(this is a review of the audiobook)
Considering that this book was originally published (self-published) back in 2006, it feels very futuristic as if events described in the novel may occur within our real world in the next few years.
The main plot involves a billionaire computer guru, Matthew Sobol, who dies from a terminable disease and unleashes a malevolent artificial intelligence (the daemon) that begins to infiltrate various corporations, government agencies, and military organizations. It takes over these entities via its own programming, coercion, or utilizing personnel within those organizations.
As the plot moves along, it switches to different perspectives such as those who are trying to stop the daemon and those who are assisting the daemon. Detective Peter Sebeck and a military operative, Merritt, are among those attempting to shut the daemon down, while a young programming guru, Gragg, and and a convict, Mosley, are those that work for the daemon for various promised rewards or prestige. There are other side characters, but those I’ve mentioned are the most prominent and the most interesting; the ones that truly drive the story.
The author is obviously very knowledgeable of the tech industry as his descriptions of programming and IT related details are greatly detailed and provide a high plausibility to the story; but not overwhelmingly so.
The few quibbles I have with the overall plot is the cliche billionaire tech genius who goes mad and decides that he needs to force his own ideals upon the world (in the form of Sobol). It’s too easy to have the billionaire character drive the entire reason for a story’s plot (think Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark in the Marvel Universe) and too contrived. Additionally, one of the main targets of Sobol seems to be rather silly.
The finale of this book (it’s book 1 of 2) was quite action packed and exciting; but with a few overly dramatic moments.
The narrator is quite talented being able to voice a wide variety of characters and accents.
Overall, if you like high tech and the threat of artificial intelligence overtaking the world, this would be a great listen.