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The Second Book in a Science Fiction Trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer

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A Disappointing Follow-up to an Excellent First Book

  • Apr 24, 2010
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Let me preface this review by saying that Sawyer is my favorite scifi writer today and that I found the first book in this trilogy to be excellent.  However, much to my dismay this book was difficult to get through.  Caitlin has recently gained site through an implant behind one of her eyes.  Her new friend, the Webmind is starting to evolve.  Meanwhile a group of government scientists have detected the Webmind and want to destroy it before it becomes too powerful to be destroyed.

Caitlin eventually lets her parents know about the Webmind and they are convinced that it is someone on the Internet pulling a prank until Caitlin's father tests it out.  Eventually they are convinced and are fascinated with the Webmind like it is an additional child.

Overlayed on this tale is the story about Hobo, the intelligent chimp/bonabo crossbreed.  Hobo starts to get violent towards the woman who is responsible for him and the scientists have to decide what to do with him.

Meanwhile, through Dr. Kuroda, the Webmind is able to view more than text files on the internet and branches out to sound and video files.  Eventually, the Webmind witnesses a teen suicide through the net.  Caitlin becomes furious at it because it didn't intervene.

There comes a point where Sawyer hints that the Webmind will be to Caitlin like the computer implant that he introduced in the Hominid series.

Some of the drawbacks to this book are that you really needed to read the first book to understand what is going on and that the book drags.  The deep feelings that the reader developed for Caitlin in the first book seem to be lacking here.

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December 05, 2010
Great review, though I liked it better than you did. I agree that the reading of the first book is necessary which is a drawback. I did enjoy the Webmind realizing his own mortality and his own ability to judge as he tries to help others. The suicides were particularly sad and frightening. The gov't agents were not built up enough and the book ending was a bit abrupt. Still, can't wait for book 3!
December 05, 2010
As soon as Robert sends it to me, I will read it too.
December 05, 2010
What? You have an inside line to Robert Sawyer? Wow!
December 05, 2010
The new book will be released in April 2011.
December 06, 2010
Sure do! I wrote to him a while back and now he sends me all his new books. He actually reads my reviews and has commented on them to me.
December 08, 2010
Wow, that's great. Should get him on Shelfari.com and of course Lunch.com!
December 08, 2010
His website lists his email which I was pleasantly surprised that he personally responds to .
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I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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About this book


Webmind is an emerging consciousness that has befriended Caitlin Decter and grown eager to learn about her world. But Webmind has also come to the attention of WATCH-the secret government agency that monitors the Internet for any threat to the United States-and they're fully aware of Caitlin's involvement in its awakening.

WATCH is convinced that Webmind represents a risk to national security and wants it purged from cyberspace. But Caitlin believes in Webmind's capacity for compassion-and she will do anything and everything necessary to protect her friend.
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