Daemon

I read a book!  It seems like I can never finish a book until the threat of library fines is upon me, and even this time, I justified taking a little more time with “It’s like a donation to the library!”  But the book is finished.  And that book was Daemon by Daniel Suarez.  Josh read it, Larry read it, now I’ve read it, too.  And it was good!

Daemon begins with the investigation of several mysterious deaths that occur after the passing of a billionaire computer programmer, Matthew Sobol.  The story follows the many characters investigating the strange events and unraveling the mystery, as well as those who have been recruited as cogs in Sobol’s machine.

Things I liked about the book:

  • Exciting!  Lots of action and interesting scenarios playing out.
  • Some fun characters that I enjoyed reading about, even (especially?) the unsavory ones.
  • A strong, capable, respected, believable female character.
  • Creative, interesting use of technology.
  • Enjoyed watching the mystery unfold.

Things I didn’t like about the book:

  • I felt like there were too many characters, and I didn’t care to hear about the different type of car each one drove.
  • For all the characters there were in this book, only three of them were women (and really only two of substance).  Only one of the three was written about from her own perspective (where her actions and thoughts were driving the story forward), while the other two were mostly just seen from the perspective of male characters.
  • The characters I found most interesting seemed to get fewer pages.
  • I found the main/hero characters to be a little boring, the same blank slate dude three times over.
  • Having to read dopey characters say misinformed and closed-minded things about computer games and technology.
  • Action was maybe a little outrageous at times.

Thing I thought was strange about the book:

  • I wasn’t really sure who to be rooting for.  The good guys were boring, and the book kept making me sympathize with the “bad” guys.  I also wanted the “bad” guys to win just for being smarter.  Interesting, and makes me want to check out the sequel.

Overall, it was a good read!  I’m pretty curious how the sequel will play out, so I’ll probably get to it eventually.  Supposedly a film adaptation is in the works for Daemon, and it certainly has enough action scenes for a summer blockbuster!

I feel like I need to briefly compare this book to Ready Player One since they both deal with the crazy last wills of eccentric billionaire computer programmers.  Though the plot-lines start off similarly, the stories diverge on several key points.  Daemon is set in the modern world as we know it, and takes place almost entirely in the physical world, while Ready Player One is set in a dystopian future and takes place almost entirely in the virtual world.  Daemon introduces a lot of characters and we see the story from many different perspectives, while Ready Player One limits the view to just the one main protagonist.  In a similar vein, Daemon is more about action and change on global scale, while Ready Player One is more about one man’s struggle.  And of course, Daemon is much more gritty, littered with gruesome deaths and such.  Though I’m usually one to go for a more realistic or dark telling of a story, and I think Daemon is probably the better written of the two, I did find Ready Player One to be a much more compelling and enjoyable read.  I flew right through that book, while Daemon struggled to keep my attention at times.

So there’s a book!  Maybe you should read it!  It was pretty good!

2 comments on Daemon

  • The Snooze

    I actually put this book on my reading list because of this post, and I just got through it today. I agree with pretty much everything you mentioned here, particularly the minor complaint about the unnecessary details about objects and technology; let the characters keep driving the character-driven plot, please! Still, in a way it makes sense that the author tries to appeal to technophiles this way seeing as it’s a techno-thriller. And yes, the different sides’ ambiguously moral views on technology and society made for quite the intriguing plot; it *really* reminded me of the themes explored in Deus Ex games.

    Have you read “Freedom” yet? I got through a few chapters on my first sitting and it looks to be another page-turner.

    • clavicarius (author)

      Nice, glad you liked it! I hadn’t really considered the techno-thriller side of it, since I was more coming at it as a murder mystery fan. I guess other people would appreciate all the car descriptions.

      Haven’t checked out Freedom, might have to though!

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