Warning: This is the third and final book in the series; please read the other two books before you read this book! I didn’t realize this until partway into the book, but thankfully, the author was fairly good at recapping the general gist of what was going on.
An Artificial Intelligence—or AI—is “born”, or really “emerged”, through a string of mutant packets on the Internet. One 16-year-old-girl, blind from birth, is the first one to “see” and make contact with this AI, whom she has named Webmind. Through a newly developed (and uber futuristic) device, cleverly called an eyePod, she has been given the gift of sight…and what she sees is webspace and an AI!
It would serve you well to disregard most Science Fiction notions of AI, that they’re evil and out to destroy humanity in order to take over Earth, as Webmind is the complete opposite. Not only does he want to create a peaceful plant for all of humanity, he wants to be an important and integral part of humanity. By the third book, I think that most of the initial panic by people and World leaders has already passed into an acceptance phase, except one determined American Colonel who is determined to figure out how to stop Webmind.
There is quite a bit of social commentary on human rights and democracy and freedom that I found very interesting, so I really enjoyed that the book was written this year. It seems that in my experience, this type of thing is always in Science Fiction, it’s just metaphorical; this is right out in the open, and I appreciated that.
This book is simply the last piece of the puzzle to the birth and discovery of the AI named Webmind and how the World has adapted and accepted. It felt like I saw the last 20 minutes of a movie that I enjoyed, but it only made me wonder how everybody got to the places that they did. The author did do a good job of summarizing most everything, so I wasn’t completely lost, but I didn’t get the breadth and depth of the story and characters that I think I would’ve gotten with the first two books.
My feelings on the epilogue may be different if I’d read the first two books prior to this one, but I felt it was unnecessary at that point. Five million years in the future? I think I get why the author did it, to show the humanity that Webmind did evolve into possessing, but I felt it was a bit over the top.
I’m not really able to summarize at this point, as I don’t have most of the background information on the characters and their motivations, but I did enjoy this book. So much so, that I will grab the first two books from my local library to see how what happens comes to pass.
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Ace Hardcover; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (April 5, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441019765
- ISBN-13: 978-0441019762