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  • Daemon

  • Written by: Daniel Suarez
  • Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (97 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Daniel Suarez's New York Times best-selling debut high-tech thriller is “so frightening even the government has taken note” (Entertainment Weekly).

Daemons: computer programs that silently run in the background, waiting for a specific event or time to execute. They power almost every service. They make our networked world possible. But they also make it vulnerable....

When the obituary of legendary computer game architect Matthew Sobol appears online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events that begins to unravel our interconnected world. This daemon reads news headlines, recruits human followers, and orders assassinations. With Sobol’s secrets buried with him, and as new layers of his daemon are unleashed, it’s up to Detective Peter Sebeck to stop a self-replicating virtual killer before it achieves its ultimate purpose - one that goes far beyond anything Sebeck could have imagined....

©2009 Daniel Suarez (P)2009 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“A riveting debut.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“This thrill-a-nanosecond novel is certainly faithful to the techno-traditions of Michael Crichton and should delight not only readers of the 'science gone awry' genre, but general adventure readers as well.” (Booklist)

“Suarez's not-just-for-gamers debut is a stunner.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Daemon

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting tale of a Ghost in the Machine

Story of a computer genius that sets about changing the world after his death. The story starts out slow and by the end you have no clue where you are being taken, you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.

The performance was great, I thoroughly enjoyed the production, narration and the enthusiasm of the performance.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic writing

I live this book so much. A few years ago, a co-worker gave me an audio copy to listen to and have found it time and again to 'scratch the itch' over the years. Intense writing and exciting situations. A wonderful combo in the hands of such a skilled writer.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great overall except for two things

Overall I thought this was a great book that was a good mix of techno thriller, action, and sci-fi. Two things I wish were different though: 1) The non-techno people seemed aggressively non-techno and hated technology and people who liked it. Getting angry at people for explaining it. It just felt like a repeating theme that got annoying at times. 2) The last part "action" of the book felt like it dragged a bit for me - I kept thinking "ok just get to the end so we know what happens". But I'm being nit picky and I still really enjoyed this listen!

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Amazing sci-fi

Unexpected, thrilling and totally engaging - Jeff Gurner makes it compelling storytelling. Another brilliant story from Daniel Suarez.

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Excellent Techno Thriller

This is an excellently written techno thriller. I picked it up in Audio format as I find myself having time that can be best spent listening to Audio books these days so thought this would be a good use of that time.

The story line is very engaging and the character development is well done. The technical descriptions used to describe various situations presented in the book are spot on, not overly technical just enough so to intrigue the listener (or reader). All in all very well put together.

From the Audio side the reader was decent. His change of voice for some characters seemed a bit awkward but maybe that's me. Otherwise very pleasant to listen to.

Definitely a 5 star listen, particularly if you like well thought out techno thrillers.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Erica
  • 2009-01-22

Possibly The Best Techno-thriller Ever

No that title isn't an exaggeration. If you're content in knowing the information provided in the title and would like to skip the praise I'm about to bestow and just buy the book.

So, another book about computers taking over the world. Ho hum, blah blah, yes? Actually no. While I was reading Daemon the thought that this could really happen kept going through my head. Without giving away some of the plot points, I'll just say this. Read some of the recent news about the Storm botnet. Think about peoples addictions to WoW. Then read the book. Then think about those subjects again.

A few words to the techies: SQL injection attack, botnet, and rootkit. All those words/phrases can be found in this book. No no, my friends, this is not the book equivalent of Hackers (you know where code magically floats across the screen and other cheap tricks), this is a book written by a systems consultant (read: normally the guy that gets called in with the regular schmoes can't figure things out) for Fortune 100 companies. To use a common cliche, he "gets it." Actually he gets it, gets into its inner workings, and turns it inside out. Vague, I know, but I'm trying very hard not to spoil the fun of this book.

There is no reason for you not to read Daemon, no matter your level of technical understanding. Everyone from the CEO who has only the vaguest understanding of his IT infrastructure to the mail room guy who goes home to play WoW for 8 hours to the advertising exec who only knows how to check his email. Check it out from the library, buy it online, or borrow it, just find a way to read it. Read some sample chapters of Daemon if you need more convincing.

216 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • XXRRAAYYSS
  • 2014-08-09

So so disappointing!!!

Any additional comments?

I was looking forward to this book after reading all the great reviews and some favorable comparisons to Ready Player One. Instead of loving it, I ended up hating it. Here are the good points and bad points.

Good points:

- It's fast paced. Almost like listening to a movie. There are rapid transitions betweens scenes, locations, situations, subplots, etc.
- Rapid fire dialog...again just like a movie.
- Filled to the brim with technology and techno babble (which I actually typically enjoy)

Bad points:

- It's fast paced. Too fast paced. I reads like a bunch of scenes from B-movies strung together in a semi-cohesive fashion. What serves as a good tool for movie making is not good style for writing a book.
- Rapid fire dialog...that is utterly unbelievable. No one talks like this in real life. Such trite lines coming out of the mouths of one dimensional characters is often seen only in B-movies. In the B-movies, at least the acting, scenery and all things visual serve to mitigate the gag-inducing cheesy lines. In this book, you hear a line, groan...hear another line, and groan some more.
- Filled to the brim with technology...but not used in a realistic fashion. The plot is so far fetched that the book leaves the reader thinking..."give me a break". I'm big into science fiction and fantasy so I can readily suspend my disbelief, but with this novel, I give up. Some of the situations were too far fetched and were not even internally coherent. I could say more but don't want to reveal any spoilers.
- Characters were not developed.

I could go on and on. In summary, I dislike this book greatly. Mostly because it was not good, but partly because I was expecting so much more after the glowing reviews. I devoted 15 hours listening to it because it had so much promise at the beginning. If I had known that it wouldn't get any better but only got worse as the book progressed, I would have stopped listening after an hour or two. If you like or love this book after listening to the first 2 or 3 hours, then you will probably love the rest of it, so keep on listening. If you are like me and have some inklings of dislike at the beginning, just stop listening and get a refund...or else you will be sorry like I am.

91 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark D. Serbin
  • 2010-03-18

LEO WAS RIGHT

I heard about this book from Leo LaPorte on his podcasts. It seemed interesting so I gave it a go. Damn good book, Leo was right! Even though this book is supposed to be fiction, it seems like it could happen in today's highly computerized world. I 'read' the book over two days while driving cross country. I was so impressed with it I am downloading the sequel, Freedom (TM). Leo, are you listening? This is written in the style of Dan Brown on a good day. Totally riveting.

89 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 2013-01-12

Good thriller but...

Any additional comments?

A genius software developer’s death triggers a computer virus that threatens to take control of the world. It’s pretty much non-stop action. The cutting-edge technical stuff kept it interesting, plus there are the seeds of some interesting ideas. I've started the sequel, “Freedom TM.” On the downside, the characters are never developed enough to care about anyone; it fails Question 2 in the Bechdel test (there’s never a conversation between two women) and there's a gang rape scene where the woman is made to seem like she wants it (it's not sympathetic to the rapists, it's more part of the action, but it's questionable).

74 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • R. Frazier
  • 2010-04-13

terrible lang, porn, gross, crude, leaves hanging

This is my first fiction book from audible. I had heard good reviews and was looking forward to it. After reading the book, I was extremely disappointed. I will say that the technical and plot aspects of the story are fascinating. However, the book totally leaves you hanging. So, don't expect to find out how it ends. Other than leaving you hanging, I gave it 1 star for 3 other reasons.

If it were a movie, it would be R or X rated.

1) It essentially has a porn chapter where he tells you how to drug and rape a girl at a party, and goes into a disgusting level of detail.

2) The language is terrible. There are too many F words to count, along with S and D and GD. Also, there are many usages of the name Jesus or Christ as a curse word.

3) There are many scenes, vividly described, which are simply gross, including descriptions of people being killed and mutilated, and detailed gory descriptions of the effects of this.

I is unfortunate, since the story plot line could have stood on its own merits without the rubish. I encourage anyone who's bought the book and feels similarly to call customer service and request a refund. If they're going to publish rubish such as this, then they should warn the user about it, so each person can make their own decision.

61 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Brad B.
  • 2009-11-18

Absurd, Silly Story; B-Movie Actor Narration

A little background on me - I'm a veteran video game programmer, Lead Programmer at a successful development house in Woodland Hills (a description which strangely enough matches one of the first victims in the book).

First: the story. The author seems to go out of his way to include as many technical terms as possible, and it feels forced. The terms are all used properly, so it's a step above CSI, but it's still pointless and silly. I felt like the author was combing wikipedia and Wired just looking for any recent technological developments he could use to sound current. As for the details and capabilities of video game engines, it's stupidly unrealistic.

The writing itself is amateurish. Sentence structure rarely varies from the "subject verb object" structure, the scenarios are contrived and juvenile, and the overall story gets increasingly implausible as the book goes on.

As for the narration, I really can't understand what other reviewers enjoy about this reader. He sounds like a bad b-movie actor - melodramatic and over the top. He reads too quickly, and his voices are just insulting. Every computer programmer or gamer sounds like a surfer dude, every cop has the stereotypical low gravely voice, and his foreign accents are painful.

The reader actually sounds like a typical video game voiceover actor, which might be appropriate but isn't pleasing to listen to for hours on end.

51 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Liza Klosterman
  • 2009-07-30

It Had Me From The Start...

...but lost me at the end. That is the only reason I am giving this book a 4 instead of a 5. The book was fantastic, and I couldn't wait to get in my car and listen to more. But...the book just ended - boom -l ike that! Once I got over the shock, it seemed obvious that a sequel must be planned, but I didn't know that at the time (now I do), and I was a bit put off by how it ended. I mean, most books that have sequels at least wrap up a little bit at the end. But noooo, not this one! However, that is my only complaint about the book. I would recommed it to anyone. It is kind of scary when you think that this story is something that could possibly be pulled off in real life.

About the computer and gaming termionolgy in the book - I have a computer background, but no gaming background, and I think that even if you have neither you can still follow along. So, don't be put off by the technology jargon in particular. You can get through it - and it is well worth it! Now I can't wait for the sequel! Daniel - bring it on!!!

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Brad
  • 2010-04-23

Great start....

The story got off to a strong start, modulo a ridiculous "how to execute a date rape" scene. As I got three-quarters of the way into this book, I kept asking myself "How can Suarez tie all this stuff up?" When I got to the end, I got the answer: "He couldn't." Worse, he didn't even try. Lame attempt at a cliff-hanger. Left me completely unsatisfied.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chip Atkinson
  • 2012-04-16

Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!

This is a sci-fi thriller that had me guessing while on the edge of my seat. It started off realistic enough, but quickly morphed into the sci-fi thriller it is. I was expecting a thriller realistically pushing the edge of technology somewhat like Crichton's Disclosure did in 1994, but Suarez goes way beyond realism in Daemon. Nevertheless, the storyline is entirely unique for this reader

The plot seems to be the end of the world as we know it, but clever enough to wonder if there is something more we do not understand.

The narration is excellent.

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Theodore
  • 2012-11-05

So COOL!!!!

This is one of the coolest books I have listened in a long time. I am seriously a fan now of Daniel Suarez. The entire time I was listening to this book I was utterly gripped. The most interesting thing about this book is how realistic it appears and how current the title is. For anyone who is a techy and worse for anyone who is into MMORPG's this is downright a fascinating listen. There are a number of twists and turns in this book that makes you thoroughly enjoy the entire title.

Jeff Gurner does justice to this title and there is nothing I can fault about his narration at all. It was dynamic, impressive, smartly done and with the different array of characters was just plain a treat.

You will enjoy this book immensely, seamless writing, interesting concept, great twists, relevant and with superb narration.... LOVED IT!

42 people found this helpful