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PeaceMaker by Dan Ronco


by Dan Ronco

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3618313,489 (3.98)None
  1. 00
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (realfish)
    realfish: high tech thriller with a computer program threatening mankind's existence

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It's strange, this story comes across like hard science fiction, yet it has a fair few cheesy moments and cliches. As for the female characters, I really don't know what to say. It was, however, and tense and interesting read.
  Trojanprincess | Dec 11, 2012 |
This must be a good read because there are sixteen previous reviews on this site and all of them are positive. If I go to Dan Ronco’s profile on LT, I can read how good Dan thinks his own books are. So I guess I’m out of step because although there’s a lot to like about PeaceMaker, there’s a lot that’s wrong with it as well, and I can’t believe that I’m the first to notice it.

The main theme of the story is fine: company produces computer operating system that is so good that it becomes the global standard and thus vulnerable to anyone who can infect it with a virus. We know that this is feasible because of the dominance of Microsoft’s Windows over the years, and the recent cyber-attacks on defence systems in places such as Iran. The amount of technical information given is probably about right; I didn’t feel overwhelmed despite not being particularly computer literate and I’m fine with the format of using snippets from the future to explain the present.

Where it falls down is in characterization, dialogue and those small details that stop you from suspending reality and really immersing yourself in the book. The baddies are sooo bad, the goodies are emotionally flawed (but I don’t need endless references to Ray’s drink problem, I got it the first time) and two of the main characters, Dianne and Carmita, are pretty unbelievable. The dialogue is at times, awful, with people using conversation to explain background detail for the reader. This leads to characters using the line, ‘As you know, Ray’, and then giving physical descriptions of people that they are both familiar with. Other conversations read like poor attempts at stand up comedy; unfortunately they are neither funny nor likely, people just don’t talk like that.

I have no doubt that in the real world big corporations employ people to indulge in industrial espionage, but they don’t have vast standing armies of trigger-happy goons ready to kill on sight. They don’t have low-level nuclear weapons to throw about when things get a bit iffy; but these are the sort of comic-book antics described by Mr. Ronco. Perhaps it was written with one eye on Hollywood; nothing wrong with that, except that it reads like a particularly bad ‘Bond’ movie script; ‘Octopussy’ rather than ‘Dr No’.

Couple more things and I’ll quit bitchin’. In order to penetrate the database and attempt to destroy the virus, Ray must convince the computer that he is Dianne. This he does successfully but having accepted that he is Dianne, the virus then threatens Ray’s son David? Am I missing something here? Anyway, toward the end are a few scenes which are unrelated to the main story, but are used to illustrate the mayhem created by the computer virus. They didn’t work for me; they seemed like space fillers and needed to have some connection with the main characters.

All in all, it’s pacy enough with plenty of sex, violence and computer geeks, and it’s a pretty undemanding read. I know that this was Dan Ronco’s first book and I assume that he improved with the second and third ones. ( )
  Roger_the_Dog | Jul 15, 2011 |
Review of member giveaway eBook
This is an accomplished techno-thriller. An easy, light read with a Trojan AI set to bring down modern civilization.
This was a very entertaining book. ( )
  AMAMUR | Jun 27, 2011 |
Imagine a night when you go to sleep to the natural hum of the world around you. The purring of the refrigerator, the fan oscillating back and forth, the computer fan running overtime 'cause you didn't turn it off, in case you need to access something right away. You fall asleep to the zing of electricity all around you.

Suddenly you awaken. You're not sure why. You stop and listen and you hear nothing. Then it dawns on you, you hear nothing. You clap your hands to see if you've gone deaf but the clap reverberates around the room and buries deep in your ear. Your hearing is just fine.

You step up and look out your window to a world swallowed by darkness. There is no light from the streets, the houses around you. Nothing. You look for the time but the clock is blank. You have no idea what happened and you think just a power outage and go back to sleep.

Waking up you find yourself in a world where computers have been completely shutdown by the PeaceMaker virus. Nothing works because everything is controlled by computers. Thousands, millions will die. Anarchy and chaos reign supreme in the streets. Gangs pillage and terrify society. The world has gone mad.

That is the world that Dan Ronco's main character Ray Brown is trying to stop. Ray is a computer genius and creator of a voice recognition software for one of the leading operating systems, Atlas. What he doesn't know is that his program is the beginning to the destruction of society. A virus is implanted in the software without his notice and grows stronger over the 7 years that it takes for all the codes to be put into place. Ray finds the virus by accident and works diligently to destroy it.

Not so easy since the program has taken on a mind of it's own. An artificial intelligent serial killer. Time is running out before the world has it's very first NetWar. Will Ray be able to save the world or will he lose his life trying? Well let me not tell you because it was an awesome book and one that was hard to put down. I'm not a techie guru in the least but thankfully I didn't need to be one to understand the computer world in which Dan Ronco builds.

I say read it and beware. When reading the book though do what I did with the two software companies vying for the world market and switch their names from Atlas & Companion to Microsoft & Mac OS. Tell me you're not freaked out!!! ( )
  cwaldrum | May 21, 2011 |
The simple, yet extraordinary fact that the plot in this amazing story is so extremely plausible in today's technically advanced world....it makes this book one heck of a scary story! Great plot, amazing details in giving the background of the story, making it a very readable, as well as immensely enjoyable book.
  Jilicious | May 15, 2011 |
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