Daniel Suarez

Books Reviews Daniel Suarez
Daniel Suarez

Mean ghost in the machine

It’s a stressful fact of modern life that most of us have to rely on technology we don’t fully understand. Daniel Suarez taps into that anxiety with this tale of technology gone wrong. A high-concept plot device kicks things off: A computer-game designer releases thousands of malevolent web bots after his death.

The technical details are believable, and Suarez keeps them interesting enough for non-geek types, but as a thriller, the book disappoints. We never learn why Sobol went to considerable trouble to cause mayhem he can’t profit from. Thin character development wouldn’t be a fatal flaw for a page-turner, but Suarez’s action sequences tend to drag, and he shows a nasty penchant for describing gore in sadistic detail.

Suarez’s subtle, cynical humor redeems him, though, and the book serves as a timely reminder that those who do understand technology may not always have our best interests at heart.

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