"A writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation" (New York Times) concludes his mindbending trilogy.
Webmind - the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the infrastructure of the World Wide Web - has proven its worth to humanity by aiding in everything from curing cancer to easing international tensions. But the brass at the Pentagon see Webmind as a threat that needs to be eliminated. Caitlin Decter - the once-blind 16-year-old math genius who discovered, and bonded with, Webmind - wants desperately to protect her friend. And if she doesn't act, everything - Webmind included - may come crashing down.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Robert J. Sawyer.
Listen to the rest of the WWW Trilogy.
©2011 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Sawyer shows mastery in his ability to move between complex scientific concepts and genuine and realistic characters....Wonder...is fast-paced and immediately engaging." (The Globe and Mail)
"The shining star of this near-perfect production is Jessica Almasy as the sweet teenager who introduces WebMind to the world. Her equal is Marc Vietor, the voice selected by the machine because of his brilliant work reading audiobooks. (Good inside joke there.) This story, the audiobook equivalent of a page-turner, challenges the listener to pick a side: human or machine. The answer is surprising." (Audiofile)
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 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 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 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.
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.
Now that Webmind is public knowledge and communicating with others besides Caitlin, it feels like she was an unnecessary in this book. In fact, if she had been removed, it really wouldn't have effected the plot.
My second observation is that the author is clearly terrible at writing romance. There isn't much, but the small amount that's there detracts from the story. I think Sawyer needed a reason to introduce another character in book two, and giving Caitlin a boyfriend was the first thing he thought of.
Finally, the ending seems a lot more anti-climatic than the rest of the book implies. There are people in the book who envision a situation like in the Matrix when they think about Webmind. Without much fanfare though, they suddenly change their minds.
Despite the above complaints though, this was an enjoyable read. The ideas of sight, consciousness... and really just the whole science fiction aspect counterbalance the fact that Caitlin is your typical teenager with all the annoyances that come with that.
A brief word on the narrators: Marc Vietor is the voice of Webmind and Jessica Almasy is mainly the voice of Caitlin. Specifically about Veitor... well, there is no other way to say it... he is Webmind.
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.
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.
This is the third book in the trilogy. The first one was good, it established the background of the story. It felt disjointed and when the second book came along (the best of the three) it finally became a real story. I was excited to hear the third book. The last part of the trilogy was more about the government response than anything else. I was extremenly disappointed in the Caitlin Deckter part of the book. It went from a story of an emerging woman and her relationshp with Webmind, to one of a teenage girl who's thoughts of her boyfriend took center stage.The ads for the book talked about the Chinese man who partly created Webmind was part of the effort to dismember him. False advertising. How the book ended reminded me of a Doctor Who episode merged with Colossus: The Forbin Project. Very disappointing ending. A very cold ending.
It appears Sawyer is a good writer and I will read more of his books. He weaves a good storyline.
After time, the voice of Caitlin was annoying. I enjoyed Colonel Hume presentation. Sounded very government.
No extreme reaction, just good listening. Did not tug my heartstrings.
A good trilogy, just don't listen to the last chapter
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