I own the first part and have read both. Published in two parts:
- Daemon (2009)
- FreedomTM (2010)
First read (January-March 2012)Edit
- Daemon: 2010 paperback Quercus edition, a Christmas present from Matthew and Caroline. 501 pages, 35 lines per page, 29 blank pages. 10.3 words per line implying 170864 words in total, and about 56 characters per line implying 918512 characters in total. 477 'standard' pages (350 5.5-character words).
- FreedomTM: 2011 paperback edition, borrowed from the library. 564 pages.
Got the first part from Matthew (and Caroline), among other things, for Christmas in 2011. It was a lot bigger than I was expecting, and I thought it looked good.
Started reading the first book on January the 25th 2012, after finishing Why does E=mc2?, hoping to sneak it in before I continued The Age of the Five Trilogy, books 2 and 3 of which I hadn't yet acquired.
Finished this book on the 4th of February. I found it interesting, not very close to how I'd expected it to be after Matthew recommended it - more pop-sci-fi, more generally well written, and more apocalyptic. There were some interesting messages about the nature of our current computer systems, that we're enjoying such benefits from this manufactured system because it has no parasites. Yet. I like that idea, but I'm not very confident that by the end of FreedomTM it will be the main theme any more.
I had lots of problems with it, though. It's quite 'Michael Crichton', many of the main characters were unjustifiably amazing, and seemed to get pulled into the fray from out of nowhere. And I'm very suspicious that many of the 'cool' things the Daemon did were done for effect and not really thought through. I guess I've just read a lot of books so it's got a lot of competition :P
Experimented with the local library online reservation system after finishing Memoirs of a Geisha, and ordered Freedom to be picked up at a different branch than the one it was available at. I picked it up on March the 8th and read the first chapter on the way home.
Finished it in bed on the 15th of March. I can see why Matthew couldn't answer some of my questions, much less happened in this book that was unexpected or new. It was good enough, but definitely 'techno-thriller' rather than science fiction, and I'm not big on techno-thriller I don't think. I enjoyed it as a thought experiment for an alternative way of organising democracy, and what sort of things it might involve with our current technology. I thought the characters weren't sympathetic enough, they were a bit cardboard-cut-out. Maybe that's just me not wanting to read more into them because I wasn't in love with the book.
Overall impressions: Definitely techno-thriller rather than sci-fi, which I'm not a big fan of, but it had some very interesting elements, like the idea of inevitable parasitism of our current computer systems and how a modern net-based 'democracy' might work out. Bit over-pessimistic about the world, if we were supposed to be swept along with it, but I suppose as a cautionary tale about how power can be abused it works fine.
Previous book: Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, Why does E=mc2?
Simultaneous books: Trudi Canavan, The Age of the Five Trilogy #2 and #3, Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
Next book: Bruce Hood, Supersense (first attempt)
Ratings, awards, mentions and recommendationsEdit
Recommended by Matthew. He listened to the audiobook and has mentioned it a few times.