NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy", a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the internet.
Former CIA agent Wyman Ford is tapped to track down the rogue AI. As Ford and Shepherd search for Dorothy, they realize that her horrific experiences in the wasteland of the Internet have changed her in ways they can barely imagine. And they’re not the only ones looking for the wayward software: The AI is also being pursued by a pair of Wall Street traders, who want to capture her code and turn her into a high-speed trading bot. Traumatized, angry, and relentlessly hunted, Dorothy has an extraordinary revelation - and devises a plan. As the pursuit of Dorothy converges on a deserted house on the coast of Northern California, Ford must face the ultimate question: Is rescuing Dorothy the right thing? Is the AI bent on saving the world…or on wiping out the cancer that is humankind?
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By Kelly Howard on 30-05-14
Dorothy needs to be sucked up by a tornado
I've read a bunch of DP's books, both solo & with L Childs, but this is definitely not one of the winners. I agree with a number of reviewers who said it seems like a YA novel, at least in many parts. None of the characters (including Dorothy, and her little dog [?!] too) seemed particularly believable, & the kiss request was just idiotic & creepy. I found the kid so incredibly obnoxious that I kept fervently hoping he'd get killed off; yes, I know teenagers can be a trial, and he did have tough things to deal with (like the foot thing*), but it is possible to write a problematic character without having him be so loathsome that the reader prays for his death. Of course, the fact that his parents were also utterly intolerable caused me to cut him a teeny bit of slack, but they were another problem. I must say, Preston has a knack for creating characters which I absolutely cannot stand; some of the jerks in this book make me think that he's responsible for certain characters in the books he wrote with Childs...the reporter Smithback in many of the Pendergast books springs to mind...the kid in this one could be his clone in obnoxiousness.
Preston showed a serious lack of imagination with having two different characters bring somebody out of hiding with the exact same trick-- pretending to abuse something the target cared about. I kept waiting for Ford to mention that he'd learned the trick from the first instance, but it was presented like "what a great idea!" --twice.
Overall, the plot was beyond my ability to suspend disbelief. Could a computer program really hide the way Dorothy did at the end? Perhaps I just don't understand the physics of computing well enough, but I didn't buy it, along with quite a few other things. The dialogue was rather doubtful at times, also.
Sowers did a decent job with what he had to work with. At least he didn't do what the guy who read the Dresden Files did on the first book, which was give vent to these humongous sighs at intervals, like reading the book was the worst thing he'd ever had to trudge through (he either got more interested as the books went along, or learned to suffer in silence).
*granted, I know nothing about surfing, but I had real problems with him never being able to surf again because one leg was shorter than the other. What a weenie! People surf without arms, with 1 1/2 legs, with no legs... there's a picture of a guy without arms OR legs riding a board with a girl with one arm, fa cryin' out loud! Okay, they're not shooting the pipe (or whatever it's called) on a monster 40 foot wave, but sheesh!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Matthew on 28-05-14
Not his best outing..but hey, we all mess up!
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
A Preston fanatic, or someone of similar ilk.
Would you ever listen to anything by Douglas Preston again?
Sure. Preston misses the mark here on several fronts, but hey, not eveything works. Let's give him a break here. ( That said, this book is rather childish and predictable.)
What about Scott Sowers’s performance did you like?
All of it.He is a professional.
What character would you cut from The Kraken Project?
Any additional comments?
OK I admit this was not ideal, but it passed the time. Maybe not worth a credit, but I enjoyed some of it.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful