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Throughout history, technology has usually been portrayed as the deployment of science for the advancement of humankind in areas like personal comfort and convenience, medicine, economic productivity, and protection of the environment. Every so often, the daemons or forces of technology become roguish and throw us a curve and create circumstances that can be potentially harmful to our early existence. Daniel Suarez, in "Daemon", has written a novel that describes how this nightmarish situation can possibly happen under the most subtle of situations. Sobel, a famous designer of on-line games, has just died. Unbenownest to his associates, he has programmed an bad daemon to kick in and start using a particular game platform to initiate a major attack on the Internet's interconnectiveness as a global communications system. The mayhem and mischief resulting from this new dimension in internet terrorism makes for a truly exciting story. First, it will take a lot of human ingenuity to be able to locate and corner this rogue daemon on the worldwide web and, two, it will take an equal amount of savvy and determination to outsmart and finally eliminate it. On both these counts, Suarez does a masterfulk job in keeping his readers guessing as to what the outcome will be in this armageddon-like battle between the forces of oppression and freedom. The heroes in this story are not necessarily the ones who survive the vicious onslaught that results from subverting the Internet, the technology that was always meant to bring us closer together. Suarez reminds us that society, as it reaches for greater freedom through technology, opens itself to the possibility that it will encounter those in the system who want to control it for their own malevolent desires.
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on August 29, 2010
As a gamer and an individual who adores technology, and who is married to an IT professional, this book was a great alternate universe of what is truly possible with the speed of technology development in our world today. Daemon deals with the reality that most of the people who use technology today know nothing about it, and they don't realize how much information has become accessible to the wider world at large. It also deals with themes of how digitized our lives have become, and how much of the information about us can be changed, and that there most likely is no physical record of it.

Some of the technological jargon in the book may alienate people less familiar with the IT side of things or MMORPGs, but don't let it detract you from reading this book. Often characters will help describe more of what is going on to less technology inclined characters.

In most cases, the technology Suarez references is modern and available, and isn't merely a construct of his imagination as an author - and that is exactly what lends itself to this book being so riveting and exciting. Our world is moving along at a fast pace, and those with the intelligence and money will be the ones with the capability to manipulate and influence what occurs to all the rest of us.

A great book about a possible avenue much of the world could go down - maybe not in the specifics, but in the generalities. A lot of ideas to think about regarding civilization, advancement of technology, media, governments, and the strain each puts on the other, and their relationship to the common person.
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on March 2, 2010
As a rule I don't read modern day thrillers. They tend to miss that "epic" quality I only seem to find in the typical science fiction and fantasy setting. This book is an exception to that rule. A modified game AI (the Daemon) is set loose on the Internet by the dying owner of the most successful gaming company in the world. The Daemon manages many smaller, specialized AIs. Some of these are designed to infiltrate major corporations and governments around the world (macro management: think world-building games like "Civilization"), others recruit individuals to handle more specialized tasks (micro management and first-person shooters).

The nice twist is that the AI doesn't try to destroy humanity (a la SkyNet), it *manipulates* humanity to achieve its own ends. Governments, CEOs, hackers, and con artists... every level of society is involved.
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on March 26, 2011
A computer game designer dies and, upon the online publication of his obituary, a daemon--a computer program running in the background, under no human control--is activated, setting off a chain reaction that will lead to numerous deaths and, quite possibly, a new world order.

Daemon is an inventive techno-thriller, blending Michael Crichton with Neil Stephenson. The science feels real, grounded in possibility if not probability, and, in the second half of the novel, as events accelerate and mass together like a careening snowball, Suarez takes us into the realm of cyber-punk as he geeks out on Net-enhanced villains and scimitar-wielding motorcycles.

Stylistically, Daemon is serviceable at best, but this works to the narrative's advantage given that an overwrought style would only take away from the rollicking plot and gleefully outlandish scenes. The characters are two-dimensional, fitting into familiar arch-types, but, like figures in a video game, they are all players in a fantastic new universe, servants of the plot, and meant to be little else. In fact, it is the daemon itself that propels the plot forward. The daemon is by far the most unpredictable element in the story and I wonder if it might not have even given Suarez himself a few surprises. It's such an original concept that I found myself caring less about the flesh-and-blood characters and more about this virulent program's next move--and, impossibly, the novel was actually all the more entertaining and satisfying for it.

It's said that, in a good story, the protagonist must have gone through a substantial change over the course of the narrative. Here, every character goes through changes that cannot even be guessed at when the book is first cracked open and the initial pages read. More importantly, it is the daemon, the plot's driving force--the plot itself--that changes, morphing with every chapter in unpredictable, exciting ways.

Daemon is not great literature but, with an unpretentious, easy and accessible style reminiscent of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and the cyber-punk sensibilities of Neil Stephenson and William Gibson, Daemon should appeal to fans of both groups. This is a fun, easy read that might actually have you eyeing your PC with a new respect--or fear.

Its sequel, Freedom TM, is available in paperback and on my list of must-reads.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 3, 2014
Fan-freakin-tastic!! This book was a whirlwind of action and high tech. I wasn't expecting to be wow'ed so completely by it. "Why only four stars" you ask, well it's because of the first quarter of the book. There was so much geek-speak I barely understood what I was reading. And there was one chapter that described in detail drugging a 17 year old girl, having her perform sexual acts and broadcasting it out on the internet. It was at that point I almost threw the book across the room, but for some reason I continued on. It improved drastically after that point.

The very basic story is that a wealthy computer genius died. Prior to his death, he put in motion a series of computer-based events on a scale that is almost unimaginable. It is a very intricate plan and we do not learn the full extent of this plan or the desired result by the end as this is only part one.

I know this doesn't sound like much but I can assure you this was an incredible read (after the aforementioned over-technical beginning). It kind of reminded me a bit of Ready Player One because of all the computer game play in virtual reality but this was no YA novel. RPO was fun and nostalgic where Daemon is hardcore. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes a well written, action packed story with a great plot.
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on September 13, 2014

This is one of the best stories I've ever read, regardless of genre. As a techno-thriller, it couldn't be any better!

Suarez is a consummate story-teller. It's a fascinating look at what could be, and how some will stop at nothing to ensure that it never happens.

The best part for me? That Suarez is also a good writer. Some authors tell a great story but can't write well. Some write very well, but the story is useless. This one has both the story and the great writing. Suarez's writing never got in the way of enjoying the story.
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on April 19, 2016
Fantastic book, it's a very engaging story of high technology that is well researched and believable. It would be very easy for a less careful author to move into the realm of science fiction (a global AI with Machiavellian intentions) with technobabble or even just a poor understanding of the limits of technology; in this manner Suarez does not disappoint.

Be warned there is significant length to this title and it's very hard to put down in the back half, plan accordingly or suffer at work the next day like me.
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on September 25, 2016
I love Daemon and the sequel, Freedom, most out of all of Suarez's books.
Great take on modern technology (the interconnectedness of everything, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles).
The themes that made this a page-turner for me was this could easily be present-day, rather than some far-off impossible future.
Get both - you won't regret it.
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on March 30, 2014
Excellent story, and real thought provoking, one of those books you can't put down, it was so good I got the sequel Freedom, just finished that too, superb again, it really sticks it to the 1% and their control over the world..
If your a gamer or interested in what computer software can do ,this will really make your head spin.
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on January 19, 2015
An engaging and intelligent read. The author ties sociological, political, and economic issues together with a technical backdrop. Rather scary in a way: while the scope of the scenario may be a stretch, many of the implications for our current society are not. I highly recommend this.
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