Book Review - Freedom (TM) by Daniel Suarez
I read Daniel Suarez's book Daemon about a year ago when it first came out without much fanfare. I wasn't expecting much, but it was a great cyberthriller that I struggled to put down (and I was supposed to be at a conference!). The follow-up to Daemon is Freedom (TM), which picks up where Daemon leaves off. I didn't like it quite as much as Daemon, but it was still a very good read. My main recommendation is to try and read them back-to-back, as most of the backstory on the characters is covered in Daemon, and you'll lose a great deal of nuance without it.
Freedom has the Daemon firmly in charge of the world's computer systems, and actively destroys anyone or anything that tries to kill it off. It's also co-opted a growing number of real-life people that it controls as part of the "darknet" and uses to accomplish goals that need real-world involvement. Both the government and mega-corporations are trying to find ways to take over Daemon to use for their own purposes, and the darknet operatives are actively killing off individuals who are leading those efforts. Peter Sebeck, one of the main characters, is chosen by the Daemon to fulfill a quest which is being actively followed by both friends and foes alike. He's a reluctant "hero" to many, and doesn't know what or where this quest will lead, except that it apparently has to do with preventing the growing new reality from being snuffed out by those who want to maintain the status quo and continue to rule and dominate the world. As he draws ever closer to the final conflict, he will have to make some decisions that will affect every remaining person on the planet.
Suarez does an excellent job in painting a world taken over by a network that has become part of everything computerized. His depiction of the darknet and the augmented reality seen by using special glasses was especially well done, as it in many ways mirrors parts of what the internet has become. I probably would have liked this even better had there not been a year between reading the first and second novels (as well as about 200 other books read in between those two). I think I lost a bit of the character color that would have helped me get into the story much more quickly.
Regardless of that time gap, Freedom (along with Daemon) are high up on any recommended cyber novel reading list I might put together. I truly hope to see and enjoy more novels by Suarez in the future.
Obtained From: Library