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Daemon

Written by: Daniel Suarez
Narrated by: Jeff Gurner
Series: Daemon, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (70 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

"Suarez's riveting debut would be a perfect gift for a favorite computer geek or anyone who appreciates thrills, chills, and cyber suspense....A final twist that runs counter to expectations will leave readers anxiously awaiting the promised sequel." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Daemon

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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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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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

184 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!!!

40 people found this helpful

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  • 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!

38 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.

83 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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
  • Rich
  • 2010-06-13

Fascinating, entertaining - Highly recommended

I remember thinking that Orwell's '1984' was a fascinating story but so far-fetched as to make me smile. These days, we don't smile anymore as video feeds everywhere capture public and private life. Reading Daemon (and subsequently Freedom TM) makes me more acutely aware of data-base technology's rapid encroachment upon the concept of the private citizen. Knowledge is power, and those who best manipulate it come out on top. While this has always been true, today it has never been easier. Daemon pulls together what some fear is the natural progression of data base technology in a was that is both frightening and powerful. We can only hope that these ideas remain far-fetched.

Daemon is a commentary on power - social, political, and economic - and the use and abuse thereof. You do not have to be a 'techie' to enjoy it. The topic is highly relevant and the narration is excellent. This is sci-fi at its best.

*A few will complain that some of the murders and sex-related scenes are harsh. People, life is often harsh. And humans can be cruel. Nothing new in that. Any who understand this will not take offense. It is, after all, just a book.

31 people found this helpful

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  • 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).

63 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RD
  • 2009-09-30

Sequel?????

Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A very well written and thought out storyline. However, as other have said, I did not know it was part one of what appears to be a series???? The ending was clever, and again, well done, but it just flat out ended abruptly with no warning. I sat there for a couple of minutes feeling a bit taken advantage of...Sequel$$, however I'm over it and can't wait for the sequel! Let's just hope it has a complete ending in book two and he doesn't leave us stranded again. Jeff Gurner was exceptional with the narration and I will look to see what else he has read.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Julia
  • 2017-07-11

Weird long slog that leads nowhere

This is a story that seemingly has no point and little plot. It ends abruptly and bizarrely. None of the characters are distinctive. I couldn't understand why it was written, or why it was published. Not much plot, not much character development and not much point.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Bryon
  • 2014-03-07

Tough to find something good to say about this one

What would have made Daemon better?

A good editor. Far less exposition and geek speak. The book falls into the usual trap that all those other "in the tradition of 'famous author'", in thinking that the liberal insertion of whatever jargon and technical detail into a thin plot makes for a thrilling inside novel. I'm an insider and I found it tedious. To outsiders it must be clutter that is both excruciatingly boring and utterly unhelpful in moving the story along.The plot in the last third of the book simply became absurd, rendering the government investigative team as utter morons, and the resolution completely predictable.Thats perhaps the biggest criticism of the book. There are no surprises, Mr. Suarez telegraphs every plot advancement and resolution; except when it simply jars into a new, different thread.Performance wise, I felt like I was listening to a never ending Michael Bay movie trailer. Note to Mr. Gurner. Subtly and an even measured cadence makes for an enjoyably listen.

Has Daemon turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, huge fan of Stephenson, this is a pale pale imitation

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The idea at the core of the book has potential, although in reality its just another variant of the Skynet plot. I'm not sure it could ever be made workable though

9 people found this helpful