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Watch (WWW Trilogy) Hardcover – 6 Apr 2010
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|Hardcover, 6 Apr 2010||
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Watch is a dynamic, moving and thought provoking novel that manages to convey the book's myriad messages effortlessly and rewardingly, recommended. (SF Book) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Web is alive! The new SF thriller from the author of FLASHFORWARD. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
His ideas are good and though provoking, and he develops them well, but you are never going to get a rip-roaring adventure story from him. Also he does tend to set a scene just enough to allow the story to develop and then move on - as an analogy it's a bit like having theatrical backdrops rather than filming on location.
Finally this with 'Wake' (and, I presume Vol3 'Wonder' to come), aren't really a trilogy but a single novel in published in three parts - they don't exist or make sense in isolation.
Robert is definitely a name to watch (as if you're not already) and will definitely be one to whom a great many are compared to in the future taking on the role of the standard setter from those who came before such as Arthur C Clarke.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
There are lesbians in this book, and they aren't treated like idiots or sexual objects. There are people of all races represented here, people of all levels of ability mentally and physically, and people of all levels of socialization. Characters who are clearly autistic, with no attempt to hide that fact. Men who are bad at their jobs, and women who are very good at them.
Just a few reasons why this book is great, and something I'd recommend to most anyone, but especially high school students and advanced junior high school students.
The only minor issues I can imagine are that at times the male author seems to have some odd ideas about young female sexuality and the ways in which younger kids speak to each other... but even when those issues crop up, they don't detract from the book.
Read it if you can- you certainly won't regret hearing it out. I read this completely out of context (with no knowledge of the rest of the trilogy even existing) and I enjoyed it greatly!
In Book One, we were introduced to teen math whiz Caitlin Decter, recently moved from Texas to Toronto, and even more recently granted vision by a high-tech implant designed by a Japanese genius. In fact, there are a lot of really genius people around this kid, including her parents and her (spoiler alert) boyfriend. Also the emergent consciousness she has named Webmind.<br/><br/>In this book, the "watch" of the title refers to the NSA spooks who have become aware of Webmind's existence and, naturally, want to bring it down. Something powerful you don't understand? Kill it, of course. If you can.
A fascinating sub-plot in both books is a chimp/bonobo hybrid named Hobo who has learned sign language, and eventually is given a web cam hookup so he can converse with an orangutang in another facility (in the US, I think) who has also learned sign. Of course, as Webmind emerges, some of the material to which he has access is the communications between and about these two apes. See if you can guess what happens when Webmind gets involved with them.
Webmind is a very ethically sophisticated entity, but we must ask the question whether that is an inevitable part of his makeup, or the fact that he first emerged in communication with a girl with a solid ethical background. Her parents are both freethinkers, although of two different specific histories. In any case, she has never been brought up on religious myth. As an atheist myself, I give this fact a great deal of credit for her character. On the other hand, her best female friend is a practicing Muslim, and they have good respect for one another.
I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone, perhaps excepting only those under the age of 12, just because it does not skimp on the scientific part, and would probably seem frustratingly technical to a lot of kids. But not teenagers like the ones I know and love.
In the previous novel , WWW: Wake, Catlin Decter, a brilliant 15 year old blind girl is given sight through experimental technology in the form of an implant that interprets visual signals correctly and allows her to see (in her left eye at least). Through this device she discovers a presence in the Web that starts to gain greater and greater cognitive abilities, which grows as the second novel progresses. She dubs it Webmind.
In Watch, we watch as Webmind not only develops cognitive abilities exponentially, but through the help of Catlin begins to develop its sense of ethics and, without being too maudlin, an understanding of "the meaning of life." This novel is primarily about this development, along with government agencies trying to figure out how to shut Webmind down, fearing it will become so powerful it will destroy mankind.
While I have greatly enjoyed these novels so far, and the second one is even better than the first, which is unusual for a middle novel of a trilogy, sometimes I find the interactions between the characters to be a bit unbelievable. They seem scripted more for a Grade B movie than the way people really interact with each other. And when the characters are mouthpieces for the author to pontificate a point of view on consciousness, ethics and other scientific theories, the interactions just don't ring true, even though the characters are supposed to be geniuses at math and physics.
And I wonder a bit about the lost thread about the Chinese hacker that appears in Wake. I wonder if Sawyer had abandoned that tread, or if it will somehow reappear in the next novel.
This is a good and interesting trilogy so far and very much worth reading.