DaemonDaemon (Daemon, #1) by Daniel Suarez
on January 8th 2009
Pages: 432
My Rating: five-stars

Technology controls almost everything in our modern-day world, from remote entry on our cars to access to our homes, from the flight controls of our airplanes to the movements of the entire world economy. Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.
Matthew Sobol was a legendary computer game designer—the architect behind half-a-dozen popular online games. His premature death depressed both gamers and his company's stock price. But Sobol's fans aren't the only ones to note his passing. When his obituary is posted online, a previously dormant daemon activates, initiating a chain of events intended to unravel the fabric of our hyper-efficient, interconnected world. With Sobol's secrets buried along with him, and as new layers of his daemon are unleashed at every turn, it's up to an unlikely alliance to decipher his intricate plans and wrest the world from the grasp of a nameless, faceless enemy—or learn to live in a society in which we are no longer in control. . . .
Computer technology expert Daniel Suarez blends haunting high-tech realism with gripping suspense in an authentic, complex thriller in the tradition of Michael Crichton, Neal Stephenson, and William Gibson.

I started this book about six times and each time put it down. It’s not that I was dis-interested in the book or it was bad, but I really wanted to enjoy it and have the brain space to dedicate to enjoying the book.

Now that I’ve finished it I’m glad I waited until I could focus on it!

I enjoy the type of thrillers and after getting a footing in the world after the main characters were introduced I really enjoyed how the multiple plot lines unfolded then intertwined.

** Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned **

I enjoy sci-fi for its visions of the future, of “what could be”, even if those visions aren’t pretty. Daemon takes very recent and future possible tech and uses it to weave it’s story. A friend called it “WOW in the real world” and it felt like it. The book came out in 2009 and some of the tech that would have seemed like a moon-shot back then now seems almost inevitable only eight years later. Specifically, the armada of self-driving cars that is used by the Daeomon to attack the government compound and protect Brian Gragg at the end of the book is probably possible today.

What doesn’t seem possible today is character Jon Ross’s ability to stay anonymous and hide his identity from government agencies.

This was book number 42 of 52 for 2017.

Change Agent

Change AgentChange Agent by Daniel Suarez
Published by Dutton Books on April 18th 2017
Pages: 416
My Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Daniel Suarez delivers an exhilarating sci-fi thriller exploring a potential future where CRISPR genetic editing allows the human species to control evolution itself.

On a crowded train platform, Interpol agent Kenneth Durand feels the sting of a needle— and his transformation begins. . . .    In 2045 Kenneth Durand leads Interpol’s most effective team against genetic crime, hunting down black market labs that perform "vanity edits" on human embryos for a price. These illegal procedures augment embryos in ways that are rapidly accelerating human evolution—preying on human-trafficking victims to experiment and advance their technology.   With the worlds of genetic crime and human trafficking converging, Durand and his fellow Interpol agents discover that one figure looms behind it all: Marcus Demang Wyckes, leader of a powerful and sophisticated cartel known as the Huli jing.   But the Huli jing have identified Durand, too. After being forcibly dosed with a radical new change agent, Durand wakes from a coma weeks later to find he’s been genetically transformed into someone else—his most wanted suspect: Wyckes.   Now a fugitive, pursued through the genetic underworld by his former colleagues and the police, Durand is determined to restore his original DNA by locating the source of the mysterious—and highly valuable—change agent. But Durand hasn’t anticipated just how difficult locating his enemy will be. With the technology to genetically edit the living, Wyckes and his Huli jing could be anyone and everyone—and they have plans to undermine identity itself.

I really enjoyed the first Suarez book I read (Kill Decision) so was excited when I saw this was published.

This book takes from the same playbook in that it is a near-future thriller where the author takes a current technology and extrapolates a possible future. The result is a fun ride through a tech fun house. This book tickles my tech taste bud, but also heaps on a helping of international locations as the main character is based in Singapore and travels through Southeast Asia.

This is a fun book read or something to listen to while doing house chores.

**Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned**

I hadn’t heard of CRISPR technology, but did some research on it after reading the book. I found a few articles and a TED talk about it. It looks cool, but boy howdy will it spur some heavy debate because of what it does. As with most technologies the application of the tool is more important than the tool itself. This tech could be used to make food that feeds a growing population, or, as in the book, as a camouflage technique for an international criminal syndicate. Who knows.

This was book number 29 of 52 for 2017.