Daemon [NOOK Book]

Overview

When a designer of computer games dies, he leaves behind a program that unravels the Internet's interconnected world. It corrupts, kills, and runs independent of human control. It's up to Detective Peter Sebeck to wrest the world from the malevolent virtual enemy before its ultimate purpose is realized: to destroy civilization...




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Daemon

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Overview

When a designer of computer games dies, he leaves behind a program that unravels the Internet's interconnected world. It corrupts, kills, and runs independent of human control. It's up to Detective Peter Sebeck to wrest the world from the malevolent virtual enemy before its ultimate purpose is realized: to destroy civilization...




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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Originally self-published, Suarez's riveting debut would be a perfect gift for a favorite computer geek or anyone who appreciates thrills, chills and cyber suspense. Gaming genius Matthew Sobol, the 34-year-old head of CyberStorm Entertainment, has just died of brain cancer, but death doesn't stop him from initiating an all-out Internet war against humanity. When the authorities investigate Sobol's mansion in Thousand Oaks, Calif., they find themselves under attack from his empty house, aided by an unmanned Hummer that tears into the cops with staggering ferocity. Sobol's weapon is a daemon, a kind of computer process that not only has taken over many of the world's computer systems but also enlists the help of superintelligent human henchmen willing to carry out his diabolical plan. Complicated jargon abounds, but most complexities are reasonably explained. A final twist that runs counter to expectations will leave readers anxiously awaiting the promised sequel. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

This first novel, originally self-published under the pseudonym/anagram Leinad Zeraus, is a roller-coaster ride of a technothriller that will keep listeners tuned in from first disc to last. When the head of a company preeminent in the world of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) dies, a terrible legacy is unleashed: the daemon, a piece of code that attacks computer systems everywhere. Narrator Jeff Gurner's (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) perfect timing accentuates the growing suspense. Other narrators provide male and female computer voices with eerie electronic flatness. An excellent choice for espionage fans and computer geeks. [Audio clip available through us.penguingroup.com; the review of the Dutton hc read, "Suarez's dialog is crisp, and his action exciting, but he needs a more logical plot," LJ1/09.-Ed.]
—Nann Blaine Hilyard

Kirkus Reviews
Computer programs left behind by a dying inventor of video games spread dark mischief around the world, pitting gamers and enabled losers against the most powerful government agencies and businesses, with the geeks holding the best hands. How do you really mess things up after you're dead: tricky wills? entailments? trusts? Posthumous legal meddling is so last millennium. The modern way to carry out your wishes is to use a daemon, a computer program that lies dormant until other factors set it in motion. That's precisely what mastermind Matthew Sobol did. Before he died of brain cancer, Sobol perfected a brilliant string of programming instructions that soon begin to claim victims. The first are a couple of high-level employees at CyberStorm, the Southern California corporation that controls and distributes Sobol's hugely popular games. Detective Sergeant Peter Sebeck of the Ventura County sheriff's department quickly learns (without exactly understanding how) that newspaper headlines can activate the Daemon, which throws switches that electrocute and decapitate. Seback and a growing number of state and federal forces follow the forensics to the late inventor's mansion, which is murderously booby-trapped with a robotic Hummer and gasoline-spewing sprinkler heads. It becomes evident that Sobol's Internet games are a herd of Trojan horses. When the Daemon turns on Sebeck and sticks him with the blame for this mess, the officer's only backers are a brilliant NSA scientist and a Russian-born gamer. Originally self-published, Suarez's not-just-for-gamers debut is a stunner, with an ending that promises sequels to come.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101007518
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/8/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 22,749
  • File size: 489 KB

Meet the Author

Daniel Suarez is an independent systems consultant to Fortune 1000 companies. He has designed and developed enterprise software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. An avid gamer and technologist he lives in the Western Hemisphere.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1:// Execution

Reuters.com/business

Matthew A. Sobol, PhD, cofounder and chief technology officer of CyberStorm Entertainment (HSTM—Nasdaq), died today at age 34 after a prolonged battle with brain cancer. A pioneer in the $40 billion computer game industry, Sobol was the architect of CyberStorm’s bestselling online games Over the Rhine and The Gate. CyberStorm CEO Kenneth Kevault described Sobol as "a tireless innovator and a rare intellect."

What the hell just happened? That was all Joseph Pavlos kept thinking as he clenched a gloved hand against his throat. It didn't stop the blood from pulsing between his fingers. Already a shockingly wide pool had formed in the dirt next to his face. He was on the ground somehow. Although he couldn't see the gash, the pain told him the wound was deep. He rolled onto his back and stared up at a stretch of spotless blue sky.

His usually methodical mind sped frantically through the possibilities—like someone groping for an exit in a smoke-filled building. He had to do something. Anything. But what? The phrase What the hell just happened? kept echoing in his head uselessly, while blood kept spurting between his fingers. Adrenaline surged through his system, his heart beat faster. He tried to call out. No good. Blood squirted several inches into the air and sprinkled his face. Carotid artery . . .

He was pressing on his neck so hard he was almost strangling himself. And he’d been feeling so good just moments before this. He remembered that much at least. His last debts repaid. At long last.

He was getting calmer now. Which was strange. He kept trying to remember what he’d been doing. What brought him here to this place. It seemed so unimportant now. His hand began to relax its hold. He could see plainly that there was no emergency. Because there was no logical scenario in which he would emerge from this alive. And after all, it was his unequaled talent for logic that had brought Pavlos so far in life. Had brought him halfway around the world. This was it. He’d already done everything he would ever do. His peripheral vision began to constrict, and he felt like an observer. He was calm now.

And it was in that cold, detached state that he realized: Matthew Sobol had died. That’s what the news said. And then it all made sense to him. Sobol’s game finally made sense. It was beautiful really.

Clever man . . .

Excerpt from DAEMON by Daniel Suarez © 2008.

Published by Dutton, a member of  Penguin Group ( USA ).

All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 285 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(182)

4 Star

(73)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 286 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 29, 2009

    A pleasant surprise

    I didn't know what to expect when I bought Daemon as an e-book. Sure, the plot sounded good but techno thrillers usually fall flat as far as I'm concerned (I've been working in IT for over 15 years). But, I think Suarez really delivered with this novel. The plot was intriguing, the characters solid and the technical portions well thought out and plausible. I'm really looking forward to the sequel.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Daemon is the great techno-thriller for the wired generation

    Daemon was a perfect storm for me, as a reader. I grew up on science fiction, but I now prefer a realistic thriller. I enjoy the effortless pleasure of reading make-believe, yet prefer thought provoking non-fiction. I am an avid gamer and a worshiper (albeit rarely a purchaser) of consumer electronics. This novel touched on so many passions, and sated them all. Even when the plot disappointed me at times, it was a devious sham that Suarez teased me with, then made up for it in the end. Rarely do I put down a great read like I did tonight and have the urge to call friends and family to share the experience with them, but that is how Daemon made me feel. It isn¿t just a great book; it is an important book.<BR/><BR/>Check out a great interview with Daniel here:<BR/>http://www.crimecritics.com/2009/01/interrogating-daniel-suarez-author-of-daemon/

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    great book......it almost turns the pages itself

    I loved this book. after finding myself slogging through several books that had to be called forced reading I opened the pages of Daemon and it almost read itself to me. the plot could be called scary in these "information age" times. all your worst fears of technology over running the humans and taking over (with help from devious persons with a bloodthirsty gaming mindset that have lost touch with reality after too many hours spent in online gaming)

    I've never been one for online gaming myself.....not that I am opposed to it on any moral grounds....I've just found that for myself I am easily addicted to computer games and never had the time to get lost inside a computer game (maybe it is the fear that I will get lost.....or the knowledge that I WILL be easily lost in the pixels of an artificial reality)

    whatever the reason I found the subject and presentation of this book an amazing read that entertained and was thought provoking as well. I loved it and couldn't recommend it more.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    Sophisticated adventure based on turning fantasy game into reality.

    Suarez obviously understands information technology and the inner workings of all computer based animation, games and links. What makes this particular fantasy/adventure appealing is his ability to hold the interest of technophobes and technophiles alike. His descriptions are crisp and rich in visual detail. His writing style is similar to Caleb Carr's as he is just as comfortable with supporting detail as he is with dialogue and plot twists. He creates several major characters and weaves their stories together in an intricate web of illusions. The base story requires a stretch of the reader's imagination but Suarez is so strong in his command of description that the fantastic becomes real enough to be scarey. This is a fast read. You'll be out of breath more than once.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a fabulous futuristic AI technology thriller

    At thirty four years of age, Matthew Sobol, the genius behind successful CyberStorm Entertainment dies from brain cancer. However, the brilliant game maestro would not allow something as petty as death preveng him from causing global havoc from the grave. He somehow kicked off a war from cyberpsace against mankind.<BR/><BR/>Concerned authorities enter Sobol's mansion in Thousand Oaks, California only to find themselves under attack in spite of the fact that no human is inside or on the grounds; the police suffer several deaths as they retreat. Sobol has left behind the greatest weapon of mass destruction ever created; his daemon computer processor has taken control of most of the world¿s major computer systems and has signed up brilliant quisling humans as foot soldiers to carry out the plan for world domination.<BR/><BR/>DAEMON is a fabulous futuristic AI technology thriller as the twisted but brilliant late computer game creator Sobol sets in motion a doomsday machine after he dies. The story line is fast-paced from the onset even with complex vernacular as Daniel Suarez assumes his audience can do more than breath and chew gum refusing to dumb down his tale. Readers will relish this superb science fiction book with a great finish that sets up AI part two.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Excellent techno thriller

    Daemon is a well-written and -researched thriller taking place in a near future where artificial intelligence can match wits with native intelligence. As an engineer in the computing and robotics fields, I appreciate that everything done in the book follows naturally and logically from the present and possible.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

    Couldn't put it down!

    I thought this book was going to be over my head because I can barely comprehend everyday computer use, but somehow Daemon pulled off the task of being a techno thriller that was written in such a way that it was really accessable to even someone like me, and inspired me to learn more. The plot was fantastic, it was like being inside a good video game where you're uncovering layer after layer of mythology, the characters were well written, and when it was over I couldn't wait to read the next one. I love that I now know what things like the ''darknet" are - and that I am trying to be more careful about what I put online! A timely and scary book, there's a line in it that's something like people are trusting their lives to technology they don't understand - too true, it haunts me every time I log on to do online banking now!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    Scary, in a thriller sort of way

    This is a must read for those who have a technical background, or for those who just love a thriller. The scariest thing is that the author writes this is such a way as to make it seem totally plausible. Personally, I could see no flaw in the logic applied, and if there arose anybody who could put this altogether society would certainly be in big trouble.

    I found that once started, it was very difficult to put this book down, and I finished it in my spare time over the course of just a few days. Letting my brother borrow, he ended up being "mad" at me, because he too got sucked up in the suspense and found himself staying up way too late at night, eager to reach the conclusion. I can't wait to see how the author finishes the story in his sequel due 2010.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    simply put: "page turner"

    First ever techno-thriller I ventured to read and I loved it. This book is a page turner from the very beginning. If you're into technology, information security and so on...this book will be an interesting read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2010

    Extremely Accurate and Gripping

    As someone in the industry, I'm surprised at how accurate this book gets with current technology. In fact, it's sometimes to the books detriment. I often found it hard to disconnect and become engrossed in the book because it was talking about stuff I do for a living in precise detail. It's quite obvious the author had some outside consulting help.

    The story itself is gripping. This was a page turner that had me excited to hop on the train so I could continue the story. The characters were all well developed, and I was able to connect with many of them.

    The motivation behind the villain remains largely hidden until the last quarter of the book. And even then, it's only hinted at. I would have loved to see this develop more, but it would have added another 100 pages or so.

    I've already purchased the sequel to this magnificent novel and am excited to dive in head first! Truly masterful!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2009

    Amazing Book

    The first thriller I've read in a long time that could fit in the category, "Entirely Possible."

    Really enjoyed this. The pacing, the characters, the structure, the relevance to today's digital word -- it's a very cinematic piece of escapism and page-turner. I really applaud the author, especially as it is a first-time effort.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Unforgettable Technothriller

    Okay, maybe you don't understand sentences like "His function was hard-coded to use the encrypted string he got from the Monte Cassino map along with any key he entered here as an argument for the function". Most of the book keeps the action moving right along in spite of these interludes of cyperspeak. The story centers around the takeover of the world's technological components - which is just about everything we do today - by a malevolent viral daemon. It's packed with enough car chases, murder, and mayhem to make the reader wonder if author Suarez was composing his screenplay ahead of time. There's lots of screaming as scores of people are mowed down when they attempt to stop the daemon. The author is working on a sequel, which I won't hesitate to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

    Amazing!!

    Honestly the best book I have ever read. It is well written, and has unforgettable characters. I can not wait until the squeal comes out!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2008

    Presents a compelling vision of the future and is a fun, quick read.

    The internet and pervasive computing might actually change everything. In action packed thriller form, DAEMON shows just how DARPA inspired technologies really could upend the standing world order hegemonies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    It makes you think

    I'm not easily swayed by a sci-fi when it comes to the entire socio-politico-economic structure we've built.

    I finished this book some weeks ago and read the sequel (not as deep, but not bad) and I find that I still think about some of the ideas put forth in this book.

    The future as presented in this book is both frightening and, I think, inescapeable to a very large degree (with the possible exception of the main plot point - the Daemon).

    I believe this is an Important book which should be read by everyone everywhere. Now. Unfortunately, I think it's too late to do anything about this future but you might as well have a look at what we have allowed to be created by the multi-national business community.

    And I'm pretty conservative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    A friend recommended this book to me, and now I'm re-thinking th

    A friend recommended this book to me, and now I'm re-thinking that friendship.  No character development at all. I keep reading how people keep saying this is entirely plausible, and it makes me feel sorry that these people are reproducing....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Great

    Great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Really Good Read

    This book you can't put down its so good

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Excellent book, couldn't put it down. Cannot wait to read Freed

    Excellent book, couldn't put it down. Cannot wait to read Freedom.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 20, 2012

    LOVED this book

    Computer program wrecks real-world havoc! You start out being against the Daemon, but somehow - done so subtly that you dont realize when it happens, you're wanting to join the Darknet. Interesting thinking on how technology affects our lives, the data available to talented programmers, and the corporate-ness of our government.
    I tell ya, I still want to be a part of the Darknet. I've read this book and it's followup - Freedom TM - twice already. Click the buy button, before I click it for you thru the Darknet

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 286 Customer Reviews

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