Webmind is an emerging consciousness that has befriended Caitlin Decter and grown eager to learn about her world. But Webmind has also come to the attention of WATCH - the secret government agency that monitors the Internet for any threat to the United States - and they're fully aware of Caitlin's involvement in its awakening. WATCH is convinced that Webmind represents a risk to national security and wants it purged from cyberspace. But Caitlin believes in Webmind's capacity for compassion - and she will do anything and everything necessary to protect her friend.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction by author Robert J. Sawyer.
©2010 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Original and intriguing. Sawyer makes complex sci-fi understandable and thoroughly entertaining." (Romantic Times BOOKReviews)
"Watch is a helluva fun read and an excellent science fiction book." (SF Signal)
"Cast members complement one another and are effective in differentiating the various characters and story threads. They drive forward the momentum of the plot and flesh out the novel’s distinct personalities." (AudioFile)
I listened to this on a long drive to a friend's house. Audible had put it on the 2-for-1 credit sale, where they had offered several second-book-in-a-series books. I read the first book of this trilogy three years ago when it was nominated for a Hugo Award.
In the first book of this series, Caitlin has gained sight for the first time, and ends up also being able to see the world wide web from her implant. Not too long after, she starts communicating with WebMind, an unknown consciousness brought up from the web itself. This book starts with her communicating more with [him], telling her parents, and the worldwide internet security people learning about it.
It is interesting to read a book about internet security in light of recent events. Robert J. Sawyer actually uses Caitlin and WebMind to make the argument that surveillance isn't bad, in fact people do less illegal activity when they know they're being watched. So that was an interesting conclusion, and that idea combined with the multiple narrating voices made the ending very creepy. I'm not sure he meant it to be, but I definitely found it to be. 1984 isn't true! Surveillance makes society better! What.....
The author's info-dumps are a little silly. We learn a lot about evolution during a makeout session. I don't like it when a main character knows everything, is wiser than everyone, or can figure out anything on her own. It actually makes the book less exciting to have everything laid out for the reader that way. Her parents are so supportive! She can outsmart the NSA! Yeah.
For the most part, the audio production by Audible Frontiers was well done. The woman narrating Caitlin was great, but seemed to use accents on a whim (Caitlin and her mother are from Texas but their accents only show up every once in a while), and the two American characters' sections had such low volume that I had to keep adjusting in my car. I don't want to be thinking about production as I listen to a story, and I had to. The other misstep was having the author introduce the story.. usually a good idea, but RJS was a bit pompous about how his 2nd books of trilogies are always the best, and how LUCKY I was going to be to hear this, which might be his BEST BOOK EVER. I almost turned it off right then! I was glad I stuck with it, but fair warning.
The second volume of Robert Sawyer's "WWW" trilogy picks up right where we left off at the end of "Wake". The once blind, now sighted hero Caitlyn struggles to deal with the exponentially expanding intelligence of an unknown and non-corporeal entity. Their bond is strong, but as much trust as Caitlyn puts into her new friend, there are dangerous others who fear for the destiny of the world as the entity becomes more and more omniscient. Plotlines that hang from "Wake" start to coalesce in a meaningful way and many questions are answered, while others remain for the final volume.
This book, the best of the series, moves at a brisk pace as the entity contemplates "his" role in his "new" world. Excellent narration propels this story beyond theatre of the mind into a whole new stratosphere. As perspective changes among the players, the readers are able to make each character distinctive.
Like the first book, this one ends without a definitive climax, rather sets up the pieces for the final book. Plenty happens,and if you enjoy cyber-thrillers with smart, sound science to back it up, you'll find this enjoyable.
I would listen again because the story is wonderful.
Webmind is my favourite character because of his growth.
I'm sorry but I can't get past the supposed Canadian accent especially noticeable with the character Matt. I live in Canada and have never heard that accent.
The author says be believes this second book in the trilogy is the best of the three. I just downloaded the third book so we will see. I will say that Watch was better than Wake because there was more intrigue involved when governments start hunting for the source of internet autonomous intelligence. It is a well used theme in ScFi for governments to see everything they don't understand as a threat, the fun part is that in this case its a benevolent intelligence and that surely would raise the suspicions of any government don't you think? There is no doubt in my mind that these books are well worth the reading, they are light but just thought provoking enough to hold my interest and for me as a retired network engineer, not a bad basic primer on the fundamental workings of the internet. Fun, entertaining and a bit thought provoking - good SciFi to me.
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
Great idea and thought provoking. A bit utopian and overly simplistic in its implications.
I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.
It's an interesting story idea and story line through the entire triology.
One just has to root root root for the genius girl who sees again and is brilliant and for the kind machine.
The ending just runs out of energy. The end is all sap and no spice.
If I were the author I would avoid slamming the United States at every chance. He seemed intent on giving his political views and they were not pertinent to the story. I disagree with many of his opinions and therefore by the end of the book, I was turned off, and even though I enjoyed the story line, his little innuendos made me decide to find another author that could take me away in a wonderful story but not make drag me back into political drama that plagues us each day.
This was the first book of this kind of story line, I will be looking to find more along this story line,
There is a follow up, however I am apprehensive to proceed with it
I love Audible books and will continue to explore
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.
I was not expecting much, but this turned out to be a pretty good book. It was interesting and new. But the rest of the series goes down hill in my opinion.
Make sure you read all the reviews before purchasing. Not sure how they are sorted but truest reviews are at the end of the list. Don’t make my mistake of reading only first or second page of reviews. This had to be the worst 12 hours of Pollyanna Pablum I have ever had to sit through. In the Prologue the author said he thought this was his best book in the series. That’s enough to ensure that this is the last book of Robert J. Sawyer I ever listen to.
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