Kill Decision

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The shocking techno-thriller that cements Daniel Suarez’s status as the heir to Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy—a terrifying, breathtaking, and all-too-plausible vision of the world’s near future.

Unmanned weaponized drones already exist—they’re widely used by America in our war efforts in the Middle East. In Kill Decision, bestselling author Daniel Suarez takes that fact and the real science behind it one step further, with frightening ...

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Kill Decision

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Overview

The shocking techno-thriller that cements Daniel Suarez’s status as the heir to Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy—a terrifying, breathtaking, and all-too-plausible vision of the world’s near future.

Unmanned weaponized drones already exist—they’re widely used by America in our war efforts in the Middle East. In Kill Decision, bestselling author Daniel Suarez takes that fact and the real science behind it one step further, with frightening results.

Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned—and thanks to her research, automated—drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets without human intervention.

Together, McKinney and Odin must slow this advance long enough for the world to recognize its destructive power, because for thousands of years the “kill decision” during battle has remained in the hands of humans—and off-loading that responsibility to machines will bring unintended, possibly irreversible, consequences. But as forces even McKinney and Odin don’t understand begin to gather, and death rains down from above, it may already be too late to save humankind from destruction at the hands of our own technology.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In Iran, an unmanned U.S. Predator drone destroys a Moslem mosque, killing thousands and understandably inflaming the Islamic world. In Africa, an ant colony expert is kidnapped by forces seeking to enlist her in a battle against terrorists. From these two knotty developments, Daniel Suarez (Daemon; Freedom TM) crafts a gripping techno-thriller with cutting-edge science and mounting suspense. Now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
Perfectly blending nail-biting suspense with accessible science, bestseller Suarez (Daemon) establishes himself as a legitimate heir to Michael Crichton with this gripping present-day thriller. The U.S. military is in an uproar after someone used an unmanned Predator drone to destroy a mosque in Iraq during prayers, killing and wounding thousands. Since the drone bore American markings, the Arab world discounts U.S. declarations of innocence. Advances intechnology have allowed such weapons to make “a kill decision without direct human involvement.” Meanwhile, professor Linda McKinney, an ant expert, has managed to tag each member of an ant colony to study the colony’s swarm behavior, but her research in Africa abruptly ends after an attack on her lab. McKinney is rescued by a shadowy figure whose true motives and loyalties are obscure, but who seeks to make use of her findings. Suarez manages to keep the reader genuinely in doubt about which characters will survive, and couples deft plotting with evocative language (e.g., Kinshasa and Brazzaville are “essentially Africa’s liver—circulating the population of the riverine interior through a pitiless Darwinian filter”). Agent: Rafe Sagalyn, Sagalyn Literary. (July)
Library Journal
What happens when the decision to kill in battle can suddenly be shifted from human to machine? America is under attack by drones programmed to seek out and execute targets, and Special Ops soldier Odin is trying to stop the carnage with the help of Linda McKinney, a scientist whose research on ant societies has been preempted by the unknown enemy to run the marauding drones. Techno-thriller author Suarez goes beyond the New York Times best-selling Daemon to get at some big issues.
Kirkus Reviews
In this Crichton-esque thriller, a female scientist specializing in ant intelligence is drawn into a nightmarish plot involving swarming drones launching terrorist strikes on U.S. soil--on their own, not as programmed by humans. To myrmecologist Linda McKinney's dismay, her findings on the social behavior of the murderously territorial weaver ant--Oecophylla longinoda--have become the basis for the technology behind the drones. She is doing field research in Tanzania when her living quarters are bombed and she is abducted--not by the enemy, but by a secret force headed by a rogue special operations soldier called Odin. Her death is faked to protect her from the faceless terrorists and to use her as bait to draw them out. McKinney enters into a frightening limbo existence in which she doesn't know what is happening, where she is or whom to trust. After escaping Odin's group, or thinking she has, she witnesses horrors that convince her he's on the side of good, and she works with him to expose the threat the drones represent. At a time when the military relies increasingly on drone intelligence and firepower in the war on terrorism, this thriller is eerily unsettling, if not quite plausible. Suarez, who established himself as a cyberthriller go-to author with Daemon (2009) and Freedom (2010), feeds his story with just the right amount of techno know-how, taking care not to overwhelm the human dimensions of the story (even if two cyberravens who fly around spying on people are the book's most interesting characters). Those with uneasy feelings about their trackable cellphones will be even more fearful after reading about the uses to which their easily accessible IMEI numbers can be put. A confident thriller that leaves us wondering not whether its fictional premise will one day become reality, but when.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525952619
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/19/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.29 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    It's not Daemon

    While this is a solid techno thriller its not nearly in the same class as Suarez prior books. The topic of the book is up to date and certainly its a scary enough premise to carry a book. Unfortunately I expected much better from the author considering that Daemon is one of my all-time favorite books.

    However if I hadn't had such high expectations I am sure I would have enjoyed the book even more and based on this I still give the book a 4 out of 5 stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    Disappointing considering the high quality of his prior books. S

    Disappointing considering the high quality of his prior books. Seems to be a script for one of today's B action movies.

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    Not nearly as good as his other works. His first two books and h

    Not nearly as good as his other works. His first two books and his latest book read like Michael Crichton on steroids. I love them. This (his third book) is more like a Tom Clancy techno novel. Very much a military thriller with a techno angle to it. Compared to his other books this was very disappointing and boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Ok

    Good concept but not as well written as his prior books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Techno Geek Speak: "It's an iterative computation method de

    Techno Geek Speak: "It's an iterative computation method designed to improve a candidate solution.It's a form of genetic or evolutionary programming. For example, here's a basic ant algorithm for detecting the dges of pheremone trails."

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    A Good Book - not your typical testosterone book

    Kill Decision is an interesting read. I am a technical person, so a number of the technologies mentioned I am aware of. This makes this book a bit eerie, because, in a way it could happen.

    This isn't your pump-up book, but you'll be hooked and the story is engaging and because of the realistic technology will keep you thinking long after the story ends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    meh

    Interesting pats on unmanned drones gone bad, but no real character development of the 100 plus characters that periodically appear. And the trained ravens get a bit tiresome as well as unbelievable. Not a first class read.

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  • Posted August 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book was a real slog for me. Military acronyms alone do not

    This book was a real slog for me. Military acronyms alone do not make it hard to read, but along with the science education going on, added to multiple characters being introduced at a rapid clip, this novel's plot wobbles through with all of the personality of a computer chip. My suggestion? Kill the novel, leave the drones. (really kidding there!)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Suarez does it again!

    This book is a gripping techno thriller! Daniel Suarez is a brilliant author combing the what-if with the now! Must read! Also read Daemon and Freedom(tm)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    If you want a great read look no further

    Daniel knocks it out if the park again! This is a 5 star thiller that is fast paced and relavant. I just read on flipboard that Germany is publicly advocatiing the use of autonomous drones for its defense.

    In my opinion, yes you can call me a fan boy, I think the other two reviews that gave him 4 out of 5 stars where comparing this to his first book not against other authors. It is a 5 out of 5 and there are no other authors out there writting in his genre, I know because I have been scouring the net looking for them to hold me over until Daniels next book came out. While Dean Koontz and Robin Cook are two of my favorites, I've read all of their books, Daniel Suarez has taken there place as my favorite author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Third best

    If you enjoyed the Daemon books, you'll like this book too. Although it's not as captivating, Kill Decision has a focussed plot and exciting scenes. There are enough interesting ideas and technologies to stimulate your imagination, but the author definitely could have spent more time elaborating those ideas and less time describing action sequences. Overall it's totally worth the time and money.

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    Posted February 20, 2013

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    Posted March 27, 2014

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    Posted August 30, 2012

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    Posted May 28, 2014

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    Posted June 7, 2013

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    Posted November 7, 2013

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    Posted February 8, 2013

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    Posted March 9, 2014

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    Posted May 19, 2014

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