Wake

{4.5/5} “Anyway, check it: I’ve got this transceiver attached to my optic nerve, just behind my left eye. When it’s turned on, it’ll grab the signals my retina is putting out and transmit them to this little external computer pack I’m supposed to carry around, like, forever; I called it my eyePod, and at least that made Dr. Kuroda laugh.”

Wake by Robert J. Sawyer, published in 2009

Caitlin is a 15-year-old girl who’s been blind since birth. But now a new technology invented by Dr. Kuroda is allowing her to see for the first time. Because of her unique connection to the World Wide Web, she sees something unusual happening there — a consciousness is becoming aware. Meanwhile, in China a deadly outbreak is met with a logical but cold-hearted response. And a bonobo-chimpanzee hybrid named Hobo shows signs of increased intelligence.

Caitlin is the main human character, and it’s fascinating watching her experience sight for the first time. She’s funny and smart, and a great character to follow. The part of the story narrated by the emerging Web consciousness isn’t quite as interesting at the beginning when it’s haltingly trying to figure out what’s going on, but it becomes more interesting later when it interacts with Caitlin.

Wake is the first book of a trilogy — reviews for the others will undoubtedly be coming soon, as I am extremely curious about what happens next.

The books in the WWW trilogy are probably the only science fiction novels set in Waterloo. I lived in Waterloo for many years and it was certainly enjoyable to read about these adventures happening there.

I’ve read almost all of Sawyer’s novels — he’s one of my favourite authors. He writes science fiction like Malcolm Gladwell writes nonfiction — easy to read, with lots of fascinating ideas. No matter what Sawyer novel you pick up, you won’t be disappointed. Here are the ones I rated 5/5: Golden Fleece, Starplex, Factoring Humanity, Calculating God, and Hominids.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 at 10:13 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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