I don't remember how long ago it was, but I read a blog post from Rick Klau about this new book he read and loved called Daemon from some unknown writer. He was raving about how much he loved the book and how anyone into technology would love it as well. I knew Rick enough that I trusted his judgment and ordered a copy of the book. Daemon is an amazing book. I can't begin to tell you the whole plot, but at the core it is about a demented genius hacker who upon his death unleashes a powerful computer virus that slowly takes over the world. This book was made for Hollywood with enough action scenes and killer attack Hummers (you'll have to read to find out) to make for a summer block buster.
I was psyched to learn that the book was written under a pen name and it had been picked up by a big publisher and republished. I love watching success happens and was happy to see Daniel Suarez (the author's real name) making his dreams come true.
The book was one of those that just sets itself up for a sequel, so I've been eager for that day to come. As soon as I saw Rick again mention that Freedom (TM) was slated fora 2010 release, I pre-ordered a copy immediately.
Last week, hours before we were slated to leave for New Hampshire for the holidays a package arrived. Nothing unusual since I get plenty of surprise packages. But, upon opening it I was looking at a copy of Freedom. When I opened it up there was a note:
As an "early adopter' of Daemon, I thought you might like a copy of the sequel. Happy Holidays!
This was easily the best present I got for Christmas as it was 100% unexpected. I don't know Daniel at all except for being a fan of his work. We haven't even exchanged a single e-mail so this was a great surprise.
After the presents were opened on Christmas morning I curled up on the couch and proceeded to read the entire book. It has been a long time since I've had the time and the writing to keep my attention like that. It was extra funny because since I do most of my reading on my Kindle, my mother-in-law joked, "C.C. I didn't even know you read on paper anymore."
Unfortunately, Freedom is not as good as Daemon. But, how many sequels in anything ever are? It is also not a book that you can pick up and read on it's own because so much of the groundwork was set in the first book. This tale of the darknet and what it has done to the world is part science fiction and part social commentary that requires the first book to fully appreciate what is going on.
That being said, fans of the first book won't be let down by this book. The plot line carries on right where the last one left off and I did not see the ending coming at all which always makes me happy. Watching how the power of the darknet has grown and what it is doing to society makes the little bits of augmented reality we've played with seem beyond elementary. My mind is still trying to wrap around the ideas laid out under the cover of the words in this book.
I think that these two books could easily be combined into a single action packed movie. I sure hope someone has already optioned them and has begun casting because it has been far to long since we have had a movie like this made. Plus, when they start filming give me a call. I'd love to come on set for any reason. *grin*
Anyone swimming in the fishbowl, but thinking way beyond it, should read these two books. Of course you have to let go of reality a bit for some of the things, but Suarez knows his technology and never crosses into the realm of "are you kidding me?" for all the geeks out there. On a personal note, J.C. Hutchins you MUST read these books and that is not up for discussion.
Thank you again to Mr. Suarez for the surprise gift. Please keep on writing because you've got a fan in me for sure.