“Freedom (TM)” by Daniel Suarez

Freedom (TM)My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Last year, Daniel Suarez’s “Daemon” left us on one heck of a cliffhanger.

Now, “Freedom (TM)” picks up that cliffhanger, resolves it and delves even further into a scary but all too possible near future in which a computer bot can seemingly take over the world.

In terms of story and characters, “Freedom (TM)” picks up right where “Daemon” left off. The bot is still lurking, exerting its power and group of humanity is trying to fight against it before it’s too late. Watching as the bot is able to attack and manipulate systems operated strictly by computing power is both fascinating and scary as you realize that a similar thing happening could happen in the not too distant future.

At its core, “Freedom (TM)” is a techno-thriller with elements of cyberpunk thrown in for fun. Suarez keeps the story moving at a good clip, creating some nicely done action sequences that could translate well to the big-screen whenever the movie version of the novels is made. But he also balances that out with sections examining the implications of technology and an over reliance on it. Suarez isn’t saying that technology is a bad thing, but he does offer some stern warnings about it. Those implications and thoughts will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

The story directly follows the events of “Daemon” and if you haven’t read that novel, odds are you will be completely lost. While I’d read book a year ago, I did find myself having to surf back to my original review to remember some of the plot threads. Like Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series, Suarez doesn’t spoon-feed readers but instead assumes the reader is smart enough to recall details and figure out what’s going on without having large info-dumps or the constant need for recap.

Both books serve as one long, epic story that is chilling, fascinating and one of the more memorable author debuts in a long time. It should be intriguing to see what Suarez offers next.

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