I recently read both of Daniel Suarez’s novels, Daemon and Freedom (TM). They are what I would call great sci-fi, with a strong emphasis on the science. Warning – minor spoilers appear if you continue reading.
The first book, Daemon, starts with a multi-billionaire (think “the sole creator of World of Warcraft and many other games,” and the fortune this individual would amass) using his wealth to wreak havoc with the authorities and take over corporations across the Internet. The great part is, all of the network exploitation, remote control, and sci-fi technologies in this book, (at least, in my opinion, up to the self-guided motorcycles of doom), exist today. They’re not fiction. The hacks and network techniques described, while not in great detail, are perfectly realistic, and happening all the time. That alone makes the book more compelling.
The second book follows up where the first leaves off. This time, what caught my attention more was the focus on the socio-economic impact of having a supreme artificial intelligence running the show across the Internet rather than the cool, whiz-bang technological hacks. In the second book, the Daemon has evolved to a mega-powerful “darknet,” which goes from an underground black market to much, much more. Suarez injects modern, real-life topics, such as companies patenting life and the unsustainable industry that our agriculture is becoming, with some surprising revelations throughout the book.
Both of the books contain some fairly graphic violence, but are riveting. I thoroughly enjoyed both and highly recommend them to anyone who likes a good action/adventure, sci-fi, or technology hero book.