3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Its not bad. Its not great either, but its not bad. The premise is that a very intelligent game designer, Matthew Sobol, dies of cancer. Once his obituary hits the web, a daemon program rolls into action and things start happening. Funds transfer, e-mails are sent and people start dying - a couple of programmers at Sobol's company, a voice actor and then a whole bunch of cops and FBI agents when they try to raid Sobol's booby trapped mansion...
From there, the daemon is off and running. Its a narrowly focused form of AI, but very deep and resilient, and apparently with a really deep set of contingency plans to draw off of. The question becomes, are its goals (and Sobol's) a bad thing?
The viewpoint characters are a sheriff's deputy (sorry can't remember the county in Silicon Valley), a hacker and ID thief, a criminal freed by Daemon and a computer programmer with some secrets. The action focuses around them and their struggles with, or for, the Daemon.
And I'll admit it - its interesting. The technology is within reach - self driving vehicles, augmented reality, metal storm weapons and so on, which helps make it scarier. It verges on terrifying, but not quite. The weakest part of the book is that it feels, overlong (but I'll be damned if I could figure where to cut it) and tha characters are a bit, flat. I'll forgive that for the interesting ideas.
As I said, by the end of the book, there is some real confusion as to who the bad guys are, and whether Daemon's goals are malevolent. To me, this is not a bad thing, but it does lead the feeling that the 400+ page book is only a prologue to what comes ahead...
Overall, its a good fun read. Think of it as a SF techno-thriller and your not far off. I'd suggest it for fans of Halting State and other near future SF and thrillers.