Book Review: Daemon by Daniel Suarez

Just finished the book Daemon today (pronounced Demon, but refers to self-executing code running in the background mainly in the UNIX environment) and thought I would sit down and write some thoughts about it.

Daemon is about a series of murders that are committed by a computer program. The computer program was the creation of a billionaire computer game AI specialist and the twist is that he is dead. The computer program is running on its own through the Internet and all the computer games that people are playing. So, you can see why I was attracted to this book, having to do with the game industry.

While I thought it was a good book overall, I thought the plot wasn’t solid enough in some areas. It has a great premise and the book starts out by following the detective who is following the case and a computer expert who was under investigation, but cleared once the Daemon program was discovered to be the real culprit. The book would have been great if it continued to follow these two characters throughout the book.

However, half-way through it takes a weird twist and these two characters are pretty much absent for the second half of the book. Instead the author goes into describing how the Daemon is invading society, which is where the book slowed way down for me. Then, the last climatic scene of an attack by the Daemon feels really forced. The book didn’t really build up to a head, it just kind of happened.

Anyway, I’m being kind of vague about the second half of the book because I don’t want ruin it if anyone decides they want to read it. I recommend the book if you are into computers and computer games. It’s an interesting premise, but as Daniel Suarez’s first novel, I find it lacking a decent well rounded plot. I will read the sequel, Freedom™, but I probably won’t rush.

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