WWW: Wake (WWW #1)
Robert J. Sawyer
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math-and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind. But Caitlin's brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. So when she receives an implant to restore her sight, instead of seeing reality, the
landscapeof 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 more and more intelligent with each passing day...
I'm honestly at a loss for words. Why do I not read Science Fiction in non-dystopic form more often? And I don't mean space ships and future when I say Science Fiction, but I mean actual science is at the basis for the book. For example, WWW:Wake included Math theories, Physics, Information Science, Study of the Consciousness, Semiotics, Physical Anthropology and many theories on the world wide web, which were all described out for the readers to understand.
The book has many perspectives but the blind girl Caitlin is the main character for this first book and her situation is the main focus. She is given a chance to maybe see again. At first it doesn't work quite right and then she sees the internet which is where things get interesting. As this is going on we read a being coming into consciousness and throughout the first half of the book I am plagued with the question "why"?
In fact the first half of the book I wondered why there were so many completely unrelated points of views, yet slowly but surely they mentioned each other and then a couple of them became intertwined. I know there are more books in the series so I assume that the ones that didn't truly meet up may in the future, I am particularly interested in the fate of Hobo, the half Chimp, half Bonobo signing ape.
Honestly I can see why Sawyer is one of the biggest names in Science Fiction. I want to rave about this book to the world, to everyone I meet.
Also just adding on that this book made me feel smart as well, and that's always good.
I absolutely loved Caitlin getting back her sight. When she got back real sight I literally started crying. I loved the description of how she perceived things, you could tell Sawyer had done research on this and it was beautiful. I also really enjoyed how she didn't get the sight back right away because her chip's programming wasn't quite right yet, it led to a realism that I really enjoyed.
I also loved Phantom's point of view once it started to learn letters and contact Caitlin. Before it was so fragmented it was hard to read, and then suddenly you realize AI is being born in these words and it's amazing. I was completely moved when the e-mail was sent. I want to pick up the next book so badly because I want to see how things are going to go from here. There's just so much more that could happen. Wake is the perfect name for the book, as it is the waking of consciousness of Webmind, who I'm guessing will be the main connection and focus of the other books.
I recommend this to anyone who adores Science Fiction, anyone who took classes in any of the scientific knowledge I mentioned above. Fans of Helen Keller and her story, lovers of the internet in a scientific nature, lovers of apes that have learned to sign and the theory behind that, and people who love a story that weaves itself together.