Review by John: WWW:Watch ~ by Robert J. Sawyer (# 2 WWW series)
Part two of an intriguing and clever science fiction story with a tremendous young female lead character.
Continuing on from WWW:Wake (links to John’s review):
The “Webmind” consciousness that has spontaneously emerged on the internet is becoming ever more powerful. Caitlin Decter - the young, blind math genius who helped Webmind to evolve – remains determined to help it to learn and to grow, and she now has the help of her two highly talented parents. Despite the exponential growth in Webmind’s powers and his newfound ability to connect with people, he feels a very strong bond with Caitlin and she remains his prime source of guidance.
Meanwhile WATCH, a secret Government agency that is tasked with monitoring the Internet for any threats to the United States, has become aware of Webmind, though it neither understands what Webmind is nor what its intentions are. What the agency does understand is that Webmind is getting stronger by the hour and WATCH is not prepared to let that happen. While WATCH sets out to destroy Webmind, Caitlin has absolutely no doubts about Webmind’s compassion and good intentions, and so begins a battle over its very existence. What will happen when Webmind sets out to help people in a very direct way?
Not to repeat everything I said in the review of WWW:Wake, but Sawyer has a fabulous imagination and this is an excellent story with a clever plot. Caitlin has already been established as a great character and in this book a bit more time is spent fleshing out her parents. I would have to say that the pace has dropped off a smidgeon from the previous book, and some of the side stories are starting to feel like distractions. I can’t help but wonder if making this into a trilogy was the right thing to do. I guess I’ll have to read the third installment in order to find out!
And, despite my normal reticence to read trilogies or book series, I will read part three (WWW:Wonder has just been published), which says a lot about the strength of the storyline and Sawyer’s imagination. Prior to the WWW series, the only other Sawyer book I’d read had a fabulous story and an ending I really didn’t like. I’m hoping this won’t go the same way.
For now, I’d rate this book 4 stars – just. The first in the series was a 4 bordering on 4.5, while this is a 4 bordering on 3.5. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for WWW:Wonder.
Stay tuned since a review for WWW:Wonder, the last in the trilogy is coming very soon since the book is on order at our local library.
As always (unless he forgets!) John will be answering all the comments on this review, so do not forget to check the follow up box to get his response.
Don’t you just love these covers? Gorgeous! Thanks for reading.