Sunday, September 05, 2010

daemon: neuromancer for the dan brown world

I just finished reading Daniel Suarez's Daemon, my first lead from Facebook, and I've had a great time reading it. The elements of an artificial intelligence growing in power and strength is not unfamiliar, if you've read William Gibson's Neuromancer. But Suarez's writing is not as complex and intricate in its argot as Gibson's classic (or for that matter, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess). The shower of technical jargon (which, combined with some of the elements in the plot is likely to leave someone less geeky out in the cold) is mixed with a reasonable level of exposition and it puts the ouevre of Dan Brown to shame without trying too hard. You are likely to find yourself turning the pages not because there's not much worthwhile on each page (as is the case with any tome in the Brownian canon) but because Suarez takes you from one narrative arc to another, keeping things suspenseful. The level of exposition is also less than that found in the novels of Michael Crichton, which I have enjoyed far more than Dan Brown's novels. The only problem I have with the exposition is that in some cases, it involves the reader directly instead of being presented to some character in the novel. Sections where this happens threaten to transport Suarez's entertaining fine novel into Brown territory. That is, however, a minor grouse, for an otherwise excellent début.

I'll be picking up a copy of the sequel Freedom from the local library soon and I hope it's just as much fun.

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