I read the original printing of Daemon when it came out and felt like I was left high and dry waiting for the sequel. Then the book got picked up by a major publisher and my wait got extended even further. I gnashed my teeth at the thought.
When I finally saw that FreedomTM came out and was on audiobook, I was hesitant. I decided that I was just being childish at having to wait and clicked the button. Years of rusty memory of the book was suddenly cleaned off by the first few lines of the book and I was definitely happy that I was on a long drive. Not only does this book finish off the best piece of hacker fiction that I have ever read, but it also made me feel good in the end. This book gives hope for mankind in a way that I never expected when I finished the first book of the sequence.
I look forward to more work from Daniel Suarez.
I have always liked reading Mr. Clancy's work, but like Brett Farve, he needs to retire. There were bits that were classic Clancy, but a lot of political droning with the characters subtract from the story. The older great novels were fairly politically neutral, but the newer ones are starting to sound like Fox news (news entertainment, like pro wrestling is sports entertainment). Since I haven't read all of the classics, I will probably go back to some of those and listen to those. The second star represents Lou Diamond Phillips' 5 star performance.
I tried this book a while back and I found myself not paying attention. Since I now have a long commute, I tried again, rewinding any time my mind wandered. I don't mind character studies, but I have to like the characters. Some of the ideas in the novel were interesting, but none of them really likable. I found the ending lackluster and unfulfilling. Of course the my mind wandered at the ending, but I couldn't justify rewinding.
I happened to enjoy this book immensely, but there were a few issues. First, the author drags you through explanations via dialog. So, by Langdon becoming informed, the reader is informed. This is all fine and well, but it got old after a while. Secondly, it ended too late. The author should have stopped within 1 chapter of the final climax. The last chapters bored me out of my skull and I just wanted to eject the CD and move on. The plot twists in this book make wading through the overly long dialog worth the read, however.
I think this was quite possibly a perfect novel. I don't think that way about all of Stepenson's work. I loved Cryptonomicon but found it to be a bit long. (Maybe a true unabridged version of Cryptonomicon is in order as I drive too much to read long novels otherwise.)
I really felt a connection to the characters in Anathem and I really liked the dialog. One section of dialog we heard not only what the characters were saying, but what they were thinking when they said it as well.
My other point that I liked was that the math science in the novel were top notch. So many times I read (listen to) a book and the computers, math and science are too far out and you have to suspend disbelief. I didn't have to do this for Anathem. Sure, we don't have what they have in Anathem, but some day we probably will. Maybe that it why is called a work of "Speculative Fiction"
I liked this book overall, but the ending was, while necessary, depressing. I would definitely recommend this book to anybody.
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