Cherylcan's Blog

Life and Literature

Archive for March, 2011

Review “WWW.WATCH” by Robert J. Sawyer

WWW: Watch (WWW Trilogy)Robert J. Sawyer’s WWW.Watch is the second book of a trilogy. A lifelong fan of science fiction, I have read my share of disappointing second novels, however, this is not one of them. Sawyer has a real talent for entwining the science elements with well rounded characters. I found this second book revealed more information and stretched our imaginations of the possibilities of a benevolent all-knowing intelligence not controlled by any government. The story told through many different characters allowed input from various nationalities and viewpoints.

I love the resilience and strength of Catlin Dector. She is sixteen in this second novel, navigating the world of boyfriends, new vision, and a new country with intelligence and spunk. Caitlin has been exposed to physics and mathematics by her parents, who have multiple degrees. Hungry for knowledge, Caitlin reads up on difficult subjects both by Braille and on the Internet. Sawyer gives us an interesting look at what we sighted individuals take for granted.

The first novel of the trilogy WWW.Wake follows Catlin’s experience as a blind girl suddenly being given sight through an “eye-pod” implanted by a Japanese researcher, Doctor Kuroda. The technology also gave her an unexpected side effect—the ability to “see” the digital data streams of the World Wide Web. She perceived an extraordinary presence, and woke it up.

In WWW.Watch, Caitilin  focuses on nurturing Webmind through “his childhood”. The focus leads him to a better understanding of human nature with lots of help form her parents and Doctor Kuroda. Her mother, an expert in game theory, uses math to capture behaviour in strategic stituations. Catlin’s father has autism so is able give Webmind a logical explanation of how to respond in social situations. Docotor Kuroda provided Webmind with another worldview and with a buddy when the Dexter family slept. The exponential rate of his growth along with his insatiable curiosity keep Caitlin, her parents and Dr. Kuroda busy via instant message communication.  It is interesting that her father can provide The story is complicated by the fact that the American government is trying to shut down Webmind. They are all distracted by a inter-government attempts to infiltrate the key characters in the book to reveal Webmind’s structure and/or location in an effort to destroy it.

The theme of maturation is focused on via three story threads. One deals with Hobo, half chimpanzee, half bonobo, artist reaching maturity. Hobo needs to choose which life he wishes to follow.  Caitlin’s youth combined with so much intellect and curiosity make readers focus on the development of her problem solving abilities. Caitlin and Hobo’s development play counterpoint to the emerging intelligence. This theme is wonderful for the books’ young adult audience, as they should also be exploring choices and consequences.

I look forward to WWW.Wonder coming out this month.

Advertisements

Ready to Escape

I cannot believe that it has been eight years since my husband and I started our yearly tradition of an adult trip south. We had amazing times and even crashed our friends’ honeymoon. Friday we are flying with Sunwing to the Breezes Bella Costa near Varadero, Cuba. This time together allows us to be ourselves again instead of parents or professionals. We get to totally let our hair down and relax, by the ocean, in the pool, in town at the bar, and at the disco. Four more sleeps until my holiday with my husband.

Historically, I read about eight books while away. This year I am only taking my Sony Reader. I have been storing books on it for months. I am going to finish my re-read of Orwell’s 1984 then move onto Room by Donoghue. After that it is wherever my whim will take me. I hope to enjoy the sun and sand but even if it happens to rain I am ready to relax.