Review: “Daemon” by Daniel Suarez

daemonDaemon by Daniel Suarez, Penguin Group (2009). 432 pages.

Is it wrong for one heterosexual man to fall in love with another hetero man, at least because of his writing? Because I think I’m in love.

Daniel Suarez has been hailed as the successor to Michael Crichton, but I think they are wrong. Suarez is better than Crichton. I never got as caught up in Michael Crichton’s books as I do with Suarez. They are both authors in a subcategory defined as “techno-thrillers,” but to me it is contemporary sci-fi.

Let me back up. I first came across the book Influx by Suarez on Amazon when I was just browsing. I read the description, which I thought was promising. I started reading and couldn’t stop. You can read my blog comments here.

Then I decided to read his first book. As a writer, I am always interested in an author’s first novel. That book is Daemon. And all I can say is, Wow.

Daemon should not be confused with demons, unless you want to talk about the demons that are inside your head, or outside forces that you have no control over. A “daemon” as defined in the book is “a computer program that runs continuously in the background and performs specified operations at predefined times or on response to certain events.” This definition comes to bear when Matthew Sobol, a computer genius, dies of brain cancer. People begin dying, and all of these murders are tracked to Matthew Sobol. And even he admits that he’s to blame. But how do you stop someone who is already dead, especially someone who has spent years and millions of dollars exacting revenge on society?

This is one of those books that starts off small, and gets bigger and bigger the farther along you read. I found myself a hundred pages from the end, wondering how in the world the author would resolve the story by the end. And the reality is, he doesn’t really. I learned at the end that it is the first of two books. It is full of plots and subplots, many that weave and take you into multiple lives of characters. And there are surprises, lots of surprises.

If there was any downside to the story–quibbles as we call them in Rough Writers–it is that there were a couple of times when the book got bogged down in technobabble. Suarez came into writing from a background as a independent systems consultant for Fortune 500 companies, and you never get the feeling that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

I give it 4 1/2 stars out of five, and heartily recommend it.




One thought on “Review: “Daemon” by Daniel Suarez

  1. That’s the second strong recommendation I’ve heard for this book. I really need to get it.

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