01/05/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Quercus Publishing Plc. 402 page enlarged paperback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84916-176-3.
check out websites: www.quercusbooks.co.uk and http://thedaemon.com
Reading the sequel 'Freedom' to Daniel Suarez' 'Daemon' in quick succession does tend to bring some things into perspective. The first book tends to give the impression that the Daemon software taking over the Internet with its 'darknet' perspective is the boogieman. The second book starts twisting this on its head as a combined business consortium with the co-operation of the American security services begins to play nasty in return, hunting down any of the Daemon's human aviators. Their protagonist, the Major - who is actually of a much higher ranking than his title suggests, finally captures the Daemon chief enforcer, Loki Stormbringer, and brutally removes all his vital DNA. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. Loki might not be one of the nicest people around but I wouldn't give such a treatment to my worst enemy. What is surprising is that Suarez jumps further along in Loki's fate rather than deal with the consequences of his situation.
'Freedom' hits out in many different directions following the lives of Russian Jon Ross, NSA computer geek Natalie Philips and ex-detective Pete Sebeck. The Daemon software only is only seen through its actions much of the time and just when the establishment things it's got the upper hand, then you're entering spoiler area and it'll send the machines in to sort you out. Literally.
There were a couple places where I thought Suarez got caught out in the wrong tense but for much of the book he still brought in the twists that made it work. It's described as a techno-thriller but it is really interesting Science Fiction and nothing is ever what it seems nor should be taken for granted. Taken as a pair, these books will make you think just who runs the world and more importantly, should you let them.
I described the first book as being one step away from our reality. On reflection, I think Suarez jumped a little too far from this with this book. Science Fiction can still be set in our kind of reality but resolving some things with a bit of nano-tech is still beyond much of what can be done today.
Don't forget your HUD sunglasses sensors. You'll have a blast in more ways than one. A great start for a new author.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA