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Daemon #2


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The propulsive, shockingly plausible sequel to New York Times bestseller Daemon, the "Greatest. Techno-thriller. Period."*
*William O'Brien, former director of cybersecurity and communications systems policy at the White House

2009 saw one of the most inventive techno-thriller debuts in decades as Daniel Suarez introduced his terrifying and tantalizing vision of a new world order. Daemon captured the attention of the tech community, became a national bestseller, garnered attention from futurists, literary critics, and the halls of government-leaving readers clamoring for the conclusion to Suarez's epic story.

In the opening chapters of Freedom™, the Daemon is well on its way toward firm control of the modern world, using an expanded network of real-world, dispossessed darknet operatives to tear apart civilization and rebuild it anew. Civil war breaks out in the American Midwest, with the mainstream media stoking public fear in the face of this "Corn Rebellion." Former detective Pete Sebeck, now the Daemon's most famous and most reluctant operative, must lead a small band of enlightened humans in a populist movement designed to protect the new world order.

But the private armies of global business are preparing to crush the Daemon once and for all. In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing government control, and a new choice between free will and the continuing comforts of ignorance, the stakes could not be higher: hanging in the balance is nothing less than democracy's last hope to survive the technology revolution.

406 pages, Hardcover

First published January 7, 2010

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About the author

Daniel Suarez

14 books4,051 followers
DANIEL SUAREZ is the author of the New York Times bestseller Daemon, Freedom™, Kill Decision, and Influx. A former systems consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, he has designed and developed mission-critical software for the defense, finance, and entertainment industries. With a lifelong interest in both IT systems and creative writing, his high-tech and Sci-Fi thrillers focus on technology-driven change. Suarez is a past speaker at TED Global, MIT Media Lab, NASA Ames, the Long Now Foundation, and the headquarters of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon -- among many others. Self-taught in software development, he is a graduate from University of Delaware with a BA in English Literature. An avid PC and console gamer, his own world-building skills were bolstered through years as a pen & paper role-playing game moderator. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,548 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
763 reviews3,493 followers
October 16, 2022
New world order by AI control takeover owning the bigotry, decadence, complete lobby control, and lunacy of modern Western societies.

Is this superintelligence still evil or not?
So what to do if an alien, mutant, or just natural übergenius has created an AI so sophisticated that secretly took over all thinkable aspects of technology? Better not try to start a war with a bodiless entity present in million places at the same time, data centers, companies, governments, and not so secret any more military digital warfare centers.

A tiny apocalypse for a good cause
And then everything is so marvelously escalating, a total . That´s possibly one of the creepiest aspects of such a scenario, that the AI wouldn´t just attack some centers with some physical bombs, but that it would infiltrate everything over years before a devastating first strike, opening the options of destroying whatever is necessary to show weak, soft, blood filled meatbags who is boss and Chuck Norris everything out of humankind.

Because the AI has very good reasons to do so
The contrast between the evil, sadistic, power hungry, inhumane, etc. mercenaries of the corpocracy controlling any aspect of the fictional, and real, world, and the good futuristic rebel utopists who want to save nature and bring dignity and fulfilling living conditions to an enslaved humankind, couldn´t be bigger. There is a great antagonist dissing any CEO as if they were servants as a metaphor for the power of their secret black operation branch too. I would call this novel closer to reality than to fiction, except for the Terminator style AI as a good one, of course. In real life, it would be a military extermination AI or an online stock trading corporate AI or a religious megalomaniac faith AI or something similarly stupid and completely uncontrollable by its masters and created to kill enemies, control the financial markets, or brainwash or kill infidels, troublemakers, and finetune holy wars.

Try utopia, post scarcity, and eco social paradise instead
In the novel, its agenda is even positive, because everything stopping the madness and destructive self cannibalizing power of the current systems is better than continuing it for centuries. And when humans are too stupid, lazy, and greedy to make a quick, sustainable change towards a fairer, Nordic model democracy, their successor human made intelligence will have to do it.

On the shoulders of giants
Suarez creates such a quick, dense, multi perspective, Hollywood blockbuster action quick cuts cliffhanger sudden surprise twist masterpiece, and is deep and critical at the same time, that I would name him in a row with Orwell and Huxley, not just Verne and other sci-fi titans, because their visions were and became real just as his will. Big history classes in friendly, open, and fair future societies will read this and be disgusted by what we did to each other and all of nature´s forever gone treasures, because not all will be resurrectable with genetic engineering.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Molly.
41 reviews176 followers
August 16, 2010
I have to say, I was a little disappointed in this book compared to "Daemon." It seemed a bit off the rails, very preachy, and without a central character to latch onto. Plus, the level of violence and gore was WAY over the top. I think the central messages are valid, super interesting, and high-level scary, but I'm not sure he gets them across as well as he could have. Kind of like burying an important social message inside Grand Theft Auto. You can do it, but most people are just laughing and running down hookers.
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,740 followers
March 25, 2010
After reading this book, I feel like I should put on a kilt, paint my face blue and stand in front of the corporate headquarters where I work. Then, waving my laptop over my head and doing my best Mel Gibson impersonation (without the anti-Semitism), I’ll shout, “You may take away our financial independence, our self-supporting communities and our personal privacy, but you’ll never take our FREEDOM!”

Too much?

Moving on…. This is a techno-thriller, but like the previous book Daemon, it’s a pretty damn ambitious techno-thriller. Daemon set the stage and now Freedom ™ delivers the goods.

Previously, a very wealthy computer guru known for the intricate games he devised named Matthew Sobol had died of cancer. But he left behind the Daemon, a computer program that works as a blueprint and recruiting tool for an economic and political revolution. Sobol was convinced that worldwide corporate corruption had reached a point where people were in danger of being nothing but puppets forever.

By using the Daemon to seize the high ground on the internet, Sobol posthumously declared war on the existing forms of politics and finance. The Daemon also uses a virtual version of the Internet called the darknet to hook it’s operatives into a web overlay of the real world via HUD glasses and other biometric interfaces.

After deliberately escalating the existing economic crisis, the Daemon uses the rules of on-line gaming and internet social media to begin creating a new society and economic model. And it uses high tech weaponry and willing operatives to defend the fledging darknet communities.

A corporate shadow government doesn’t just want to destroy the Daemon and the darknet operatives, it wants to use the crisis the Daemon has created as an excuse to expand their power and influence to the point where traditional governments will be completely toothless. They use the mass media outlets to spin the story that the darknet communities are terrorists and using that as an excuse, unleash Blackwater-style private armies.

The plot could come across as B-movie-ish, but Suarez manages to make even the more outlandish stuff sound reasonable, and he makes a lot of intriguing points about the current economic structure in areas like corporate farming.

One of the cooler ideas is that on-line gaming rules and rating systems could be the basis for a new society. It’s sounds crazy, but Suarez makes an interesting argument that it could work. What if every person you dealt with had a visible ratings score based on their interactions with other people? Or if enough people instantly voted on a project being important, the group resources were allocated accordingly?

And I like that Suarez doesn’t paint this as an instant utopia. The Daemon is definitely breaking a whole lot of eggs to make this omelet and some of it’s operatives are in danger of gaining far too much power, even within the rules of the system.

A lively read with plenty of action and enough big ideas to make you think, I enjoyed this quite a bit. For anyone interested, I’d definitely read Daemon first.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,909 followers
February 9, 2017
Nearly as amazing as the first book in the Duology, Daemon, it leads us right into the middle of an ideological breakdown or a breakthrough, with hoards of Daemon followers playing their lives as if it was all a huge game. And indeed, the way our economics and military and politics is run, it is just that.

So what happens when a game AI successfully outplays our gloriously flawed human nature all in the desire to prevent a total breakdown of our society, as all societies have broken down when our reach outstrips our grasp?

Why, the old-guard, the rich, the staunch governmentalists, and the old idealists band together to take down, impossibly, the background program that had transformed the world. With devastating effect. Civil Wars, corn rebellions, tent cities, and absolute fear of the internet dominates this book.

Oh yeah, and high level wizards (techno-kind) roam the world, having risen high in wealth and real power thanks to the Daemon, and they are truly awesome and rather scary. Sound like a game? Well, it is! But this system of rewards is all in real wealth, real influence, and really awesome tech.

Who do I root for? *waves his wand around*

I won't tell you.

The fact is, this is still very much a techno-thriller to its core, but beyond that, it's super-ambitious and it's also a rather enormous SF undertaking in its own right, from the ideas, the social reform, or from the deeper implications of what it means to be human and so flawed as to have one stupid distributed program be able to outthink us, surprisingly so because it doesn't even have real intelligence!

It's just programmed to manipulate us all really, really well. And I can't say I disagree with it's core purpose, either.

But then, I must quote Robert A Heinlein, "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."


Great book, great conclusion, and I don't even mind the soapbox that the author stood upon. SF is really all about ideas, but this one's a great story, too.
Profile Image for Vignesh Ashok Kumar.
69 reviews17 followers
October 27, 2018
Rating - 7/10(Good) - Deliver us from Daemon....or not

This novel is a sequel to Daemon, so you have to probably read that first. Before reading this review, do check out my review of Daemon .

The first novel was definitely one of the best techno thrillers I have ever read and experienced. It had all the traits that a techno-thriller has. There were plethora of things that I learned. With that much excitement I had while reading the first novel, I started the second novel and I would say it was a total disappointment even though it was entertaining at times.

While the first novel concentrated on the gory and so dark side of the Daemon, the second novel was completely contrary ie., it focused on Daemon being a good Samaritan. I was completely flabbergasted and taken aback by how the author completely flipped the script. It got me interested while I sensed that it was heading in that direction. But while I was reading, there were many things that didn't stick right. There were many time jumps which was a real pain and got me boring at times. The story didn't do justice for the main characters and it just invented many side characters who were totally monotonous. It felt like the scenes depicted were a cut and paste from various parts of the first novel at times. The pacing of the story was getting worse by every chapter: there were some chapters that made me dreary. The ending became more anti-climatic with no strong note and was flat.

While the novel suffered from the above mentioned, it found more strength in the last part of the novel (except the ending) - the way the events branched were a thrilling roller coaster ride. There were more speculative technical ideas and the themes that were focused in this novel was mind blowing. The focus on the Virtual Reality and fantasy elements were more interesting and a delight.

Overall, I would say this novel is an entertaining popcorn flick which could have made a real good addition to the duology if it wasn't for the downs mentioned above. :(
Profile Image for Chris.
432 reviews5 followers
March 4, 2011
Daemon was so dark and depressing that I seriously considered skipping the sequel, but I'm glad I didn't.

The biggest problem is that, for the book to be possible, the brilliant and insane Matthew Sobol must be a revolutionary genius in all the following areas: AI, game design, law/politics, economics, sociology, green technologies (with self-evidently brilliant priorities nobody has ever before raised), military planning, language (machine recognition, although he also designs at least one, like Tolkein!), application of technology (weapons, communications, fMRI, etc.), magic, precognition (he programs the Daemon to trigger on several events, but they are defined before his death). That part tips it over into fantasy -- if you were better at everything than anybody ever born, why then yes, you could change the world.

Ironically, although Daemon was so dark & perverse and Freedom isn't, Freedom is actually more depressing in a way, as Daemon shows us that in an absurd scenario, things can go to hell. On the other hand,
Profile Image for Midwest Geek.
306 reviews41 followers
July 16, 2017
I listened to the audio version. When I finished Daemon, I was somewhat dissatisfied with the conclusion, as reflected in my review. I subsequently learned that Mr. Suarez could not find a publisher for Daemon, so published it himself, and it became an internet sensation. I feel that Freedom was better than Daemon, less repetitive and even more relevant to the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath, including the response of the Obama administration. The story moves along quickly toward a satisfying resolution, although the question Sobel posed near the end isn't really one that needs to be answered "yes" or "no." The writing is excellent, although the author seems less comfortable handling romantic situations and conversations than when describing technology or creating action scenes.

The narration is outstanding, and having a woman reading the headlines is a bonus. I felt the length was better matched to the subject matter than in Daemon, which seemed a bit too drawn out. I noticed that, in written form, Freedom was only 50 pages shorter than Daemon, a difference of a bit more than 10%, yet the audible version was more than 4 hours shorter, about 25% less. I didn't investigate why that is; probably the result of a different typesetting in print form.
Profile Image for Tom Merritt.
Author 37 books1,764 followers
January 13, 2010
I was skeptical that Suarez could recapture the utter immersion and fascinating construction of Daemon, but he did. I think one of the main ways he did so, was turning from an emphasis on technology to an emphasis on the socio-political themes that began to emerge in Daemon.

In the tradition of Brave New World and 1984, Freedom(TM) serves as a warning by exaggeration. It's not that the events and revelations of Freedom(TM) are accurate or even prescient, it's that the elements that could cause them to happen all exist right now.

The confluence of events that could make the world just like the one in Freedom(TM) are certainly unlikely, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't pay attention to the warning.
Profile Image for Nimrod Daniel.
143 reviews257 followers
June 23, 2021
I wrote a review but Goodreads had a problem and it didn't save the edit, so I'll just write my thought .

The thought that springs to mind after finishing Blood and Iron is disappointment. Daemon is a techno-thriller Masterpiece so I had VERY high expectations from Freedom, but unfortunately Freedom didn't meet them.
It's not a bad book, but it doesn't even come close to Daemon quality-wise.

The focus in Freedom is different than Daemon, and that shift was not even well-executed.
The plot is not cohesive and it's a shame that it could have gone in a really smart directions. Most of the characters feel quite flat and not very compelling in contrast to Daemon in which many characters really shined. It could have been so much better, so much potential was wasted.

The first half was quite good on its own merit, but the next ~30% was quite boring and the plot didn't really go anywhere.
The last ~20 was slightly better, the plot moved in a quite similar direction to what I was expecting from the get go, but its execution was lacking and it was just too little too late.

First half - 4/5
50-80% - 3-3.5/5
Last part (¬20%) - 3.75-4/5

It's a good techno-thriller on its own merit, but fails to deliver a good sequel to Daemon. It ties some loose ends, but not necessary imo
Profile Image for Maćkowy .
284 reviews67 followers
December 30, 2019
Ludzie kontra system.

Wolność zaczyna się w miejscu, gdzie Demon się skończył. Poznajemy dalsze losy znanych z pierwszej części bohaterów, jest rozwinięcie idei darknetu i więcej filozofowania na temat walki nowego porządku ze starym, za to (trochę) mniej krwi.
Surazez fajnie pokazuje proces tworzenia się mitów, budowy świadomości społecznej i itp. Do tego książka nadal pozostaje fajnym, krwistym thrillerem, tylko trochę bardziej przegadanym. Jeśli pierwsza część wam się podobała to dójka jest obowiązkowa.
71 reviews4 followers
January 29, 2010
Where to begin?

Well, let's go with characters. The characters are cardboard cut-outs, who speak almost entirely in either cliches, or chunks of exposition that frequently confers data that every character involved in the conversation already knows and furthermore, the reader knows as well.

The book's plot takes several skips forward in time. Part 2: Eight Months Later! etc. Those blank spaces of time is where any character growth--changes in allegiances or beliefs or feelings at one another, all that human development stuff--takes place.

The central titular theme is supposed to be the proving that the enlightened society ("the darknet") that "the daemon" (the magical botnet that Sobol programmed to handle every contingency possible ever all in a couple years before getting done in by brain cancer) is creating. Will the people have freedom(tm)? Or will the daemon rule them with an iron digital fist?

Only there's just a single darknet fellow who's against Freedom(tm). That'd be Loki Stormbringer, an ex-rave organizer/hacker who became one of the daemon's highest-level operatives. He commands a fleet of robot cars and motorcycles with scythe blades, kinetic-kill dart delivery weather balloons, has personal laser weaponry, etc. He's supposed to be a dangerous psychopath, but in this case it means he's a cardboard cutout with "dangerous psychopath" printed on it in big block letters in crayon. Every single other darknet character the reader will encounter at any time hates Loki and all he stands for. So the quest to justify freedom is pretty much predetermined, which is one of the many unintentionally funny things going on.

Things get progressively sillier. The token badguy darknet gets maimed, but his pet AI Nazi program he set free (I don't know, man, I just read these things), Herr Oberstleutenant I'llBeVillainInTheThirdBook or something like that somehow results in him getting bionic implants. The real bad guys try to use a code exploit in the daemon to use it for their own purposes, but of course it was programmed for exactly the way they used it, the security flaw was a trojan horse and it dramatically turns the tables on them. Loki's reign of terror is brought to an end by a good AI program based on an FBI guy the darknet turned into a folk hero, some other things happen, the aforementioned AI Nazi program gives "The Major" (the frontman for the International Bankers, more or less) his comeuppance in an epilogue, and the only thing missing is a big THE END??? on the final page.

It's not a good book. I may have been a little subtle about that. But it's that species of bad that manages the trick of wrapping right around and becoming a sort of twisted awesome, in a way that had me laughing out loud at multiple points from how inept moment after moment was.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,004 reviews2,596 followers
October 8, 2012
I'd thought the first book was dark, but wow, Freedom (TM) takes it even further. Anyway, high marks on the story, but downgraded to 3 stars because I can't say it was the satisfactory conclusion I expected. I mentioned in the review of Daemon that in the second half of the book everything seemed to wind down, and I had hoped Freedom (TM) would rekindle it again.

It didn't play out that way, unfortunately. Mainly, it was because I felt many of the characters we met in the first book were relegated to the background in Freedom (TM). for example, characters like Ross disappear for long stretches at a time while new ones I didn't really care for were introduced. Natalie Philips, pretty much the only female character in these books, also felt completely useless and wasted. Even the presence of Matthew Sobol appears to have diminished, and it was the all powerfulness of his Daemon in the first book that made it such a thrilling read in the first place.

What this sacrifice bought, however, was a more in depth look at the Darknet and in the lives of people living in these semi-cyber reality societies that we only got a glimpse of in the first book. The concept is kinda cool, actually -- sort of like living in an online game come to life.

Speaking of which, the science and technology has also been dialed up big time. Despite the sci-fi nature of these two books, I find it very interesting how half of the reviews I've read talk about the plausibility of such a scenario, while the other half find it too farfetched and unrealistic. Admittedly, I fall into the latter group, but then again I'm no software designer or network systems expert. I suppose it all comes down to the reader, and his or her interests and knowledge in the novel's topics.

If there's one big gripe I have about this book, it's that at times it could get very "preachy". I find this often happens with books involving groups of people trying to reconstruct civilization and build their own utopian societies. The author invests so much into describing the mission and trying to convince the reader, when really, I'm more interested in these ideas being shown rather than pounded in my face. In my opinion the time could also have been better spent, say, maybe developing the characters involving them more in the plot?

In any case, these two books constituted a very unique techno thriller, well worth the read.
1 review1 follower
April 27, 2010
I enjoyed Daemon a lot and was excited to jump right into Freedom (tm). However, I confess that I was a little disappointed.

What I really liked was the moral quandary aspect (I don't want to be too spoilery, so I'll stop there). Also, the virtual environment as everyday social fabric was nifty. Especially the contrast between the folks who treated this new world like they were actually IN a videogame, with all the magic and gods imagery that often brings, and the "regular" people who didn't fuss with the pomp and circumstance of it all.

I'll admit that some of the tech elements were on the extreme side, but I don't mind nearish-future tech making its way into my contemporary fiction as long as it's cool.

What I didn't like...gosh, there was a lot. It was WAY to preachy. Much too much time was spent telling us what was wrong with society in long monologues rather than letting character actions and events get us there. I really wish I'd been able to see more of the Unnamed One's quest and I really wanted to know more about Loki and the cult of Roy Merritt. Also, the action sequences kept teasing me with hints of what they could have been.

My fix? Let the characters and the action take center stage and let the message sneak up on the reader in the background.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
533 reviews3 followers
January 20, 2010
Tough rating, probably deserves 2.5 stars.

This is the sequel to Daemon, which I recall enjoying a good bit. Daemon was pretty popular among computer programmers for its (according to the description here at goodreads) "shockingly plausible" premise. It's a techno-thriller without the techno-babble.

Freedom is, I think, meant to be in the same mold, although I'm not sure what an encrypted IP beacon is. That is to say, the techno gets a little more babbly.

I did love the premise. In Daemon, an out of control computer program tries to take over the world. It's the enemy. In Freedom, things are a little more complicated.

Still, lots of the issues feel half-baked. It's great to imagine a utopia of hyper-local communities, but where are the ones outside of Iowa going to get their food? How's it going to work with cities?

Also, there's only one female character and she's pretty much a passive observer.

So it gets rounded down to two stars. Disappointing given my memory of Daemon.
Profile Image for Dale.
1,716 reviews59 followers
December 27, 2012
Sci-fi at its best - full of meaty themes - a great book for serious discussion as well as being a thrill ride.

At its best sci-fi becomes a forum for more than whiz bang technology - it becomes a forum for discussion about philosophy. The best episodes of The Twilight Zone did this. Star Wars becomes a stage to discuss the nature of good and evil and if an evil person can be redeemed. Star Trek becomes a lesson in the strength that can be possible in diversity and the power of friendship over all else.

What does the Daemon/Freedom series bring to the table? Well, Daemon is the whiz bang introduction to the series that finally matures in Freedom . The computer Daemon program introduced in the first book is re-creating society throughout Freedom . Themes explored include "Is Freedom economic as well as political?" and "Can there be real freedom when so much of the economy is controlled by multi-national corporations?" Throw in a lot of action and lots of "skin of your teeth" moments and you have something special.

In Freedom we learn...

Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2010/...

Read my review of Daemon at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2011/...
Profile Image for Michael.
836 reviews613 followers
December 14, 2015
After completed the second book in the Daemon series, I really hope there will be a third. This is a complete nerdfest; much like the first. It mixed elements of MMORPG’s in with the standard Thriller genre to make an exciting and action packed Techno-Thriller. Once again the Daemon has still got control of the world; but is this a good thing or a bad thing. Taking away the power of the few and giving it to the masses; will this lead to civil unrest or total war. All the holes in the first book seem to make sense now that I’ve read Freedom TM, I don't think it was as strong of book than the first; but they go hand in hand.
133 reviews11 followers
Shelved as 'to-read-5-planning-on-it'
December 23, 2009
Gizmodo: "Daniel Suarez has earned not one, but two spots in our reading room. These techno-thrillers not only use every bit of jargon from the hacker’s cookbook, and a fair amount of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson to boot, they also feature deadly autonomous motorcycles with spinning katanas instead of handlebars. A worst-case-scenario tale of computer takeover, Daemon was one of the most talked about high-tech thrillers in recent times, but it ended with a cliffhanger. Thankfully, its sequel, Freedom, is just hitting stores."
Profile Image for reherrma.
1,645 reviews26 followers
November 14, 2020
"Darknet", der 2. Teil des Daemon-Zyklus setzt unmittelbar an "Daemon" an. Man erhält mehr und mehr Innensicht in das namensgebende "Darknet“, während die Protagonisten ums nackte Überleben kämpfen, da die Söldnerhorden der Finanzindustrie zwischenzeitlich mit allen verfügbaren Ressourcen gegen den Daemon anrücken. Auch dieses Buch ist wieder ein Pageturner mit außerordentlicher Qualität. Es wird hier eine völlig neue Weltordnung entworfen, sozusagen die nächste evolutionäre Stufe der Zivilisation und das mit einer unglaublichen analytischen Weitsicht. Die Geschichte ist äußerst wirklichkeitsnah und beängstigend. Im ersten Teil ging es noch vorrangig um die "Technologie" hinter dem DAEMON, im zweiten Teil liegt der Fokus noch mehr auf dem, was der DAEMON mit unserer Gesellschaft macht. Sobol, der dämonische Geist im Netz dringt immer tiefer in unsere Lebenswelt ein, er übernimmt die komplette Deutungshoheit über die Realität, treibt die USA in den Abgrund und übernimmt quasi die Weltherrschaft. Und weil alles mit allem vernetzt ist, nichts mehr an einem zentralen Ort fassbar, ist der Daemon auch nicht zu kontrollieren. Wie eine Krebszelle im Körper breitet er sich in alle Bereiche des Lebens aus. Unaufhaltsam. Frei von jeder Moral. Diese Geschichte ist eine geniale Metapher auf unsere von Medien und globalen Konzernen gelenkte Gesellschaft. Wir glauben an Zahlen und an die virtuelle Realität unserer Computer. Im Gegensatz zu einer Simulation, wie in "Matrix", weiß die dummgehaltene Bevölkerung nicht, dass die Computer ihnen eine "verarbeitete" Realität liefern, nehmen aber an, dass diese Realität etwas mit der Wirklichkeit zu tun hat. Der Inhalt des Romans umspannt einen Zeitraum von einem halben Jahr. Ebenso wie im Vorgänger wird die Geschichte von wechselnden Protagonisten (bzw. Antagonisten) in der dritten Person erzählt. Die Sprache ist technisch gehalten, dabei aber stets unverschnörkelt und schlicht. Allerdings konnte die Magie des ersten Bandes nicht mehr erreicht werden, das liegt aber nicht an der Qualität des Romans, eher daran, dass man im Vorgängerband bereits genügend geflasht wurde, so dass man noch schwerlich etwas draufsetzen konnte. Dennoch ist auch dieser KI-Roman ein typischer Suarez, spannend, visionär und nervenzerfetzend bis zum Schluss...
Übrigenz sollte man "Daemon", den Vorgängerroman zuerst lesen, um alle Feinheiten zu verstehen.
Profile Image for Adam.
168 reviews37 followers
November 4, 2018
Review of the audiobook narrated by Jeff Gurner.

I read Daemon in 2014 and loved it so much that I immediately followed up by starting Freedom, but was never grabbed by it and as a result it had been sitting at DNF 39% for four years. I was hoping that restarting the book, this time in audiobook format, would bring me back to what I loved so much about the first book. That was not the case, as I ended up with much the same impression as I was left with when abandoning the book four years ago.

There are aspects of this book that I love, such as the technology and Suarez's ideas about its effect on society. The problem is that the characters and plot that drive these interesting concepts are not themselves interesting. There are no primary characters to connect or identify with. Instead, all of the POV characters feel like secondary characters. The action sequences are far too frenetic to be exciting in any way. They're more like a big budget action movie with lots of explosions and not much depth.

Jeff Gurner is excellent at giving each of the different characters distinct voices. In the end though I thought it was just a good performance, although that could be in part due to my lack of enjoyment for the story.

Final verdict: 3 star story, 4 star narration, 3 stars overall
Profile Image for Gernot1610.
208 reviews2 followers
July 10, 2022
Viel besser wie Teil 1, aber Killermotorräder und -Autos sind einfach Bockmist, daher nur 3*
Profile Image for #ReadAllTheBooks.
1,217 reviews82 followers
November 26, 2010
I'll give you a bit of a warning right now. I'm going to discuss a bit of the plot of `Daemon'. If you haven't read that book, then you may want to hesitate before reading this review. If you simply want to know whether I enjoyed this book & if you should purchase this, then the answer is yes. I loved this book & you absolutely have to buy it. However I will warn you- the very basic outline of `Freedom (tm)' will give spoilers on the ending of `Daemon'. You've been warned, so on with the review.

In `Daemon', we were introduced to genius computer mogul Matthew Sobol or rather, to his computer generated avatar. We learned that he had unleashed a computer creation that threatened to overthrow society. A few select individuals knew about this, some of them working for the daemon, some against it. Some of those individuals were wrongly accused of creating the daemon, with one of them- Pete Sebeck, being executed for it. Now we get to learn exactly what Sobol's long term plans were as Sebeck (resuscitated at the end of `Daemon') is commanded to do a seemingly impossible task: to justify the freedom of humanity or risk being under the control of the daemon forever.

Meanwhile the hyper intelligent hacker Gragg (now known as Loki Stormbringer) is on a hunt for the Major. Even as he continues his hunt, he alienates himself from the rest of the darknet community & runs the risk of doing the daemon project more harm than good. The roguish Jon Ross is still on the run & his would be paramour Natalie Phillips is torn between joining him or staying with her government... even as it begins to fall around her.

I absolutely loved this book on two different levels. On one level you have the sheer enjoyment of a techno/sci-fi thriller. You can't beat the energy in this book- it's incredibly fun to read. On the other level, you have a story with a hidden allegory. It makes you question whether change would show up as good or bad. At one point of the book, a character equates the daemon's change with the settlers inhabiting the United States, saying that at the time, the change was not good for everyone but turned into something big.

The narrative continues to jump from person to person, which at times made me a little frustrated because I wanted to stay with one specific person to see where they were going. I'll admit it- I had favorites amongst the characters, (mostly Sebeck & the sociopathic Loki) which is pretty much the only reason I'd gripe about the shift in perspectives. People who complained about the unrealistic technology in the first book should be warned that it doesn't change in this volume. (Hence the reason I use the term "sci-fi" when describing what type of book this is.) You see more of it in this book, with new add-ons that I won't describe here, mostly for spoiler reasons.

I read through this book pretty quickly during the Thanksgiving break, mostly because after the cliffhanger in the previous book, I just REALLY wanted to know what happened next. I will admit that while I enjoyed this book immensely, the ending was a little weak. There is the potential for another book if Suarez wants to write one, although if not, there's enough of an ending to satisfy me. If he does write one, I can say that I will read it. I really liked the imagery as well as the implications of several key characters at the end of the book. (I can't go into detail, but it's safe to say that they ended up as larger than life characters.)

Fans of the previous book will enjoy this book. If you didn't like it, then you may want to skip it- it's more of the same. And if you haven't read the previous book then I recommend skipping this book until you've finished `Daemon'- otherwise you will be terribly lost plot-wise.
119 reviews13 followers
May 18, 2011
"Freedom (TM)" is a beautiful and awe-inspiring sequel to Daniel Suarez highly successful "Daemon". Having laid all the groundwork in "Daemon", Suarez uses most of this book to use this foundation in order to explore a new concept of social organization based on empowering information technology.

The new society emerging in "Freedom (TM)" is based on the darknet, an alternative to the internet using fast wireless meshes in order to increase the durability and availability of the network. People who join the darknet are assigned a role in society according to their interests and skills. While they fulfill these roles, they can advance their "levels" of skill (as measured by the level-number on their augmented reality callout). Users give reputation rankings to each other for most interactions, giving everybody an incentive to be cooperative and helpful. Decisions in society are made by those who have high levels (only if they are on a concrete missions assigned by society), all of society together in votes reminiscent of direct democracy, or - concerning more important and top priority tasks - even by the computer system itself. This system of IT-based democracy was one of the most advanced ideas of societal organization that I read about in a novel. It reminded me of similar ideas coming from the Zeitgeist Movement and other organizations proposing IT government as in "it is the computer that makes the decisions".

Another thing that struck me about the book was the clarity with which the corporate elite was depicted. I must be careful here, because it might just be me reading the same books as the author (judging from his "Recommended Reading" list at the end of the book), but I found the description of corporate influence on governments worldwide highly convincing. The chapters that take the form of discussions between NSA, FBI, BSM and private consulting agencies are especially illuminating and interesting.

Coming to a close, I have to say that this is quite probably as good a contemporary novel as you can get. Don't make the mistake to categorize this as "just another of this futuristic scifi novels", as Suarez really hides a discussion of contemporary society behind the sci-fi backdrop. If you are interested in the future, in information technology and/or societal organization, read this novel - you might even try to skip the prequel to "Freedom (TM)" as this is by far the better of the two!
Profile Image for Ian.
36 reviews1 follower
July 21, 2021
Freedom (TM) is an excellent sequel and a fantastic book in its own right, but I don't want that to detract you from reading Daemon first (so make sure you do that). Needless to say when I finished Daemon I'd was very eager to read its sequel. As soon as I saw that Freedom (TM) was released I snatched at the opportunity to listen to the audiobook version, which is just as excellent as the first book, and I found that I was in for more than I expected.

Any good book can be entertaining, a truly excellent book will draw you in and take over your thoughts for the rest of the week. I think that I can safely say that Freedom (TM) has done that for me and I'll be lucky if I only continue thinking about it for the rest of this week.

Freedom (TM) delivered on all the things that I loved about Daemon - there's cool technology, videogame-based action and characters, the story is brilliant, engaging and extremely suspenseful, and the plot as a whole isn't predictable; but it certainly is plausible. What I couldn't have expected was that the main concept that is presented in this story is so intriguing that I actually want to try it out.

Building on the structure that was introduced in Daemon, Daniel Suarez developed the dark net into a new self-sufficient societal model that incorporates advanced technology and social media. The best way to compare it would be to say it is a cross between Facebook, Digg, YouTube, a farmers market, and Star Wars (crazy I know but trust me it works). Against this Suarez places the capitalist, corporate environment that controls food, security, and influences government as the very real-life villain. While the depictions of this villain are certainly extreme, again what makes this book so fascinating and worthwhile is the plausibility of it all. Reading this book you have to wonder just how controlled by corporate interests we all are... And whether or not freedom really is trademarked.

I hope everyone gets a chance to read and enjoy this book; I plan on rereading it a few more times.
Profile Image for Terry.
484 reviews15 followers
August 24, 2011
Freedom(TM) is the sequel to Daemon that patches a number of holes the writer left in the first book. The prose is tighter, the descriptions more direct, the characters are fleshed out and the plot is nicely wound down. If you enjoyed Daemon, there is no reason not to read the sequel.

*The action, even combat, was easier for the reader to track. Details were left to essentials and depictions of gore and violence were in a range I enjoy.

*The tech talk was less computer-centric and focused on broader families of technologies. When these new items were brought up, knowing the details of how say a Indium-Gallium-Arsenide composite was formed is a good flourish but not knowing doesn't harm you.

*The integration of MMO elements to everyday living is near masterful. A meatspace equivalent of magical items, NPCs, Area of Effect weapons, questing, and leveling are all represented in believable and non-cheesy methods.

*The range of participation from the hardcore darknet participant to the friends of the darknet to dogs are done well. I expected the range of interactions to be very digital and consisting of people being "in or out" and was glad this wasn't the case.

*The cloudgate quest concept was well done with the thread of the quest being not places but events.

*The "hey dummies, this is what's happening" chapters were less overbearing.

*The ending was too tidy.

*The price of victory seemed quite low.

*I think some liberties were taken with what would actually happen if gas hit $17 a gallon, unemployment hit 30%, and how international markets would be affected.

*Still think the katana-wielding motorcycles were excessive.
10 reviews1 follower
February 10, 2010
I read this book in 2 days. I blew off all of the Super Bowl pregame stuff to finish the book. It is the sequel to/continuation of Daemon. It documents a possible kinda distopian future.

I liked Freedom more than Daemon. I think it's mostly because part of the first book is to set up the world and the characters in it. This book just rolls from the beginning. You really have to read Daemon first to know what's going on.

For a sci-fi-ish techno-thriller, there is a lot of King Corn and The Omnivore's Dilemma in it. Trust me, it makes a lot of sense, and honestly made me think about some 'localvore' ideas I hadn't really considered before. This book also kind of reminded me of the Foundation trilogy, which is another personal favorite.

The way the book wraps up, I'm not sure there's another book coming. I really really hope Daniel Suarez is working on another volume in the series.

This is an excellent book. Yeah, it's only in hardcover right now, but I am really glad I bought it and I think you shouldn't miss out on a very smart book.
Profile Image for Enzo.
722 reviews1 follower
October 21, 2014
"Freedom" follows the incredibly good "Daemon" which made people turn heads. Freedom is itself one of those books that is hard to put down forcing you to read-on way past self-imposed bedtimes.
What both novels have is an ethereal evil or good? Much depends on your point of view here; but its the driving force behind most actions in the books. We follow a number of characters that we all loved from "Daemon" and the one character that was lost has now become bigger in death than he ever was in life. He embodies that persona we seem to need a true Hero.
Sometimes I do feel the Darknet is way to wholesome and good. Loki does help. But a grittier Darknet would have suited Freedom better like it did in Daemon.

Who should read this book? Everyone Daemon first follow by Freedom. Fans of Crichton (yes it is an apt comparison), fans of Vernor Vinge, fans of Dan Simmons will find Daniel Suarez to be really entertaining. Any science fiction fan that loves the novels that envision a better future, those that aspire to greatness, one were humanity reclaims its sense from the ever encroaching corporate monopolies will simply love it.

I'll go back to one of my favorite:

“Whether you see the world as emergent or, deteriorating. We have long known that some people favor innovation and look positively toward the future while others are frightened of change and want to halt innovation.” - Michael Crichton
Profile Image for Fraser Simons.
Author 9 books239 followers
October 10, 2022
Off the back of the finale of the first book (ie spoilery for people who haven’t read Daemon) the dark web has merged with “reality” with augmented reality tech, allowing the factions attempting to come up on top after, essentially, the new world order caused by the daemon program. And once again, there’s gestures at characters who are somewhat punk, in so far as using the dark net stuff as a way of co-opting individual power away from capitalists—but it’s all merged with this MMO system and gonzo, kill count, drones and guns and bombs and crap.

It comes down to a lot of lip service and world building that is actually quite interesting, and cutting edge, but are reduced to plot driven battle Royal of sorts. It’s fine, fun, commercial fiction, and is post the more interesting aspects of the story in book one. Less cringe worthy dialogue and one-liners, but then there’s also a lot of people running around saying they’re level 12 rogues and stuff. People in awe of online wizards with drones and military grade weaponry skirmishes that are then covered up by news propaganda. It all gets a little too unbelievable while trying to purport a kind of realism in other areas.

It’s a mash-up that feels juvenile, ultimately, even though there are kernels of cool ideas within this new kind of society leveraged with, basically cryptocurrency (dark web bucks, or whatever). As with the first, I’m not fully sold and don’t think it’s really cyberpunk and is actually a techno thriller with some (seemingly) well researched technological components grafted to bare bones characters and plot.
Profile Image for Erica.
1,314 reviews432 followers
May 21, 2015
Ha! I'm listening to the part where Ross is visiting Hank's farm (don't worry, that's not a spoiler)(and I'm cracking up that the reader gave Farmer Hank the voice of Hank Hill ("King of the Hill"))
EN EE way...so Hank is explaining how they're using crops and animals to restore the soil and how chickens run along behind to peck worms and grubs from the dirt and I am almost convinced that Suarez got this whole passage from one of Joel Salatin's works, nearly verbatim. I can't believe how that guy keeps coming back to haunt me. I mean, I can't argue that his methods don't seem right and sound but the dude just bugs the crap outta me and yet, he's always riiiiight theeeere...

Alright, I'm done.

I didn't like this as much as the first book and when it ended, I was all, "That was it?"
I dunno. It's still quite entertaining and offers plenty of food for thought, but...it's, in essence, a Disney fairy tale for growed-up boys. No, I don't mean Peter Pan, I mean violence and black-n-white and superheroes and Real Men and justice and good vs evil with badass machines that wield sharp knives.

I'm not quite as optimistic as the author. Yes, I have seen online sites regulate themselves nicely with popular opinion keeping trolls in line and such. Do I think that would work on a societal level and do I think that this new structure would work any better than previous regimes? No, I don't. There are flaws and the biggest problem with any human community is that it involves people. People are capable of doing amazing things and just as capable at being horrific and when you put them all together, you probably get some sort of weird balance, one that defies all attempts at imposing order and harmony because that just cannot exist absolutely when people are involved.
I worried more about what would happen when this technology became obsolete and how quickly that would happen. Yes, Sobel created this environment to allow for growth and intergenerational functionality but what happens when there are too few programmers who care about moving old data to a new system? What happens when everyone becomes too wrapped up in their own little things to care about the larger community, creating gaps that can be filled by anyone willing to manipulate the system? How will this system continue to thwart hackers or the next Sobel who is even smarter and more capable and who creates a rival system? How long will this flourishing new society survive? Even though I would love to live in a world with renewable resource management and viable community gardening and water treatment and conservation plans and think tanks of every-peoples working for the betterment of society, I am sad that a scenario like this probably wouldn't really work. And actually? This is way too much unloving pondering for a review.

It's neat that I thought about all these things while I listened. Again, it was enjoyable and entertaining and I like this particular reader; he was a good choice for this book.
Profile Image for David Sven.
288 reviews445 followers
July 29, 2012
Wow. Reading this book as well as the previous book Daemon (my review http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...) has made me realize how much technology has been integrated into our modern lives as a virtual world overlaying our real world. We have internet banking, email, twitter, facebook, sms, mms, all manner of social networking, remote computing and giving us instant access to information all from a mobile phone or Ipad or laptop. We can multi-task our real lives and our virtual lives to make one almost indistinguishable from the other.

Now imagine all that technology built into your clothes and viewed through sun glasses or visors or contact lenses displaying information in a HUD interface just like an MMO but for real life. Welcome to D-Space, the Daemon's user interface for the "darknet." In here users interact with virtual apps, objects and programs which control real objects using a combination of voice commands and gestures to chant spells (passwords etc) or call down hell fire from high-tech weaponized drones in the stratosphere.

The darknet, introduced to us in the last book is an interactive INTRANET available only to darknet members and modelled on Matthew Sobol's online MMO, complete with its own economy of darknet credits and levelling system, both of which are used as rewards for contributing to the spread of the Daemon's infrastructure and ideology. The higher the users credits or levels, the greater the access to the system enabling more technology and equipment to be created, ordered and used.

The last book left us out of breath from the pace and action as the Daemon usurps entire corporations to take over the resources of greedy multi national companies and draft them into the expansion of the darknet. In this book its The Daemon vs The corporations. The faceless men who are the unelected puppet masters behind the illusion of democratic government.

In the Red corner we have The Major, the front man for the corporations who heads up the private security firms that have been contracted by the government for . . . ? Well for security one would think.
In the Dark corner we have the return of sargeant Sebeck, recruited against his will by the Daemon to conduct Matthew Sobol's quest to see if humanity deserves to be free. Piece of cake. We also have in the dark corner, Loki Stormbringer, a 50+ level sorcerer and umpteenth level sociopath, with his army of unmanned killing machines, acting as the official enforcer and protector of the darknet infrastructure.
Also in the dark Corner we have Ron Merritt - yes he did die last book, yes he is really dead - but then so is Matthew Sobol.

Und also in ze Dark Corner ve haf SS Officer Heinrich Boerner. A personal favourite uf mein. Yez, yu schweinhund, he ist an NPC in Herr Sobols computer game. But apparently he haz vays and meanz of making you talk, or scream or vat efer else before you DIE!!!.

Continues straight on from the last book. The pace is still good. The action is still as visceral. But is the Daemon evil? You will have to read and decide for yourself bwahahahaha

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