels at the battle tactics and military strategy in the training games.
Ender isn't quite as successful at outsmarting the adults who manipulate him into becoming their tool, but therein lies the tale.
First of all one of the women narrators (the one who does the voice of Ender's sister) is so laid back in her delivery that it really drags the story down in the early part of the book.
Secondly, the book's first chapters could be drastically cut without losing anything critical to the story, but the majority of the story is more engaging as it goes along. All things considered, I did not find this story as satisfying or interesting as Ender's Game.
It's hard to write my opinion of this book without revealing more than I should, so be warned.
I very much enjoyed the major plot elements:
- the most horrible torture scenario ever written, where an implacable computer with infinite time pries out your secrets by reading your mind and zaps away your favorite memories as punishment for non-cooperation.
- a convincingly venal government agency gone rogue, developing incredible advanced technology not for America, but for its own ends, until it becomes so powerful that civilian government and armed troops are powerless against it.
The parts I am less enamored of were the overly abundant, occasionally swashbuckling but unconvincingly fortunate outcomes.
Still it is an interesting book that makes you wonder about whether there are real rogue agencies within the government with so much power that the government has to carefully pretend they don't exist.
Boring beyond belief.
I don't understand all the positive reviews - you read them and think this story might be worth while, but I could only handle about 37 minutes before deciding I want my money back.
This is another one of those pulp sci-fi books whose only creativity seems to be in inventing creatures rather than in telling a good story. If you enjoy casual dismemberment after casual dismemberment and hearing about endless variations on daemons, leviathans, and ectoplasm creatures, etc., then this book might be for you.
I do hate to be harsh, but this really reminds me of the simplistic stories my son used to write when he was in middle school.
Continuing where DAEMON left off, this book really succeeds on several levels.
It's full of action and keeps you on the edge of your seat with anticipation.
It offers a critique of modern civilization where greedy elites manipulate and control the majority and treat them like cattle.
It posits a popular internet revolution that creates the seeds for a more democratic, more ecological, and more just world, but it adds this element without beating you over the head with a message.
This isn't just science fiction, it is the type of science fiction that is grounded in a thorough understanding of the way the world works and then builds an innovative antithesis that makes you ask yourself critical questions about how our world could be improved, and Daniel Suarez does all this in a fun, action-packed novel that you almost can't put down.
Production values on this audiobook are top drawer. You could easily distinguish who was saying what and even minor characters were fully differentiated (accents, regional speech patterns, etc). Really superb narration.
This one really makes you think.
Evil genius internet game-maker creates an AI (Artificial Intelligence) version of himself that takes over the internet. The daemon immediately proves to be a ruthless, remorseless mass murderer.
It harnesses the energies of really evil people and gives them god-like power to destroy the daemon's enemies, enslaving people and major corporations. Then in an apparent contradiction the daemon almost seems like a benevolent dictator (as long as you do what he says).
The best, brightest, and bravest humans fight to defeat the daemon. While government action is hobbled by pusillanimous bureaucrats, dedicated public servants are determined to fight to the end.
Overall, it's a really fun and frightening story.
The story failed to pull me in. I gave it the old college try, but only made it about 1/3 of the way through and had to pull the plug.
Creating a lot of creatures is not the same as creating an interesting story. Produced, directed and narrated by the author - I wonder if it would have benefited from sharing a little more creative control.
Hilton did a pretty good job as the narrator, but some of the other characters seemed lifeless and amateurish.
I will be getting a refund on this one.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.