Book Review: Daemon by Daniel Suarez
Author: Daniel Suarez
Series : Daemon (Book #1)
Length: 432 pages / 15h57min
Genre: Science Fiction Triller
My Rating: ★★★★ ½
If there's one book to make you think a little bit harder about our reliance as a society on the internet and how interconnected the world is, it's Daemon by Daniel Suarez. First off, Daniel... paranoid much? Second, this is all COMPLETELY plausible. How many times have you heard about security breaches and vulnerabilities in the last few months? More than you would like, for sure. Those tiny bugs and breaches are nothing compared to the complete and utter invasion that happens in this novel.
When a legendary video game designer, Matthew Sobol dies (boy, that's a common theme in sci-fi novels), it satisfies the requirements to kick off a daemon that he has designed and coded. This unleashes a chain of events, that you really do NOT want to happen. I'm going to leave it at that, because this can get spoilery really fast. Let's just say that everyone is fucked.
By the way... it IS helpful if you have some technical knowledge going into this book. Obviously, they do explain all the concepts in the book well enough to understand the story, but personally I thought it helped having some knowledge of how the internet works going into it. This was a tradeoff though, because I did notice some things that weren't exactly accurate. Suarez also took a leap with a few of the explanations, for instance - assuming that IT departments overlook things like security updates or bug patching. While I do think that is plausible, he used it several times to explain how the daemon was able to gain access to systems. In my opinion, you'd have to be lucky to encounter that once, let alone several times.
That all said, I thought that this book was great. The plot was really quite genius and I felt genuinely scared at the thought of "the daemon" (pronounced like demon) running rampant. What's really terrifying is that I think something like this could really happen. This book is more realistic than most of the dystopian novels out there and it asks some really important questions. Should we be so hopelessly dependent on technology? Especially since so many people do not understand how it works and how to keep themselves safe? We live in a world where people try to hack things for fun, just to see what is possible and how far they can go.
If you are into technology at all, you need to read this book. And considering this is being published on a blog on the interwebs, I'm pretty sure many of you are. Also, if you are into really clever logic and plot lines (think Oceans Eleven kinda thing), I think you will enjoy this book.
Let me know if you have read this and if you are planning to pick it up. I'd love to hear your thoughts!