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Top Customer Reviews
With that said, I am going to try to do justice to the latest book I've read: Robert J. Sawyer's WAKE - the first in his WWW trilogy.
Here is a blurb from Robert's site about the book:
'Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math ' and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind. When a Japanese researcher develops a new signal-processing implant that might give her sight, she jumps at the chance, flying to Tokyo for the operation.
But Caitlin's brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. Once the implant is activated, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something ' some other ' lurking in the background. And it's getting smarter ''
In addition to Caitlin's story are a couple of seemingly unrelated events in other parts of the world. In China an outbreak of the bird flu (H5N1) is handled by the Chinese government by culling the humans that are infected as well as shutting the country off from the rest of the outside word by cutting its internet and phone connections to hide their transgression. Elsewhere, in a research facility, a Bonobo/Chimpanzee hybrid that can use ASL (American Sign Language), produces art that defies what they are 'supposed' to be capable of. Youtube videos and political strife follow. Thirdly, a growing intelligence on the world wide web begins to take form.Read more ›
I have to admit I wanted more. And by more I don't mean quantity. Not even do I necessarily mean quality. What I wanted was more depth. But, again, that's a point of personal preference.
Still, it was that superficiality, that lack of depth, that kept me from completely engaging with the story Sawyer crafted. There were pages, even whole chapters, spent on geek-speak, which for geeks is great (I am reminded of the quartet of Big Bang Theory), but which for me caused a complete arrest of the plot, action, and character development, to the point I found myself skimming. Again, I must mitigate that statement with the caveat this is purely personal taste. I know, simply from the astonishing sales numbers for the novel, there are thousands out there who would disagree with my point of view.
This is my review, however, and so I can only bring to that review my own perspective.
Having said all that, I found the underlying concepts of the story - an awakening artificial intelligence, and the moral issue of allowing artificial intelligence to propagate - concepts which have been dealt with previously. And so, if I'm going to read about something that has previously been explored, I'm hoping for something new to be introduced to the discussion. Again, that lack of depth, that lack of uniqueness, left me hungry.
It wasn't until the last 10% of the book I found myself absorbed by relationship dynamics and characterization, and the tension around that relationship.Read more ›
Robert J. Sawyer is made of awesome.
And like most of his works contains elements which should never be left out of science fiction: thinly veiled political commentary, using technology that is not completely understood to create a believable and unique scenario, and finally the exploration of some aspect of humanity. While not my favourite Sawyer novel [Rollback], this series could easily become my second favourite if the middle and end follow through with the setup this beginning presents.
A must read in my humble opinion.
It was disappointing that the three separate stories do not converge. In fact, the Chinese storyline has fallen off the grid by the last third of Wake. Hobo’s story isn’t resolved either, but given the complex concepts author Robert Sawyer brings to light, this is one of the few stories where a sequel is essential.
The theme in all three plots is about what happens when technology advances to the point where fearful individuals resort to irrational and destructive behavior to stop it. Although Caitlin is a great character and the book certainly poses interesting questions and possibilities, many of the programming details were way over my head. Still, I enjoyed this read, and was left pondering the perplexing, hi-tech world a little differently and with more wariness.
Most recent customer reviews
I like science fiction. I LOVE science fiction that has great developed stories, that are totally believable, especially the science. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I loved the 3 books, it's anticipation at it's best, and has that human touch.
working in projects I realize how much organization helps avoid pain and efficiencies make... Read more
I am not a great science fiction fan - but I love everything Sawyer has written. This book is part of a trilogy and I recommend you read all three. Read morePublished on March 30 2013 by JOANNE B.
Sawyer is a remarkable writer. I used to read classical SF and I stop for many years. Sawyer brought back my attention to Science Fiction. Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2013 by lucian_blaga
Like all of Mr. Sawyer's books, this one is a joy to read, full of interesting ideas and written with far more human insight and foresight than is common to the genre. Read morePublished on March 24 2011 by Howso
I'll read most anything Sawyer writes because his ideas are fascinating and original, but I'm beginning to lose my enthusiasm after reading this. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2011 by Amazon Customer
When I read the back of this book which told of a girl somehow connecting to the consciousness of the Internet I was somewhat skeptical. Read morePublished on May 22 2010 by Columbus
This should be a great book, but it's not.
I really enjoy near future science fiction and while the premise of an emergent intelligence based in the internet isn't new,... Read more