Robert Sawyer is one of my all time favorite science fiction writers. The start of his new WWW trilogy is very promising, although WWW: Wake does have a few flaws, mostly because of loose ends that will be tied up in future novels (I hope).
In Wake we meet Catlin Decter, a blind 15-year old girl, who also happens to be brilliant. When a new experimental technology comes along that can cure her type of blindness, she receives an implant in her eye that allows for the signals to be processed and sent to her brain that will allow her to see. But a strange thing happens. When she first turns on the device, instead of seeing the real world she sees the World Wide Web. And something is lurking in the Web that sees her as well. As the story progresses these two entities, the human Catlin Decter, and the other unknown entity discover each other.
There are also some unresolved threads in the novel, like the monkey (a crossbreed) that can paint representational art and hold a conversation in sign language, and a young man trying to break through the wall the Chinese government puts on the Internet to hide some horrifying news. It was a little disconcerting to have these stories within the story hanging loosely at the end.
Overall, the novel is very well done, and Catlin is a very well drawn character, as is her family, including her autistic father. But at the same time the novel is not a stand alone novel and begs for completion. While I would not call this one of Sawyer's best efforts, it is quite an intriguing concept and novel and I look forward to the next chapter of the story.
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About the reviewer
Doug Baker (cdbaker)
Avid reader and football fan.
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