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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert J Sawyer is always a great read
Analog magazine has been printing a serial of this novel in the past couple of issues. I have read the first two parts and I eagerly await the rest. Robert J. Sawyer is always a fantastic read and this book is definitely going to continue the trend. If you like Sci-fi, you owe it to yourself to pick up a RJS book.
Published on Dec 18 2008 by J. Epp

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Left hungry
Much of what goes into a review, if we're honest, is about personal taste and preference, bringing to that our own world view. In a way, it's that latter point that underpins Sawyer's much-acclaimed novel, Wake.

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,...
Published on Jan. 1 2011 by Lorina Stephens


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert J Sawyer is always a great read, Dec 18 2008
By 
J. Epp (Winnipeg, MB) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wake (Hardcover)
Analog magazine has been printing a serial of this novel in the past couple of issues. I have read the first two parts and I eagerly await the rest. Robert J. Sawyer is always a fantastic read and this book is definitely going to continue the trend. If you like Sci-fi, you owe it to yourself to pick up a RJS book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Left hungry, Jan. 1 2011
By 
Lorina Stephens (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wake (Hardcover)
Much of what goes into a review, if we're honest, is about personal taste and preference, bringing to that our own world view. In a way, it's that latter point that underpins Sawyer's much-acclaimed novel, Wake.

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. Much of the emotional depth of that last 10% could have been infused throughout the previous 90%, and had that been achieved, the fact little new had been added to the lexicon of artificial intelligence would have been completely mitigated by a profound story about defining relationships between alien species.

But, then, maybe that's an entirely different story than the one Sawyer wished to tell.

Would I recommend Sawyer's novel, Wake? Sure I would. If you love SF and aren't interested in the touchy-feeling aspects of literature, then yes Wake is for you. If you want something else, if you're looking for profundity and provocation, then no, Wake isn't for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Coul not put it down, April 3 2013
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This review is from: Wake (Mass Market Paperback)
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 people happier with the same resources.
If you can add morals and ethics to that you should have a winning combination.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Canadian Author, March 30 2013
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This review is from: Wake (Mass Market Paperback)
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. My young adult children have enjoyed this set as well as hubby (who NEVER reads this genre).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sawyer is a remarkable writer, Feb. 10 2013
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This review is from: Wake (Hardcover)
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.
He is mixing delicately the reality with elements of SciFi. Also his imagination still keeps a contact with now a days facts, science and social changes. I like the introspective thinking of all characters. He also brings to front page nowadays researches and hot subjects from science and social/behaviour changes in our society. I like him because he talks about future but he talks mainly from human and moral thinking perspective.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, May 21 2009
By 
David Burton "http://davidhburton.com" (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wake (Hardcover)
The last time I did a book review was in high school, and if I'm not mistaken, it was likely for THE CHRYSALIDS; which was a brilliant science fiction novel by the way!

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. It strains to come to terms with itself and its surroundings, yet it begins to evolve. And, like Annie Sullivan, reaching down into the depths of Helen Keller's mind, Caitlin makes a connection with this web-based entity and strives to teach it.

I consumed this book. Like with his Neanderthal Parallax novels, I completely empathize with these characters. They lift off the page and pull you along with them, particularly Caitlin. Her ability to 'see' through people and her edgy humour are brilliantly achieved and you can't help but admire her strength of character and resolve. The use of biological terms and technology are meshed throughout the story in a way that it isn't dumped on you. (It should be noted that I have a biology and information technology background, so I felt like this book was written for me. But with that said, the way he reveals the information would easily engage anyone without this knowledge.)

There are wonderful parallels and references to Helen Keller and her rise to awareness from the dark place in which she once lived as well as timely topics and subject matter that is deftly interwoven in the story. He engages in real world debates (i.e. the intelligence of apes and their ability to use sign language, the cross-breeding of species, the potential self-awareness of the internet, etc.) and employs throughout some some witty references and poignant gibes. It is obvious that Mr. Sawyer took his time to research well before writing this and it is no wonder he was won such honours as the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

This is a fantastic beginning to a much anticipated series. It ends well, but leaves you hungering for more. I very much look forward to what will come in the next novel and how Mr. Sawyer is going to engage me further in the coming books, WATCH and WONDER. Whether you are a science fiction aficionado or not, add this book to your Must Read list. It will not disappoint.

Hominids: Volume One Of The Neanderthal Parallax
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next one!, July 11 2009
By 
L. Ferreira (Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wake (Hardcover)
It's impossible to get anything done around the house when there's a new Robert J. Sawyer book out. Absolutely engaging from start to finish. I feel for the characters, I am moved by the events that take place, & even though I will not be writing any math papers anytime soon, I always feel smarter after I've finished a Sawyer book. I loved all the Canadian "nods", & the easy, seamless way the story flips back & forth between China, California, Japan & Ontario...& how Sawyer can write so effortlessly from the point of view of a teenaged blind girl is beyond me!

Robert J. Sawyer is made of awesome.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great beginning, June 8 2009
By 
C. Crewson (Calgary, AB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wake (Hardcover)
Like most of Sawyers works this book is filled with extra nods to Canadians.

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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars wake, an optimistic beginning, March 24 2011
This review is from: Wake (Mass Market Paperback)
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. I'll admit, the brilliant 15 year-old heroine does seem more male than female while the the webmind has an oddly female feel to me but this may just be a personal point of view. I was disappointed, like many others, to find that Jagster doesn't really exist which made me wonder about a lot of the other information about web function that is mentioned in the book, but at least it made me look into it which, to my mind is very good sign in any book. But why is the fictional group Lee Amodeo mentioned so often. It felt like Mr. Sawyer was trying to plug something, I hope there is an answer to this mystery in upcoming books.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Sawyer dumbing-down his writing again, Feb. 20 2011
This review is from: Wake (Mass Market Paperback)
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.

Sawyer has brilliant, intriguing ideas, and he conveys them well - it's the main reason I'll read most anything he publishes. Unfortunately, each new book appears to be pandering to the masses: simple reading level, shallow characters with some gimmick to keep one's interest, cultural references that are like ad placements... this story felt like filler to a bigger story, maybe detailed in its sequels. I devoured it quickly, but it'll be forgotten quickly too.

I know Sawyer can write brilliantly - many of his short stories (from Iterations and Identity Theft: And Other Stories) are as engaging as his novels, but they're succinct and tight; and his website has wonderful essays. Maybe the novel-form gives him too much leeway for throwing in unnecessary cliches and cultural references as filler. One has to wonder if he's paid for the endorsement-like tidbits he includes.

I have little interest in reading the sequels to Wake: Watch and Wonder (WWW, Book 3). Maybe I'll pick them up if I see them in the Bargain Bin.
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Wake
Wake by Robert J. Sawyer (Hardcover - April 14 2009)
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