Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Deep State (Dagmar Shaw #2)” as Want to Read:
Deep State (Dagmar Shaw #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Deep State

(Dagmar Shaw #2)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  669 ratings  ·  86 reviews
In THIS IS NOT A GAME, Dagmar found that the Alternate Reality Game she was writing was being manipulated by a killer, and in her own turn manipulated the game players in order to solve mysteries and unmask the villain. In the sequel DEEP STATE, that progression continues. Once again, the boundaries between game and reality are breached, and Dagmar finds herself using game ...more
Published (first published February 1st 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Deep State, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Deep State

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  669 ratings  ·  86 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Deep State (Dagmar Shaw #2)
Feb 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
While this started interesting enough, I found this unsustainable through cluttered and prolonged chases. I am chased out as this is literally one chase after another til the end. 1 o 10 stars
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This Is Not A Game was so good because it combined information technology and the internet 'hive mind' to form a high octane techno thriller that involved well defined characters and a plot which had some serious depth. Deep State, the second book to feature IT mogul Dagmar Shaw started off great then fell off dramatically. Rather than focus on the gaming community, Deep State attempts to blend Dagmar's plot writing skills in real life role playing gaming into the spy spectrum to help the alphab ...more

Somewhat like William Gibson with his Blue Ant series Walter Jon Williams recently began exploring more contemporary environments with his ongoing Dagmar Shaw series. Unlike Gibson, however, Williams depicts a high-stakes milieu more compatible with the techno-thriller genre. Deep State is the second Dagmar Shaw novel and quite frankly needs to be read after the first book, This Is Not A Game. There's a background in the first that plays out in the second.
Dagmar owns Great Big Idea, a company t
John Carter McKnight
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Williams should be the most famous thriller writer in the world right now, with his novel about both popular uprisings in Islamic countries and gamification. Simple premise: what if the US government hired an alternate-reality games designer to astroturf a revolution? What could possibly go wrong?

Deep State is thriller writing at its finest: tight, fast-paced, suspenseful, clever, with strongly sketched characters. Taking Hitchcock's advice, Williams introduces his one implausible thing up front
Lis Carey
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-sf, favorites
Dagmar Shaw is running an Augmented Reality Game, an ARG, in Turkey to promote the latest James Bond film, Stunrunner. She's not happy about being in Turkey, where a military junta has recently seized power, because she's had some seriously unpleasant experiences with military governments in the past, but, really, what can go wrong? Turkey is benefiting from the positive PR and the increase in tourism, and the generals are very pleased by that. Her company, Great Big Idea, is being very well pai ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second novel featuring Dagmar Shaw, who runs online alternate reality games. I don't think it would be possible to fully understand this one without having read the first book, This Is Not a Game. The stakes and scale are elevated but too similar this time around; there's not enough new happening, and the two most interesting new characters are eliminated early on. There's a lot of running around in Turkey, but I didn't think it was as well paced as the earlier volume. It's borderlin ...more
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This was book 2 in the Dagmar series. Reading book one is a must.

This read a bit like a travelogue and history of Turkey which I thought straddled the line between interesting and annoying. It was interesting in that I knew the author visited Turkey quite some time back and blogged about it. It was annoying in that it made aspects of the story read like an organized bus tour. “And on your right, Ataturk Park….”

Now the reality of the political aspects of the book were a bit scary - the use of soc
Dan Carey
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it

If I had started reading this book the same week the uprisings started in Egypt, I would have had a hard time distinguishing between the news and this novel. Mr. Williams should be glad this was published prior to the spreading unrest, lest he be charged with mere conspiracy mongering.

I am not one who especially likes series with a recurring hero/heroine, but Dagmar Shaw is pleasantly believable: flawed without being overwrought and angst-ridden, capable without being a Mary Sue, concerned about

Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Walter Jon williams is the cure for the sci-fi complexity that sometimes plagues the genre. Don't get me wrong I like the pure science writing as much as anyone, but sometimes I want a good mix of science and action. Here we have that great mix.

This is the second novel in the Dagmar series. With what Dagmar went through in the last book I wondered how much more the author could throw at a person with out breaking. This is the crux of the whole story. Dagmar dealing with issues from the last nov
This is the second of the Dagmar Shaw books, and to be honest, I found it much like the first (which actually isn't a bad thing).

Granted, there's been scope and power creep - Dagmar's now using her AR games and their players to foment political revolution (rather than just solve murders). And Dagmar herself has changed and grown and not quite healed from the mental and emotional scars that Book 1 left her with. (There was a scene with her having a PTSD flashback to Jakarta and being talked throu
I liked this even more than This Is Not a Game. Entertaining, with some serious material mixed in. The exploration of Dagmar's PTSD is excellent. There are several other likeable characters, too, especially Lincoln and Ismet. The author does a great job setting scenes and using sensory detail; the use of sense of smell is especially good.
This is on the "sci-fi" shelf because aspects of this story fall under the most basic definition of science-fiction: taking current technology and expanding on
Ben Kalman
Not as good as the first one - found this very convoluted as it went on, and the end was very rushed as a result.

I also missed the gaming aspect of the first one - it popped in a bit here and there but most of the time was absent.

Overall it was enjoyable but now I’m not certain I would bother with any of the rest of them...
Petr Kalis
Oct 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dropped
Started twice, couldn't finish once. I think I stopped at similar place, both times ;)
Miraj (Papyrus) Khaled
Nov 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
total disappointment! absolute nosedive from the first one.
William Walter
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
The premise is okay, but the lack of character detail and the unrealistic reactions to events (particularly horrific events) are unbelievable
Carleton Tanner,
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011

Dagmar Shaw is a game designer, but her games are way more interesting than any MMORPG that exists today. I never entirely came to grips with what Alternate Reality Games actually entail, but it has players follow a story, interpret clues online, and it sometimes has real-world connections. The story opens with Dagmar Shaw designing a James Bond movie tin-in game that sees some players going to Turkey to actually follow some of the action in real life, while tens of thousands of others follow th
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, thriller
In This Is Not A Game , Walter Jon Williams introduced readers to Dagmar Shaw, the head of Great Big Idea, a fictional company dedicated to producing and directing alternate-reality-games, or ARG, for short. Ms. Shaw returns in Deep State, and Walter Jon Williams spins another tale of intrigue, though one decidedly less interesting than the first outing.

Synopsis for Deep State :

By day Dagmar Shaw orchestrates vast games with millions of players spanning continents. By night, she tries to f
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Players of games
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
I found this sequel to This Is Not A Game a little hard to get into, even though I'd read the first one fairly recently... even with that boost, it took me awhile to get back up to speed. So be warned; familiarity with the milieu is assumed. However, once events get rolling, they really get rolling—it may not look like it at first, but Williams knows how to write a taut thriller.

Dagmar Shaw, CEO and prime mover for Great Big Idea, the firm that brought augmented reality games (ARGs) to mass appe
Feb 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The idea that Internet memes could influence a dissatisfied populace to demonstrate, riot, and then overthrow their government is a powerful one. The idea that another government could use these to induce revolution is also interesting and plausible. You can see why totalitarian regimes resist the internet and social networking.

Williams explores all of these ideas in Deep State. I was a huge fan of the first book in this series, This Is Not A Game, because I loved how it blended physical and vir
Steven Cole
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in Williams' stories of Dagmar Shaw, game designer.

I've got to admit to a love of game designer protagonists, for sure, as that's where my own career started... Dagmar Shaw designs experiences known as Augmented Reality Games (ARGs), where the "game" contacts players through real-world systems (like email and phones, realistic looking websites, and even things like billboards for those in the know).

Williams conjectures that such a game will cause a kind of "group mind" t
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a fast read featuring the main character from This is not a Game. I read that book quite a while ago, so not only did I struggle to remember relevant details, but I actually got my wires crossed with Reamde and Moxyland characters. A personal problem that I hope won't affect other readers. The plot, citizens rising up in revolution against dictators, was pretty topical given the recent Arab Spring events, and made me see all of that in a different light, or at least in the light of vari ...more
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gretchen by: Carl Rigney
I don't think this book would make a lot of sense without having first read This Is Not a Game, but it's a very satisfying sequel. I liked This Is Not a Game better in many ways because of its tighter focus on ARGs and the interesting implications of the Group Mind. However, one major strength of Deep State was that events which occurred in the first book still had ongoing impact as more than merely plot points; so many books with action have characters that just shrug off the trauma and move on ...more
Another fun read, featuring Alternative Reality Game (ARG) creator, Dagmar, and her team. This is the second in the series, and is best read after the first, This Is Not A Game, although not required, it will add to your understanding and enjoyment. Very interesting to contrast what is going on in this story, where an ARG staged on location with ARG tourists and remote participants searching for clues in Turkey acts as a compelling promotion for a new James Bond thriller, leading to follow-on ac ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like the first book in the Dagmar series (This is Not a Game), and like some of William Gibson's recent stuff, this is not so much science fiction as technothriller - our present-day world, or maybe one a couple of years in the future, already being so technological that it's like a science fiction setting.

I don't usually read thrillers, so I don't know what they're like, but I suspect that the protagonists usually feel more on top of things than the unfortunate Dagmar. Out of her depth, lacking
Alain DeWitt
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
It's been awhile since I read the first Dagmar Shaw book, "This Is Not A Game". I enjoyed it quite a lot and don't know why it took me so long to read this one. I think I waited a bit too long. Some of the depictions of technology in this book give it an un-necessarily dated feel. Williams refers about handhelds, PDAs and netbooks, for example.

Plot-wise this is a natural progression from "Game". In that one, Dagmar Shaw, producer of Augmented Reality Games (ARGs), becomes inadvertently embroiled
Michael Hirsch
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Why is it that almost every book I've really liked lately are about computer and role playing games in some way? It's particularly funny because I don't like computer games or RPGs. I guess I like them in abstract, I've just never found one that I enjoyed in reality.

Anyway, this one is about Dagmar, a women who produced Alternate Reality Games--games that take place in the real world. She lays out clues and hires actors to play a few roles, but the rest of the game is played by the players who h
Brian Palmer
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
There would be moments of confusion if you hadn't read the prior book (which I think probably is a notch above this one), but this is is complete and standalone: a thriller where Dagmar Shaw, owner (and lead designer) of a company that develops "augmented reality games", shifts from helping market a James Bond movie to actually intentionally dealing with international politics.

It's really not clear *why* she's doing this, as she's still traumatized by the events of the first book (and there are
Joe Robles
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A revolution in a middle eastern country helped by the Internet. You know, science fiction. Love the character of Dagmar, and how she was affected by the events of the first book. Too often authors leave their characters with little to no emotional baggage. As if the deaths of friends, and their own near death experiences, leave them untouched. Most authors would include a line or two about missing their friends, but Walter Jon Williams gives Dagmar PTSD. Every decision she makes in this book is ...more
Laz the Sailor
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
This is a sequel to This Is Not a Game, and you would expect, the tech foundations are more mature and the character development is a bit deeper than in the first book. Still, it's a logical extension to Dagmar's team of "game writers" who combine online social media with flash mobs and scavenger hunts to actually influence real-world politics. By selecting Turkey as the nation in turmoil, WJW gets to play with all the Middle Eastern politics, add in Slavic confusion, and the US and British spy ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Redemption Ark (Revelation Space, #2)
  • Agency (The Peripheral #2)
  • The Hidden Family (The Merchant Princes, #2)
  • The Family Trade (The Merchant Princes, #1)
  • Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4)
  • Among Others
  • Shadow Captain (Revenger, #2)
  • The Clan Corporate (The Merchant Princes, #3)
  • Great North Road
  • 2312
  • Shift (Gate of Orpheus Trilogy #1)
  • Under Ground
  • Zero Hour (H.I.V.E, #6)
  • Ultra
  • Talking to Terrorists: Face to Face with the Enemy
  • The Job
  • The Split Second (The Seems, #2)
  • Damage Control (Alan Craik, #6)
See similar books…
Walter Jon Williams has published twenty novels and short fiction collections. Most are science fiction or fantasy -Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire to name just a few - a few are historical adventures, and the most recent, The Rift, is a disaster novel in which "I just basically pound a part of the planet down to bedrock." And that's just the opening chapters ...more

Other books in the series

Dagmar Shaw (3 books)
  • This is Not a Game (Dagmar Shaw #1)
  • The Fourth Wall (Dagmar Shaw #3)

Related Articles

You probably know coauthors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck as James S.A. Corey—their shared pen name. And you probably know them from their wildly po...
145 likes · 21 comments