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Peacemaker [Paperback]

Dan Ronco
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 9.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Jun 2004
Software expert Ray Brown is plunged into a life-or-death contest with PeaceMaker, a deadly artificial intelligence that has infected most of the world's computing devices. His determination to eliminate PeaceMaker leads him into a dangerous conflict with the Domain, a clandestine organization dedicated to a new world order. Humiliated by the federal government in an anti-trust trial that has torn apart her software company, CEO Dianne Morgan is obsessed with a plan to unleash PeaceMaker and shut down computer systems across the world. She is determined to crush the global economy unless the nations of the world agree to share power with the Domain. Although Dianne and Ray have never resolved a long simmering passion, she must hunt him down before he terminates PeaceMaker. As the Domain hunts Ray, Dianne learns of a mysterious third force that has discovered PeaceMaker and plans to attack the Domain. Dianne, Ray and this third force struggle for control, but PeaceMaker has its own plans.

Product details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Winterwolf Publishing (1 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975271148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975271148
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,356,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

PeaceMaker is a fast-paced and exciting speculative thriller. -- Victoria Strauss, author of The Burning Land

Exciting, violent, thoughtful, and unfortunately true to life...a powerhouse of computer adventure. -- Piers Anthony, author of the classic XANTH series

For computer geeks and Tom Clancy readers alike, PeaceMaker is hard to put down. This is truly chilling material. -- Joe Massucci, author of CODE:ALPHA

Mr. Ronco's realistic dialog gives flavor and edge to his characters. The climax is taut and powerful. -- Jeanette Cottrell, reviewer, eBook Reviews Weekly, author of Sliding on Rainbows

From the Author

The following message from Ray Brown is pure fiction and, hopefully, you'll find it entertaining. Ray and Dianne Morgan are the lead characters from PeaceMaker, my new thriller. --- Dan Ronco

January 15, 2012

While working on the next release of the Atlas operating system, I discovered PeaceMaker, a lethal computer virus, and I have decided to do everything in my power to defeat it and expose the people who developed it. I’m scared, and I thought about walking away from it. I can’t do that. Since you received this message, I must have failed.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the story. Humiliated by the federal government in an anti-trust trial that tore apart her software company, CEO Dianne Morgan has become obsessed with a plan to unleash PeaceMaker and shut down computer systems across the world. She is determined to crush the global economy unless the nations of the world agree to share power with the Domain, the clandestine organization she leads. She recruited some of the best computer scientists in the world into the Domain and these people developed PeaceMaker.

Before we go any further, I have to admit Dianne and I were lovers several years ago, and she left me because I could not control my drinking problem. I have been clean for six years and I attend AA meetings most weeks, so I have it pretty much under control.

I’m working on a method of destroying the virus, but it’s going to take some time. Dianne has already murdered one of my friends because he discovered PeaceMaker, and now she has agents watching everything I do. In case she gets to me before I can attack PeaceMaker, I created this time-delayed message to alert you to the danger. Unless I reschedule this message every other day, it will be sent as a warning to you. Since you are reading this, I must have been captured or killed. In addition to my associate Dan Ronco and me, Dianne knows that you are also aware of PeaceMaker. So it's up to you and Dan.

One last thing – there is a mysterious third force that has discovered PeaceMaker and plans to attack the Domain. I don’t know who they are, but Dianne has made a lot of enemies over the years.

The one person you can trust is Dan Ronco. He knows the entire story and can provide as much information as you need, but make sure your communications line isn't bugged.

And watch out for Dianne.

Ray Brown
Chief Software Architect
Atlas Operating System


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars computer techno-thriller 28 Jun 2011
By amaliv
Format:Kindle Edition
Review of member giveaway eBook
This is an accomplished techno-thriller. An easy, light read with a Trojan AI set to bring down modern civilization.
This was a very entertaining book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an excellent story idea but the execution of the idea does not deliver 12 Oct 2005
By Joe Sherry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Peacemaker" is the debut novel by author Dan Ronco. Ronco has experience in the software industry so it is with personal knowledge and experience that he crafts the story of artificial intelligence and the future of the technology industry. Ronco presents this novel as what could be a worst case scenario with software terrorism and a future where this could be an issue as serious as nuclear war.

Dianne Morgan is the CEO for VantagePoint Software, the maker of Atlus, the most popular computer operating system in the world and one which is in nearly ninety percent of the world's computers. This obviously brings to mind a company called Microsoft. Morgan brought to trial by the United States government in an anti-trust lawsuit and her company is broken into smaller companies. This is something that has happened several times in our nation's history. Her revenge is to unleash a computer virus called Peacemaker. Peacemaker has the capability to infect and shut down nearly every computer on the planet. Her goal: nothing less than global domination. The only man who can stop Peacemaker is Ray Brown, a software developer who helped make Atlus the most popular piece of software on the planet.

The novel becomes something of a cat and mouse game as Ray stumbles across Peacemaker and learns of the scope of this virus which is so sophisticated that it is an artificial intelligence. Dianne Morgan is preparing to unleash Peacemaker on the world and while she needs to stop Ray she also wants to convert Ray to her side since they share a past together.

The concept behind "Peacemaker" with the ideas of software terrorism and the artificial intelligence and just the scope of the issue is fascinating and helps the reader press on through the book because I certainly wanted to know how things played out. The problem is the writing and the characters. The characters seem to be mainly one dimensional and Ray's inner struggles regarding his alcoholism seem somewhat childish. The other characters are not any better and most are even more one dimensional. Before each chapter there is a one or two quotes from a future newspaper or novel regarding some of the characters. What this does is let the reader know a little bit how the events of this novel will play out and affect the world years down the road. It kind of takes some of the tension out of the book.

Ronco has a good deal of potential as an author because he has one very important gift that can't be taught: the ability to come up with a very interesting story idea. I have no doubt that his skill as a writer will come as he continues to write. "Peacemaker" was a very fast and easy read, but it is not without some serious flaws in the execution of the novel. It is difficult to recommend "Peacemaker", but the positive is that the concept behind the novel is a good one.

-Joe Sherry
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Breath of Fresh Air 30 Nov 2008
By J. Stoner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I finished this book within 24-hours. I almost finished it in one sitting. I was captivated by the interesting and fast paced nature of the plot. The storyline was simple enough, but believable enough to be scary. I am a "hard" science fiction junkie, and I liked how this novel had an element of "hardness" to it, but was not overly complicated with details and really focused on moving the plot forward and creating complicated situations for the compelling characters.

I found the characters to be likable, but obviously flawed. The female characters simply oozed sexuality at every encounter. With the background and preliminary story developed for each character in the opening chapters, it was easy to follow and believe in each move they made and their motivations were expected and not randomly generated.

This book met, and exceeded, my expectations for a first novel. It was short, easy to read, captivating, and unique (which is probably the most important). It was not only unique in the idea of the computer software virus, but unique in the direction that the story heads afterward. It's one thing to create a world shattering event, but it is another thing to take that story in a direction that will become more interesting, both of which Ronco excels in doing. Using the analogy of a post apocalyptic book, I would not want the apocalypse to be the most interesting part of a book. You want the characters reactions and the story of their survival to be the most compelling, which "PeaceMaker" achieves in its own right. The "PeaceMaker" virus is just the tip of the iceberg. It is everything else that makes this book worth reading.

I look forward to the rest of this series (I think I read it will be a trilogy) and more to come from Dan Ronco. I'm glad I got in early in his writing career.

Highly recommended. This book was a breath of fresh air compared to the massive numbers of like-minded, similar stories that are churned out each week.

J.Stoner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chaos Unleased in "Peacemaker" by Daniel Ronco 21 Oct 2004
By Kevin Tipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The problem with technology is that when everything is turned over to computers, the computers can and do go haywire. Not just disrupting lives with minor inconveniences but the computers can actually kill. That is the backdrop theme to this soon to be released adventure/disaster style read from author Daniel J. Ronco.

The computer system in this case is the Atlas Operating System, which is almost universally used in the very near future. Created by Ray Brown and his team from Vantage Point Software, the product has beaten all competitors. So much so, the company was a target of an anti-trust trial. A trial they ultimately lost and as a result the company was broken up into theoretically separate units. But despite the breakup, the company is still hers and under her control and beautiful CEO Dianne Morgan has plans. Dianne is charming, sexually confident and aggressive, ruthless and relentless in her obsession to destroy the competition, the government, and anyone else who stupidly stands in her way.

The lovely Dianne has two motives. Not only does she want her company to succeed, but she also wants her shadowy group within and without her company known as "The Domain" to succeed in their plans to take over the world. To do so, they will unleash a virus lurking deep within the operating system. The virus will cause a systematic shutdown of everything everywhere until her goals are met.

The virus's name is "Peacemaker" in reference to her vision of the future under her control. But Ray Brown has discovered a form of the virus and has seen in it violent action. He intends to stop it. Initially not realizing that his lover CEO Dianne Morgan is behind it all, he sets out to destroy "Peacemaker" and can only watch as the evolving and possibly self aware virus not only defeats his every attempt but others are retaliated against for his actions. And while Dianne plots to take over the world she has yet to understand that others within her group plot to oust her and use "Peacemaker" for their own nefarious purposes.

With at least three major storylines, this book shifts constantly in third person between them in this adventure/disaster style novel. As such, character development is rather limited and somewhat stereotypical of the genre. For example, Ray Brown is portrayed as a brilliant alcoholic constantly at war with his inner demon need for a stiff drink while the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Then there is the achingly beautiful Dianne Morgan who reminds one of a figure from Greek tragedy. Not only will she sleep with any man necessary to get her way, while at the pinnacle of success, she throws it all away on a quest for yet more power. And of course, what would any adventure/disaster read be without the pov of various minor characters doomed by the actions of the "Peacemaker" virus. Some will live, some will die and some of those deaths will be horrible as chaos ensues and society collapses.

Having said all that, for what it is in the genre, this is a pretty good book. Unlike many such novels, the focus isn't so much on the fate of the characters, but more a commentary on society, current and future, as a whole. With allusions to recent computer trials in the news, at least in the mind of this reviewer, this novel serves more as a dire warning of a future we may unwittingly be creating each day as we turn more and more control of our lives over to computer systems. While the read is enjoyable and fast, the issues this novel raises deserve serious consideration before the next power blackout or other disaster-man made or otherwise.

Book Facts:

Peacemaker

By Daniel J. Ronco

[...]

Winterwolf Publishing

[...]

August 1, 2004

ARC

Kevin R. Tipple 2004
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PeaceMake - a must read 2 Oct 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Michael Crichton move over. Dan Ronco's PeaceMaker is the 21st century sci-fi version of a tale of two cities providing us with the intense drama and emotion of a Dicken's classic combined with the imaginative, yet realistic, view of a Crichton novel. This book was so good, I barely could put it down. Thrilling, exciting, filled with heroes and villains, providing the reader with every possible range of emotions.

Ray Brown is a modern day, believable hero with whom we can all relate. Diane Morgan is a classic villain, willing to sell everything, even her soul, to get ahead and gain more and more power and money. Their fight consumes both of them, driving one into an alcoholic state and the other into the fires of absolute power.

Yet in all of this, a story of how computer technology became the crutch which eventually took over our lives. A story of how we allowed ourselves to become the victims of our own desires and wants. A story which we may be playing out - even today!

Given all of the material published in a year, this is the one book which is a must read for someone who appreciates not only a great plot, storyline, and character development, but just plain great writing.

From those of us who enjoy a great read - THANKS MR. RONCO!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-Stop Action to Destroy a Killer Computer Virus! 20 Aug 2004
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
PeaceMaker transports the action novel into a world of dueling software billionaires and operating system developers. The story has an underlying value in helping us consider the small degree by which our reliance on computers keeps out danger from our lives. Let that reliance become vulnerable to evil doers, and we are all in the soup.

Ray Brown is the hero of the book, but he's the kind of modern hero that we have all come to know . . . the man who has feet of clay but overcomes his weaknesses to do the right thing. Ray has destroyed his family through his alcoholism, sexual infidelity and obsession with software development. In his fall, he loses everything that matters to him except the software development. Then, one day he finds a bug in the operating system that he runs . . . that unexpectedly shuts his computer down.

As he begins to track down the bug, he becomes certain there's a computer virus involved. Hostile influences soon intrude to make it more difficult. As those influences grow, you will find out about a conspiracy to use a virus to obtain unlimited power.

The character development of Ray Brown is quite good. The other characters are not well developed. Many of them are caricatures of "mad scientists" and Nazi interrogators from bad 1930s movies . . . but there's a sort of campy fun as you imagine that these characters might be loosely based on some real people you've heard of. The technical details of how such a virus might work were realistic and interesting.

The writing sometimes leaves you stranded wondering what's going on . . . but you can usually pick up the thread in a few paragraphs.

Anyone who works in software will probably think this is five-star fun!
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