03 October 2011

Book Banter -- Freedom (TM)

Title: Freedom (TM)
Author: Daniel Suarez
Length: 402 pages
Genre: Techno-thriller
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: The Daemon computer program has taken over most of the world -- from financial markets on down. Darknet operatives are banding together to form new kinds of societies that collaborate and try to restore the world with renewable energy, heirloom seeds and cooperation. But others are determined that the influence of the Daemon and the Darknet is malevolent and are set on hacking the ultimate computer hack to put power back in other hands.

Banter Points: The sequel to Daemon picks up almost where the first book left off, making me wonder if it was really originally one book that was way too long. Some editor -- a la George R.R. Martin-style -- whacked the thing in half and presto! Two books!

If not, Suarez really grew as a writer between one and two, managing in Freedom to actually get a little bit more into characters as well as techno-thriller plot. Instead of bouncing around between as many POVs, the story is focused more tightly on a handful and moves the plot forward through their perspectives.

Bummer Points: There's still not a very satisfying conclusion to this story. There's still a lot more of some characterization that I would have liked to see. The whole story line of Jon Ross feels wildly unfinished and the major reveals for his character were just kind of thrown in like an after thought.

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you're looking for a series that's high on action and high on the creepiness factor of what computer technology and the Internet could really do to our lives, Daemon and Freedom (TM) are a good read. If you're looking for a book about people responding to such upheavals, these aren't it. Or, you could just wait for the movie version that's supposed to hit theatres in 2012.

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