Title: WWW: Wake
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
When a Japanese researcher develops a new signal-processing implant that might give her sight, she jumps at the chance, flying to Tokyo for the operation.
But Caitlin's brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. Once the implant is activated, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something—some other—lurking in the background. And it's getting smarter...
When I picked this book up purely on the interesting premise, I had no idea who Robert J. Sawyer was. Now I know he's a Canadian author and that he wrote FlashForward (which I had seen on TV). So I suppose I was really lucky in picking up this book on a whim.
This book tells the story of Caitlin but also has a few side stories including one about an epidemic in China. The one I gravitated to the most was the story of Caitlin regaining her sight. I was afraid it would be too technical or too "scifi" for me but I found it was just the opposite. It's a story about a person and all the scifi stuff is used just to enhance that. I found myself glued to the pages rooting for her and her journey.
This novel is very suspenseful. We are aware of some kind of intelligence Caitlin finds on the web and it isn't until well into the novel that we find out the story. I thought it was fascinating and quite original.
The negatives I found with Wake is that the book definitely ends wide open for a sequel (this is part of a trilogy); I would have liked more closure. Also, there are a couple story lines that don't really conclude at all and I was a little confused by this but I can only guess that they will be picked up in the next installment.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and found it surprisingly easy to read for someone inexperienced with scifi. If you are looking for a standalone this isn't for you because you'll want to pick up the next one right away! The series continues with Watch and finally Wonder. I'm definitely going to read Sawyer again. A-