Written by: Daniel Suarez
Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
Series: Daemon, Book 1
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Genre: Sci Fi, Techno-Thriller
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
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
Matthew Sobol, a legendary computer game designer has died of cancer. Physically he is gone, but he is still around – in his computer programs – especially one special program he calls Daemon. The computer entity contacts Detective Pete Sebeck directly leading him to further victims. Although the FBI takes over the cases they don’t agree with Pete who is the only investigator inclined to believe that the killer is Sobol through his computer program, Daemon.
This is a wonderful mystery --- not fully solved and not really a happy ending. There is plenty of action from different views. The early part of the book follows the investigations with Pete until the computer program manipulates him into major trouble. The story also picks up other characters who are contacted and engaged by - to them - an unknown entity. Some accept the new employer willingly but others are strong-armed with no choice. The story is a bit confusing as not all povs are fully clarified. This might require a re-listen… if it was a movie, it would be one to watch more than once to pick up on the threads.
Although I work well with computers, I do not have any real technical training and I am not a gamer. I may not have fully grasped all the computer technicalities but I was able to follow the gist. The control that Daemon exercises through the internet on various companies and agencies is truly scary. The goal is initiate a social agenda through an intricate design created, and left behind, by Sobol. I enjoyed the writing and found the whole idea fascinating. I enjoyed the mystery elements too. I just realized there is a sequel and I will be adding that to my Audible library. I recommend this book to sci fi buffs who enjoy mystery and AI intrigue.
Audio Notes: Jeff Gurner is the primary narrator and he does an excellent job. There is also wonderful full performance with female voices and sound effects that enrich the listen. The audio is really wonderful and I recommend it for those who love a good audio.
This AI suspense/mystery was from my own Audible shelf from 2012. This qualifies for TBR, Audio Challenge and "D" in Alphabet Soup Challenge.