by Daniel Suarez


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Daniel Suarez’s New York Times bestselling 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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524741891
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Series: Daemon , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 371,079
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Daniel Suarez is the New York Times bestselling author of Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, Influx, and Change Agent. A former systems consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, his high-tech and sci-fi thrillers focus on technology-driven change. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1:// Execution



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 Random House.

All Rights Reserved.

What People are Saying About This

Billy OBrien

"Greatest. Techno-thriller. Period. Suarez presents a fascinating account of autonomous, logic-based terrorism, incorporating current and anticipated technologies to create a credible and quite clever story. Experts have long feared the Internet doomsday scenario; the Daemon is arguably more terrifying."--(Billy O'Brien, Director of Cybersecurity and Communications Policy, The White House)

Customer Reviews

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Daemon 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 309 reviews.
goalie1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Professor_Plum More than 1 year ago
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.

Check out a great interview with Daniel here:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Koda More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
emmi331 More than 1 year ago
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.
JackG058 More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

Harriet Klausner
RobertVelez More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
CJ-Piers More than 1 year ago
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!!
spencerm More than 1 year ago
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.
VJSinNJ 5 months ago
Really enjoyed this hard sci-fi thriller. The technology use was interesting, and characterizations were good. Would highly recommend. The sequel Freedom is also worth the read.
mwolff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent, high octane thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Matthew Sobol, computer game designer created a daemon, a computer program that activates upon his death. A program that takes over many of the world's computer systems, and blackmails highly talented people into helping it achieve its goals. Goals that seem to include world dominion.
boppie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book - a perfect blend of technology, plot, and suspense - I can't wait for the sequel. I was impressed by the restraint the author showed in not swamping the reader in technobabble, especially since the mechanism of the plot hangs on it. Very clever, and really exciting - I was disappointed to get to the end!
jasonwhurley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Easily one of my favorite books of all time. A must read if you're into tech at all.
Queensowntalia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A solid debut novel from Mr. Suarez. This highly suspenseful techno-thriller/dystopian sci fi tale is centered around a genius computer game designer, Matthew Sokol who has passed away. But his legacy is sinister indeed - a computer program, aka a "daemon," so complex it sets up a series of fatal events and ensnares various people in its plans, stating with the dispassion of the program that it is that they will die if they don't cooperate. More than mere terrorism, Sokol's program has designs far beyond what anyone could imagine.The writing's fairly tight, with plenty of action and suspense. You really get a feel for the motivations of some of these people lured into working for the program. The book is tech-heavy, for obvious reasons, but its largely pretty accessible even to those not in the know, like myself (although having a basic working knowledge of computers and gaming may help). Gamers may appreciate it as well: a MMPORG plays a key role in the ongoings, and aspects of gaming culture are highlighted (adding some quite enjoyable moments of levity.)To some degree its a fairly heavy book, in that it explores questions like, "just how secure are we.. really?" and examines the stability of our society as a whole. But it doesnt force you to dwell on the subjects, and there's more than enough intrigue and action to enjoy it purely on those points.
randomaccess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An entertaining read from the computer-takes-over-the-world genre by a first-time author. Some novel ideas. The plot is--not surprisingly--a little rough around the edges, but it would be a good beach read. Short bibliography included.
rjurban on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a detective novel wrapped in lots of geekry.
pescatello on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just read a really good book called Daemon by Daniel Suarez (his first novel) about what someone could do if they had amazing control of the internet, a lot of free time and lots of moneyMatthew Sobol, the best game designer in the world, has died. With his death, a stunning series of events begins to take place, starting with the deaths of a few programmers, and extending to the endangering of the entire world. Very few people can hope to stop his plan.The story is incredibly fast. There are no slow parts. There is lots of plot, lots of detail and many characters. It's similar to a Michael Crichton novel except better. More accurate stories, more realistic, more detailed, more interesting characters.The book is a cross between The Stand and The Matrix, two of the epics of our time. Like The Matrix, technology plays a central role in this story, and like the former, it about what happens to the people who are trying to cope with the world changing all around them.This is not a masterful piece of literature. It's book candy and really tasty.
nutty7688 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good read, ending was predictable
debherter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent fiction (I hope) look at how computer gaming could cross the barrier into the real world, and what the results of that crossover would mean. Good characters and a variety of plot aspects and action intensity make the book one to be highly recommended.
jwhenderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While Daemon was published in 2009 it was a new book and author for me when I read it last November as part of a reading and discussion class on Science Fiction as part of the Basic Program of Liberal Education at The University of Chicago. We had read mostly classic Science Fiction stories and two earlier novels by Arthur C. Clarke and Frank Herbert, so Daniel Suarez was in rarefied company when we turned to his novel as the last work on the syllabus. We were not disappointed for his techno-thriller style of Science Fiction was, in both its imaginative content and suspense, worthy of inclusion with most of the classics. In Daemon, a software tycoon and game designer named Matthew Sobol is dying. Sobol writes a program called the Daemon that scans news sites on the web for stories about his death. When the Daemon detects (via the web) that Sobol has died, it springs into action.All aficionados of speculative fiction should enjoy Daemon, but computer science and high-tech lovers will especially enjoy how plausible some of the ideas are. For example, the Daemon initially stays below the radar of the government by recruiting from within a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), which skews toward a younger demographic and not older FBI agents. The ideas presented build on the current cutting edge of information science and generally seem plausible. As with much speculative fiction there may be a few gaps in the science but the suspense and brilliant action scenes engage the reader and make up for any rough edges. The overall consensus of the class and my own reading judgement was positive and left many of us looking forward to the continuation of the story in Suarez's more recent novel. Freedom.