The WWW trilogy is nice transition from my previous book, Plex. Although this was a trilogy, it seemed more like one book in three parts rather than three different books. I have to admit that I have only listened to one other Robert J. Sawyer book, Fast Forward, which I found to be so dry and slow I almost did not finish it.
The main human character in these books is Caitlin Decter, a blind 16-year-old girl who is a bit of a math genius. About the only thing Caitlin does better than math is surfing the web. Early into the first book she is invited to Japan to receive an experimental retinal implant. This implant co-opts the vision center of her brain to allow her to see the structure of the web. This is how she first encounters a fledgling emergent artificially intelligent entity.
This AI grows and becomes known to the world as WebMind, which is essentially a sentient version of Google. What follows is the struggle of society to embrace and integrate this world-changing technology.
The story flows at a nice pace and only stalls in a few places, which I found to be a nice change from the other Sawyer work I read. While it did not keep me guessing at every turn it was not too predictable either.
One criticism – I wish Sawyer would have cut off the last few pages of the last book. I found them a little too hokey.
At the heart is these books is the idea of transition and growth, whether that be a 16-year-old blind girl getting her site or an AI emerging from the whole of the World Wide Web.
Narrated by Jessica Almasy, Marc Vietor, Oliver Wyman, Anthony Haden Salerno, and A. C. Fellner, Audible produced this book and gave it an Ender’s Game-style narration. Each chapter of the book is written from one character’s POV and get its own narrator. All of the narrators did a great job. I love the way that Caitlin’s narrator gave her a slight southern twang without it being over the top, This goes for all the accents in the book which takes place mostly in Canada. There is also an intro to the first book by Sawyer himself, which is nice.
Story: 8 of 10
Narration: 10 of 10
These book are available at Amazon WWW: Wake, WWW: Watch, and WWW: Wonder and Audible WWW: Wake, WWW: Watch, and WWW: Wonder
My next book will be The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande