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WWW: Wonder

(WWW #3)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,971 ratings  ·  333 reviews
Webmind--the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the infrastructure of the World Wide Web--has proven its worth to humanity by aiding in everything from curing cancer to easing international tensions. But the brass at the Pentagon see Webmind as a threat that needs to be eliminated.

Caitlin Decter--the once-blind sixteen-year-old math genius who discovered, a
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Ace Hardcover (first published March 29th 2011)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  3,971 ratings  ·  333 reviews

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May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2020-shelf
Ah, the last book in this trilogy had a lot to live up to and it succeeded for the most part.

What can (or should) you do for an intelligent entity living in the World Wide Web who has been outed across the world? Take over? Declare peace? Be hunted, or be the hunter?

It is the Prisoner's Dilemma writ large with many iterations. And does Sawyer pull it off? A worldwide revolution?

Yes. But again, for the most part.

What's my complaint?

Yeah, well, that's my problem. Sawyer's political leanings and
Jake Forbes
Jul 11, 2010 rated it liked it
What I loved about Wake, the first book in the WWW trilogy, was the way Sawyer lifted the reader up, along with the characters, through the process of emerging digital consciousness. The second volume is a real nail-biter as we anxiously wait to see how the world will respond to the birth of an AI that by its very nature monitors everything we do online. For the last year, I've been looking forward to reading the conclusion. As compulsively readable as the first two books, Wonder ends the WWW tr ...more
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I devoured the last two installments in Robert J. Sawyer's "WWW" trilogy and was anxious for the third installment to hit the shelves. I was fascinated to see how Sawyer would bring together some of the threads we saw in book one and to find out the final fate of the Webmind.

So, I guess you could say I had some pretty high expectations for "WWW: Wonder."

And I guess you could say that the book didn't exactly live up to them.

It's still a good story and the ideas raised in the book are fascinatin
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I see the WWW series as a long novel broken up into three volumes rather than as a traditional trilogy. It concerns a young woman who's a genius suffering from blindness and her awkward yet Heinlein-esque family. She's cured, the internet becomes self-aware and takes over the world, she learns to deal with her friends, and society learns to deal with a superior non-human intelligence. There's some very thoughtful philosophical examination about violence and the nature and meaning of life. It's a ...more
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it
While Saywer has long been one of my favourite sci-fi authors, I have had a few disappointments with a few of his works in the past. The WWW trilogy's first two books renewed my confidence in RJS and had me eagerly awaiting WWW:Wonder. The final installment though was not quite what I came to expect after reading the first two novels.
The story was definitely entertaining, and continued on logically from where WATCH left off. The characters were all back in some meaningful way, and up until about
Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who ever rooted for H.A.R.L.I.E. or P-1, or wished MYCROFTXXX was a real phone number...
Recommended to Alan by: Previous volumes
Robert J. Sawyer brings his WWW trilogy to a satisfying and very definite conclusion in this volume—yes, folks, amazing as it may sound, the man's actually written a trilogy that consists of just three books, no mean feat these days.

I'm assuming you're at least somewhat familiar with the previous installments in Sawyer's series about a nascent world-spanning artificial intelligence that evolves out of World Wide Web network traffic. If not, go back and pick up the first two before even consideri
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
'Wonder' is the third and final volume in the series. It faithfully continues the formula of following an emergent AI through the eyes of a previously blind High School girl, converting high concept SF into something sweet and human, even somewhat juvenile. As usual, the author seasons it thoroughly with little science nuggets.

This installment is by far the most suspenseful, as the 'life' of our beloved AI is threatened on several fronts, and there are many clues that it is far darker than it se
Michael Christopher
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Sawyer builds on the web that he wove during the second book in the trilogy as governments and individuals struggle to cope with the reality of the internet having come to life. The pacing of the novel is on par with WATCH, but with the complex back-story is already in place the novel is able to leap from place to place and so it feels like a more nimble read. As Sawyer's characters explore the new world that dawns with the AI now omnipresent, the story explores the ramifications of our behaviou ...more
John Carter McKnight
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Robert J. Sawyer embodies the reasons why many of us were drawn to science fiction, way back when: as the title of the book expresses, "wonder." In this sweet, sympathetic conclusion to his emergent-AI trilogy, Sawyer gives us a book-length "it gets better" video, from school bullying to governmental tyranny to fear of change and each other.

Caitlyn Decter continues to grow up, perhaps the most sweetly real teenage character in SF history (I totally fantasy-cast her as the young woman who plays A
Dunja MacAlister
The entire series is absolutely amazing. I finished this last book in two days. It's everything you want from a story about a peaceful AI. I especially loved the mystery about the hackers and the pleasant surprise that came after, and honestly the ending had me crying. The world, as is right now, needs a Webmind.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hardcover
I chose not to review these three installments of the WWW trilogy separately as it is clear that they are three parts of one complete story as opposed to, say, Margaret Atwood’s “Addam trilogy” in witch each installment is a parallel narrative.

The first part “WAKE” is a scenario based upon a blind young girl who, due to chance circumstance of being chosen to have an experimental device installed behind one of her eyes so that she can gain sight, becomes in effect, one component that permitted th
Apr 09, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Very readable, if overly preachy, as usually. I do like the central message, which is that a win-win outcome is possible in the information age, if we just believe it is. But there are a few rants that are as annoying as ever (Caitlin's Dad's lecture about why sexting is ok is just absurd) and the teen romance is unnecessarily rushed and uncomfortable, despite a few sweet moments. Wrapping up Hobo's involvement seemed really promising for a while, then petered out. And the big huge su ...more
Brian Layman
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Resistance Bookclub
(review of all three books)
I am really conflicted on this series and cannot possibly give it any rating. I read the entire trilogy in one evening after seeing it on a list of novels with autistic characters. The series is certainly entertaining and I wouldn't have read all three if there wasn't something to enjoy about it but I have some notes.
I cannot judge the representation of blindness in the novel, but I am very critical of all kinds of cure narratives. They are inherently ableist but in t
Irene Grumman
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The web has achieved consciousness. Through a young woman's internet-enabled device, the web communicates, first to the protagonist, then to the world. The story held my interest through the effects on the heroine and her family.

Robert J. Sawyer bases this, as most of his novels, on his own experience as a teacher of science, and his voracious research. His sci-fi draws on biology rather than engineering, and has won Hugo and Nebula awards over the years.

Now I have to read the first two in the
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
***Originally posted to: Bookish Blog

Wonder is the final book in Robert J. Sawyer’s WWW Trilogy about Webmind, the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the World Wide Web. It was a fitting and perfectly satisfying ending to the series. Fans will be very pleased with how well Sawyer ties up all the loose ends, making it clear that this was a well thought out and thoroughly researched story.

After discovering the existence of Webmind, the US government tried but failed to exterminat
Tim Chaplin
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's readable, there's a strong sense of drive, and Sawyer is a technically proficient writer with some great (even audacious) ideas. But a lot about this book rubbed me the wrong way.

The first problem is that not a lot happens, and when it does, it's usually ignored or downplayed or underdeveloped. There's never any sense of danger--if something needs to happen to our characters, it just does. There's no struggle or adversity. There are no stakes. There are a lot of red herrings that suggest a
Tim Hicks
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Four stars for enjoyable, but don't forget that this is, as others have said, SF Lite. Despite all the modern stuff, there's a Heinlein-juvenile feeling throughout. Written for smart teens? If so, I think it's done well.

Don't read this except as the third of three.

Plenty of interesting ideas. As is often the case with Sawyer, there are perhaps too many characters who seem to be there so the author can make a point about what they represent. There's a lot of explaining, but a fair bit of it was
Claire Wheeler
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy - I read all three books in four days, so I'm only reviewing this one. "Wake" pulled me in easily with its easygoing prose (Saunders is as readable as King) and its friendly attitude (I kept thinking of Heinlein). It's not literary by any stretch, but it has two things going for it: clever plotting enacted by relatable characters, and enlightening discourse on a wide range of scientific ideas.

I was particularly intrigued by Saunders' reflections on the impact of
Chantal Boudreau
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The last in the trilogy, this book brought up the idea of just how much government interference is too much, especially when considering public safety and well-being. Both Caitlin and Webmind strike out against forces that would restrict them, seeking allies, finding their strengths, and exploring their sense of selves, all the while maintaining their symbiotic friendship. While it treaded into some politically sensitive areas more than once, I appreciated the reasonably objective approach Mr. S ...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
I'm so glad I picked this up and finished the series. I read the first two books a few years ago now, and was surprised at how easy it was to get back into the story. This book picks up immediately after the second one ends, so it's probably easier to read them all back to back, but the series was memorable enough that I caught up quickly.

Similar to the earlier books, this one combines education and entertainment very well. This style of writing is the author's specialty, and it always seems to
Gregg Kellogg
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gripping to the end, although the epilogue was a bit of a let down. For anyone who's been involved with the Web, particularly working on its core technology, this is a must read. The author effectively shows why an AGI needs us, if it is imbued with similar values and motivations, and pr sends a less dystopian futures than others have.
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, canadian
Solid ending to a fun tale. Lots of thought-provoking passages, some techie witticisms, and loads of Canada. Apparently this novel was written a few km north of where I sit right now, which is kind of neat.
Harald Koch
The concept remained interesting. But Mr. Sawyer keeps trying to be clever, and it didn't work very well. On top of that, he keeps getting bogged down in annoying technical details that are totally irrelevant, and they just become distracting. A poor finish.
Adwoa Akhu
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This trilogy gives us a positive look at sentient technology while exploring many important concepts, such as prejudice and spirituality. The story is engaging, compelling, and thought-provoking. Well worth the read. I loved all three books!
Lynda Engler
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic alternate view an the Big Brother theme - with a benevolent world-arching entity. Loved it and the entire series.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I liked this, wondered where it could possibly go with only 30 pages left, but it wound itself up with a very satisfactory ending. If only Webmind would "come to life" so to speak here on earth!
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have read two whole series by Robert J. Sawyer; the Neanderthal Parallax, and WWW (Wake Watch Wonder). I am leaving the same review for all 6 books, because although the stories are different, the product is always the same:

Sawyer's novels are fun, but they are also very preachy. He always starts with a very interesting premise, it's easy to get sucked in, and at first you're too busy enjoying the ride to notice the moralizing very much. But as the series progress, the preachiness gets more an
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A triumphal coming of age for Webmind marks the end of the WWW trilogy. I fell in love with Caitlin when I read the first book in the series, nearly 10 years ago, just after the death of my blind mother. The teenager's innocence and wonder at discovering sight for the first time, so often reflected in Webmind's innocence and wonder at discovering a whole new universe, brought me joy and peace.
Over the years, a myriad of other books have crept to the top of my TBR pile but always intended to get
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Robert J. Sawyer is one of Canada's best known and most successful science fiction writers. He is the only Canadian (and one of only 7 writers in the world) to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction: the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Mindscan.
Robert Sawyer grew up in

Other books in the series

WWW (3 books)
  • WWW: Wake (WWW, #1)
  • WWW: Watch (WWW, #2)

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