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Thursday, July 14, 2011

WWW Trilogy Week: Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer (Review)

Genre:Science Fiction
Publication.Date  March 29th 2011
Published By:  Penguin Canada
WebsiteWWW Website
Wonder - Goodreads
My review copy:paperback provided by the publisher (*thank you*~)
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Amazon

Webmind-the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the infrastructure of the World Wide Web-has proven its worth to humanity by aiding in everything from curing cancer to easing international tensions. But the brass at the Pentagon see Webmind as a threat that needs to be eliminated.

Caitlin Decter-the once-blind sixteen-year-old math genius who discovered, and bonded with, Webmind-wants desperately to protect her friend. And if she doesn't act, everything-Webmind included-may come crashing down.

"We're trying to transition to a new world in which mankind is not the brightest thing on the planet, while keeping our essential humanity, liberty and individuality intact. Every time we fail to assert our liberties, every time we fail to express out individuality, we lose a piece of ourselves. We might as well be machines."
"Well-behaved women rarely make history."
"If you’re a good person, hiding who you really are is just another way of saying that you’ve decided to let others establish your self-worth."
"Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences."

     Wonder is the final book in Robert J. Sawyer’s WWW Trilogy about Webmind, the vast consciousness that spontaneously emerged from the World Wide Web. It was a fitting and perfectly satisfying ending to the series. Fans will be very pleased with how well Sawyer ties up all the loose ends, making it clear that this was a well thought out and thoroughly researched story. 

     After discovering the existence of Webmind, the US government tried but failed to exterminate him. Now, that Webmind made it very clear that he is devoted to assisting the humanity and helping it thrive rather than sabotaging or harming it, most people came to trust him and they often seek his advice or even virtual companionship.  There are, however, those who consider him to be a threat and they won’t rest until they succeed in “killing” the fast learning AI. But is Webmind really a threat? Is it safe to trust him? What will happen next?

     As with Watch, you can pick up a copy of Wonder and start reading without having to read the previous books in the series and you will have no problem following the plot. It’s written in a way that allows each book in the trilogy to stand on its own. Sawyer smoothly introduces all the important events from the previous books, without detracting from the flow of the story. But of course, reading the series as a whole is strongly recommended. There are plenty of subtleties and nuances to savor which you really don’t want to miss. The dialogues are very natural and often humorous. The storyline is spiked with a whole lot of fascinating scientific information and curiosities that enrich the plot and are served in an easy-to-digest way. 

     Curious what others thought about Wonder, I read quite a few reviews and was surprised to see that many people found this final installment to be not as good as the previous ones, or even disappointing. Frankly, I don’t really understand what their opinions are based on. I was very pleased with the way the story unraveled. I liked the way the plot threads expanded and intertwined with each other. Every piece of the puzzle fell into the right place, creating a complete and unforgettable picture. What pleased me the most, though, was the way Sawyer ended this epic tale about the evolved consciousness of the Internet. I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger, although it had a similar astonishing effect on me. It left me speechless and I found myself pondering the possible outcomes of something similar to Webmind emerging in our world. This book made me think and, well, wonder… And isn’t this exactly what a good story is supposed to do? 

     I loved all the characters in this story, especially Webmind. They’re all vivid and three-dimensional. I found it very easy to get emotionally attached to them, which made following their stories even more enjoyable. I’m so thankful to Sawyer that he didn’t go for creating a dystopian vision of the future in which Webmind turns out to be the worst thing ever happened to mankind. We’ve all seen Matrix, Terminator and Space Odyssey, as well as a hundred other movies/books in which the artificial intelligence eventually turns against the humans and decides to exterminate us. We don’t really need yet another retelling of the same old story, right? And so I’m really glad that this book is so unique and fresh in its take on this subject. Sawyer pained a potentially wonderful future and I often found myself wishing I could live in that era to witness that kind of technological progress. 

     Overall, this was a great read. I had wonderful time devouring all three books in the WWW Trilogy and can’t wait to check out more of Robert’s works. He’s a marvelous writer, well deserving of all the awards he won.  I said it before and I will say it again: this is easily one of the best SF series ever!

This review is posted as a part of WWW Trilogy Week @Bookish

Come back tomorrow to read my interview with Robert! 
And don't forget to come back on 16th to enter the huge giveaway of the whole WWW Trilogy!!!

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About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Bonnie said...

This sounds like a crazy series! Evie, I have really enjoyed your week dedicated to this series - so often you read one one or two books in a series but it's nice to see them all at once to really get a feel of what to expect from the entire trilogy!

Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

landofbooks said...

This sounds like an amazing series that I need to read. Will read this series soon.

Julie said...

You have done great reviews of each of these books, and have made them a must-read for me! Thanks so much for bringing these books to my attention:)
jwitt33 at live dot com

Anna said...

I love ur reviews and I can not wait to get my hands on this series they sound so intriguing and different. Already added to my TBR pile.

SweetShenanigans said...

All the books sound awesome! I'd love to read them

Lissyta said...

Alredy finished! and i don't have even the first one! I love the cover, the colors, it's wonderful

aurora M. said...

Another book that is out of my usual reads but now after the review I will check it out. Thanks

Krystal said...

You always give such detailed reviews, I enjoy reading them and I think I would enjoy this book,thank you!

majoy said...

Wow!! this is one of the great reviews I read about Robert J. Sawyer WWW.WONDER.I'm currently reading WAKE his fist book.. and this review totally gave me the eagerness to finish the the 1st two books (WAKE & WATCH). :)

Thanks for this Evie :)

monika96 said...

great book

therainhouse said...

Whoa.. She bonded herself to the consciousness of the Internet?

That's crazy! But it's so cool..

Somebody should make this into a movie franchise. This is like a mixture of the Matrix and Dune..

You know, Leto bonded himself with the sandworm and became a god. See the similarity? =)

FairyWhispers said...

funny i never seen it before

Munnaza said...

I love how this book sounds just as interesting as the others in the trilogy, and still very original. And I'm glad that it's not a dystopian either (there are too many of those floating around and very few that are actually well done). This book sounds unique, and a great final installment. I'm looking forward to checking it out! Great review!

AgnesPink said...

I have never even heard of this book but it sounds very interesting! Gonna add it to my TBR list!

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