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Publisher's Summary

Technology controls almost everything in our modern-day world, from remote entry on our cars to access to our homes, from the flight controls of our airplanes to the movements of the entire world economy. Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer - the architect behind half-a-dozen popular online games. His premature death depressed both gamers and his company's stock price. But Sobol's fans aren't the only ones to note his passing. When his obituary is posted online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events intended to unravel the fabric of our hyper-efficient, interconnected world. With Sobol's secrets buried along with him, and as new layers of his daemon are unleashed at every turn, it's up to an unlikely alliance to decipher his intricate plans and wrest the world from the grasp of a nameless, faceless enemy - or learn to live in a society in which we are no longer in control. . . .

Computer technology expert Daniel Suarez blends haunting high-tech realism with gripping suspense in an authentic, complex thriller in the tradition of Michael Crichton, Neal Stephenson, and William Gibson.

©2009 Daniel Suarez; (P)2009 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Suarez's riveting debut would be a perfect gift for a favorite computer geek or anyone who appreciates thrills, chills, and cyber suspense....A final twist that runs counter to expectations will leave readers anxiously awaiting the promised sequel." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Erica
  • Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 01-22-09

Possibly The Best Techno-thriller Ever

No that title isn't an exaggeration. If you're content in knowing the information provided in the title and would like to skip the praise I'm about to bestow and just buy the book.

So, another book about computers taking over the world. Ho hum, blah blah, yes? Actually no. While I was reading Daemon the thought that this could really happen kept going through my head. Without giving away some of the plot points, I'll just say this. Read some of the recent news about the Storm botnet. Think about peoples addictions to WoW. Then read the book. Then think about those subjects again.

A few words to the techies: SQL injection attack, botnet, and rootkit. All those words/phrases can be found in this book. No no, my friends, this is not the book equivalent of Hackers (you know where code magically floats across the screen and other cheap tricks), this is a book written by a systems consultant (read: normally the guy that gets called in with the regular schmoes can't figure things out) for Fortune 100 companies. To use a common cliche, he "gets it." Actually he gets it, gets into its inner workings, and turns it inside out. Vague, I know, but I'm trying very hard not to spoil the fun of this book.

There is no reason for you not to read Daemon, no matter your level of technical understanding. Everyone from the CEO who has only the vaguest understanding of his IT infrastructure to the mail room guy who goes home to play WoW for 8 hours to the advertising exec who only knows how to check his email. Check it out from the library, buy it online, or borrow it, just find a way to read it. Read some sample chapters of Daemon if you need more convincing.

167 of 177 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

It Had Me From The Start...

...but lost me at the end. That is the only reason I am giving this book a 4 instead of a 5. The book was fantastic, and I couldn't wait to get in my car and listen to more. But...the book just ended - boom -l ike that! Once I got over the shock, it seemed obvious that a sequel must be planned, but I didn't know that at the time (now I do), and I was a bit put off by how it ended. I mean, most books that have sequels at least wrap up a little bit at the end. But noooo, not this one! However, that is my only complaint about the book. I would recommed it to anyone. It is kind of scary when you think that this story is something that could possibly be pulled off in real life.

About the computer and gaming termionolgy in the book - I have a computer background, but no gaming background, and I think that even if you have neither you can still follow along. So, don't be put off by the technology jargon in particular. You can get through it - and it is well worth it! Now I can't wait for the sequel! Daniel - bring it on!!!

35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!

This is a sci-fi thriller that had me guessing while on the edge of my seat. It started off realistic enough, but quickly morphed into the sci-fi thriller it is. I was expecting a thriller realistically pushing the edge of technology somewhat like Crichton's Disclosure did in 1994, but Suarez goes way beyond realism in Daemon. Nevertheless, the storyline is entirely unique for this reader

The plot seems to be the end of the world as we know it, but clever enough to wonder if there is something more we do not understand.

The narration is excellent.

41 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I heard about this book from Leo LaPorte on his podcasts. It seemed interesting so I gave it a go. Damn good book, Leo was right! Even though this book is supposed to be fiction, it seems like it could happen in today's highly computerized world. I 'read' the book over two days while driving cross country. I was so impressed with it I am downloading the sequel, Freedom (TM). Leo, are you listening? This is written in the style of Dan Brown on a good day. Totally riveting.

82 of 89 people found this review helpful

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Hit Play, Take Both Hands And Grab Your A##

Cause you are in for a ride.

This is William Gibson on steroids, Tom Clancy condensed, Asimov reincarnated and Robert J. Sawyer on Flash Forward with a splash of Ayn Rand and George R.R. Martin.

This will appeal to Techies, Sci-Fi fans, action/adventurers, Virtual Reality freaks, and Gamers.

This is high tech and fast paced. I was afraid as a middle age man, who plays only offline games and can remember when Pong was a hit, that I would get lost in the tech, but it was not a problem. I may not have understood 100% of the Tech, but did most and was amazed by all. I wonder if I was suppose to feel bad when it was announced, "All Spammers must die."

Did you know that Texas is not afraid of guns, but is scared of Laptops?

As someone who has suffered under nepotism, I certainly understand how the disfranchised could take over the world.

Based on the names given to blacks, I believe Suarez is a fan of Walter Mosley.

This has lots of violence, gore and some sex.

The narrator sounds similar to the main narrator for Graphic Audio, but I don't believe he is affiliated with them. The whole production is of top quality.

I highly recommend this book.

39 of 42 people found this review helpful

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So COOL!!!!

This is one of the coolest books I have listened in a long time. I am seriously a fan now of Daniel Suarez. The entire time I was listening to this book I was utterly gripped. The most interesting thing about this book is how realistic it appears and how current the title is. For anyone who is a techy and worse for anyone who is into MMORPG's this is downright a fascinating listen. There are a number of twists and turns in this book that makes you thoroughly enjoy the entire title.

Jeff Gurner does justice to this title and there is nothing I can fault about his narration at all. It was dynamic, impressive, smartly done and with the different array of characters was just plain a treat.

You will enjoy this book immensely, seamless writing, interesting concept, great twists, relevant and with superb narration.... LOVED IT!

35 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fascinating, entertaining - Highly recommended

I remember thinking that Orwell's '1984' was a fascinating story but so far-fetched as to make me smile. These days, we don't smile anymore as video feeds everywhere capture public and private life. Reading Daemon (and subsequently Freedom TM) makes me more acutely aware of data-base technology's rapid encroachment upon the concept of the private citizen. Knowledge is power, and those who best manipulate it come out on top. While this has always been true, today it has never been easier. Daemon pulls together what some fear is the natural progression of data base technology in a was that is both frightening and powerful. We can only hope that these ideas remain far-fetched.

Daemon is a commentary on power - social, political, and economic - and the use and abuse thereof. You do not have to be a 'techie' to enjoy it. The topic is highly relevant and the narration is excellent. This is sci-fi at its best.

*A few will complain that some of the murders and sex-related scenes are harsh. People, life is often harsh. And humans can be cruel. Nothing new in that. Any who understand this will not take offense. It is, after all, just a book.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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So so disappointing!!!

Any additional comments?

I was looking forward to this book after reading all the great reviews and some favorable comparisons to Ready Player One. Instead of loving it, I ended up hating it. Here are the good points and bad points.

Good points:

- It's fast paced. Almost like listening to a movie. There are rapid transitions betweens scenes, locations, situations, subplots, etc.
- Rapid fire dialog...again just like a movie.
- Filled to the brim with technology and techno babble (which I actually typically enjoy)

Bad points:

- It's fast paced. Too fast paced. I reads like a bunch of scenes from B-movies strung together in a semi-cohesive fashion. What serves as a good tool for movie making is not good style for writing a book.
- Rapid fire dialog...that is utterly unbelievable. No one talks like this in real life. Such trite lines coming out of the mouths of one dimensional characters is often seen only in B-movies. In the B-movies, at least the acting, scenery and all things visual serve to mitigate the gag-inducing cheesy lines. In this book, you hear a line, groan...hear another line, and groan some more.
- Filled to the brim with technology...but not used in a realistic fashion. The plot is so far fetched that the book leaves the reader thinking..."give me a break". I'm big into science fiction and fantasy so I can readily suspend my disbelief, but with this novel, I give up. Some of the situations were too far fetched and were not even internally coherent. I could say more but don't want to reveal any spoilers.
- Characters were not developed.

I could go on and on. In summary, I dislike this book greatly. Mostly because it was not good, but partly because I was expecting so much more after the glowing reviews. I devoted 15 hours listening to it because it had so much promise at the beginning. If I had known that it wouldn't get any better but only got worse as the book progressed, I would have stopped listening after an hour or two. If you like or love this book after listening to the first 2 or 3 hours, then you will probably love the rest of it, so keep on listening. If you are like me and have some inklings of dislike at the beginning, just stop listening and get a refund...or else you will be sorry like I am.

79 of 90 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Reno, NV, United States
  • 01-12-13

Good thriller but...

Any additional comments?

A genius software developer’s death triggers a computer virus that threatens to take control of the world. It’s pretty much non-stop action. The cutting-edge technical stuff kept it interesting, plus there are the seeds of some interesting ideas. I've started the sequel, “Freedom TM.” On the downside, the characters are never developed enough to care about anyone; it fails Question 2 in the Bechdel test (there’s never a conversation between two women) and there's a gang rape scene where the woman is made to seem like she wants it (it's not sympathetic to the rapists, it's more part of the action, but it's questionable).

57 of 65 people found this review helpful

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Networking/gaming knowledge needed to get into it.

I stopped gaming with SuperNES and Wolfenstein 3D in the early 90's when I got my drivers license. Nevertheless I do get the online gaming concepts and I do have computer networking knowledge that helped me not get lost in the technical terminology contained in this novel. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT PORTS, IP ADDRESSES, VOIP and other basic terms are in the computer networking world are, I think you would NOT get into this book or enjoy it. It is really saturated throughout. The main protagonist is an older guy who is not familiar with gaming and it does help the author explain things, but I feel it is too much too soon for most people. This is part 1 of 2 and I am not sure if I will continue or not. There are a lot of loose ends and unsatisfied conclusions with some characters if I do not... however, most of the characters are ones I haven't become attached too so I don't care what happens to them. The narration is good and I could listen to the book at 2X speed fairly comfortable. Neat concept, but not sure it was pulled off. Hope this helps someone. Later.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful