Daimones

Rated 4.10/5 based on 21 reviews
Dan Amenta lives the good life in the French country side surrounding Geneva, Switzerland. The perfect world collapses the day he gets fired and he's left shattered and confused. He resolves to take control again of his life to protect his family and preserve their way of life. But the tasks gain a new meaning when — the next morning — he discovers they're the only ones alive on Earth. More
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About Massimo Marino

Massimo is a scientist as a background. Spent years at CERN and at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, then had leading positions with Apple Inc. and the World Economic Forum. He is also Partner in a new startup in Geneva for smartphones applications, TAKEALL SA, and co-founder of an IT service and consulting company in Big Data Analytics: Squares on Blue.

Massimo lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland daily and multiple times, but no, he's not a smuggler.

With family, he lived on both sides of the Ocean Pond and they speak three languages at home, sometimes in the same sentence even! They feel home where loved ones and friends are and have friends in Italy, Spain, France, UK, Switzerland, Germany and the US.

Ah, as golf player, Massimo played courses in all those countries too. With mixed results...

2012 PRG Reviewer's Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction
2013 Hall of Fame - Best in Science Fiction, Quality Reads UK Book Club
2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner in Science Fiction Series
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Daimones by Massimo Marino
"Daimones" on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1478347104 Winner of the 2012 PRG Reviewers' Choice in Science Fiction. http://www.paranormalromanceguild.com Daimones by Massimo Marino is the Indie Book of the Day for January 8th, 2013! http://indiebookoftheday.com/daimones-by-massimo-marino/

Also in The Daimones Trilogy

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Andrew santaniello on Aug. 28, 2013 :
Pretty much anything post-apocalyptic I liked, and I tried but I couldn’t like this book, in fact I couldn’t even read the last 25-30 pages once the author reveals what happened. First let me say the book is well written but that’s about all the good I can say for it. The characters aren’t very likable for two reasons. First is they’re not very smart. They go about storing food, water, guns even go about letting penned in animals out since they may need them in the future but do nothing to learn skills they will need to survive once everything modern runs out. Very narrow minded not thinking of the future, it reminded me a lot of “Earth Abides” in that aspect. I’ll explain the second reason after I explain why the story doesn’t work.

So for the story it just doesn’t make sense. The apocalypse happens and there is no one around and nothing really happens. Seriously. Nothing. The scariest moment the people have is a tie between being chased by a dog (while Dan is safely in his car driving away) and the internet going down (the horror). Throughout the book whatever the group does turns out rosy. They find dogs and they’re essentially trained, the power and phones keep working for months and months, no one gets sick, it’s the apocalypse feel good story of the year. What’s the crux of the story? Who’s the hero and who’s the villain? Easy to say, the story just didn’t keep my interest.

This brings me back to my second complaint about the characters. Despite nothing bad happening to these folks and no sign of anyone else alive they are the biggest bunch of scared cats I have ever seen. I think about 10% of the book is Mary trying to talk Dan out of leaving the house. Then when they finally get the balls to leave they act irrational by spending pages and pages saying and preparing to do things one way only to have something happen and then they change their mind on a dime (and of course it works out for them).
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: E. R. Yatscoff on July 27, 2013 :
Gives eBooks a bad name. Cardboard characters, no drama or suspense, and no emotion or conflict. Read a third of it and found it boring. Nothings happens in the story except that I nodded off several times.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Caitlin Saulsgiver on May 31, 2013 :
After reading about 25% of the book I already knew that it would be one of my favorites. It was just that good. It was steadily paced and very well written, descriptive, and you could feel the fear that the characters felt. We follow Dan, a father of one, and a husband who believes that his family may possibly be last people on earth after something wipes out everyone leaving them dead.

What I find interesting is that the start of the book is articles of birds and other animals dying in huge masses which has been actually happening in real life. The book itself makes you feel uncomfortable because most of the content is somewhat realistic and it's going to make you think. Which I believe makes for the best books.

Can't wait to read the next book in the series because all I want is more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: claudia peduzzi on May 29, 2013 :
Se credete che Daimones voglia dire demoni e che si tratti di una storia appartenente al genere fantasy … siete sulla strada sbagliata. La mitologia greca identificava con questo nome delle divinità minori, con funzione di spirito guida. Non malvagi, ma nemmeno necessariamente buoni. In ogni caso di fantasia Massimo Marino ne ha molta, ma più che un seguace di Tolkien direi che è un ammiratore di Stephen King.

Nella forma di un romanzo, che potrebbe essere compreso nel filone catastrofico, l'argomento affrontato è molto serio ed è tra quelli ai quali sono particolarmente sensibile: l'interazione uomo-ambiente.

La formazione dell'autore è scientifica. Ha lavorato al CERN di Ginevra, ai laboratori Lawrence Berkeley in California, per Apple e per il World Economic Forum. Attualmente vive in Francia, ma nei pressi di Ginevra, dove lavora attraversando il confine tutti i giorni. Esattamente come Dan, il protagonista di Daimones, nel quale è facile riconoscerne l'alter ego.

L'incipit s'ispira a una frase di Sallustio:
“Deorum naturae neque factae sunt; quae enim semper sunt, numquam fiunt: semper vero sunt”
(Queste cose non sono mai successe, magari non accadranno mai, ma sono sempre valide)

La trama verte effettivamente su una eventualità altamente improbabile: un mattino di febbraio Dan e la sua famiglia - composta da moglie e figlia dodicenne - iniziano la giornata seguendo la solita routine, ma in breve tempo realizzano che un evento inspiegabile, non meglio identificato, ha apparentemente causato la morte di tutti gli esseri umani sull'intero pianeta. Solo il giorno precedente Dan aveva, di sfuggita, ascoltato alla radio la notizia di un'inspiegabile moria di pesci, uccelli e altri piccoli mammiferi e ora ecco toccare all'uomo la stessa sorte!

Superato lo shock iniziale e ritenendo impossibile di essere veramente gli unici superstiti lanciano un messaggio nella bottiglia sfruttando la funzione Ad di Facebook. Internet, infatti, funziona ancora, come tutti gli altri sistemi a gestione computerizzata: centrali elettriche, sistemi di allarme, ecc. ecc.

Con spirito darwiniano i tre applicano il principio dell'adattamento e, senza problemi immediati di sussistenza poiché i centri commerciali della zona sono pieni di generi alimentari in perfetto stato di conservazione, si attengono ad una routine, che prevede il mantenimento delle abitudini quotidiane: il programma scolastico, l'alternanza giorni lavorativi\vacanza, le gite fuori porta, occasione tra l'altro per esplorare i dintorni e cercare eventuali segni di vita umana.

Mi fermo qui, i colpi di scena non sono moltissimi e sarebbe un peccato bruciarli nella recensione. Il romanzo offre infatti molti spunti di riflessione e merita di essere letto. Credo che ogni lettore, a seconda del proprio carattere e delle proprie abitudini, tenderà ad essere colpito da alcuni particolari piuttosto che da altri. Per me, ad esempio, non sarebbe un problema risvegliarmi in un mondo senza TV, senza posti affollati e senza rumori, ma ho delle amiche che non lo apprezzerebbero affatto.

Sinceramente ho trovato la parte centrale eccessivamente lunga, ma definirla noiosa non sarebbe né onesto né appropriato. Semplicemente il ritmo si perde un po' descrivendo eventi, che non aggiungono nulla di nuovo, ma si limitano a ripetere e ribadire gli stessi concetti.

L'ultima parte è quella che spiega l'arcano. Purtroppo è impossibile entrare nel merito senza cadere nello spoiler. Mi limito ad osservare che si tratta della parte in cui mi sono trovata meno in sintonia con l'autore. È l'eterno e irrisolto dilemma : Il fine giustifica i mezzi? Io appartengo alla schiera di coloro che risponderanno sempre “NO”, mentre non mi è ben chiaro come la pensi l'autore. Può darsi che questa ambiguità sia voluta dal momento che Daimones dovrebbe essere il primo volume di una trilogia.

VOTO : 8
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jim Murdoch on May 28, 2013 :
A slow beginning but gripping just the same. The prologue, adequately titled "Prologue Warnings" reminds of the many animal, bird and fish deaths in recent years around the world, news facts we are all familiar with. The story begins, all told in first person, following an ordinary guy at an ordinary job and the circumstances which bring him home early. More news pops out of the radio about gorilla deaths. We anticipate what may be coming.

The story begins proper when the protagonist drives his daughter to school only to realize the rest of the world didn't wake up, and those who did weren't any more. It continues with Dan's realization of their predicament, his inner thoughts and feelings, the search for survivors and the ultimate discovery of what actually happened. This is a story to get you thinking about the world today and what our future could possibly hold if we don't mend our ways. It is a story challenging our way of life and world view. Your beliefs will be shaken when you see Dan face a new world and learning how he adapts. Adapting is a major theme and we are challenged to assess our current beliefs and truths: "we can and must talk about freedom as coming from the multiplicity, variety, and quality of different influences which can break the chains of our own beliefs and convictions." I for one can relate to this as I have faced such circumstances which broke those chains.

This book will not let you go. When you walk down the street, when you go shopping, you will be thinking of Daimones and wondering "What if?"
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lisa on March 28, 2013 :
It took a number of pages for me to get into this story but once it grabbed me it didn't let go until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the entire premise of what happened to cause the disappearance of most of the human race. However, when the "big reveal" came during the last twenty pages or so I was disappointed and would have actually preferred to be left guessing rather than have it end the way it did. My personal opinion is that the story line didn't need the extra SciFi push at the end but I'll still probably look into the next part to the story.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: AJ Murphy on March 10, 2013 :
I was pleasantly surprised upon reading this novel. It is both provocative and suspenseful. The novel centered around a "normal family" that wakes up to find that during the night, the world has changed and all have perished save this particular family. The plot line is well thought out and keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next. I would definitely recommend this novel.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: J. C. Allen on Feb. 26, 2013 :
A normal family wakes up to find the rest of the world has perished during the night. We then follow as Dan tries to figure out what happened and why he and his family were spared, as well as how they will survive. We experience the fear and anxiety, the search for others, the determination to prosper, the moral choices one is forced to make in extraordinary circumstances, and the final realization that their future would depend upon not repeating past mistakes.

An apocalyptic story without any zombies, gore, or mass destruction – a quiet ending to a civilization which has become uncivilized. It explores the thought processes behind the will to survive – how far you’re prepared to go to protect and preserve life when choices are limited and your reality has undergone an extreme makeover. It forces you to question how well you would do if faced with the same options.

Suspenseful and provocative, this is a very entertaining book – one that draws you forward to see how each obstacle is overcome. Mr. Marino’s scientific background is evident in his writing, and he has written a well thought-out story with great detail and insight into the psychology of survival. Bravo, sir!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: L. W. Fulton on Feb. 24, 2013 :
Daimones by Massimo Marino

This story offers a unique perspective on how one family handles the end of the world as they know it.

Instead of a world-wide sweeping account of what happens, this story centers on one family. They are going about their daily lives when overnight, everything changes. I got involved in these characters. I felt their angst. I was invested in their daily lives. Then suddenly, the world changed.

I was with them as they accepted their new reality. I was with them when they tried to reach out to other survivors. I felt their sadness and their desperation as they struggled to deal with the changes to the world that affected them in such a profound manner. I was with them as they changed to deal with the new realities that had been thrust upon them.

I enjoyed their love and care for each other. This is an intimate portrait of a family who woke up one morning and discovered the impossible had happened.

I felt a sense of triumph and sadness as they made their way through the transition from the old world to the new. This is an excellent story. I highly recommend it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Isis Erb on Feb. 19, 2013 :
I was lucky enough to receive this free in exchange for an honest review, and found it to be an enjoyable read. The story begins with absolutely zero indication of what is to come. And what is to come is a story of vast dimensions.

This book is challenging to review without including spoilers, which I try to avoid whenever possible. Interestingly, the longer I think about the story the more details I discover to have been hidden in plain sight. I was so focused on the 'here and now' of the story that I did not initially 'see' the not so hidden overarching parallels, even when directly mentioned.

For a large portion of the story things are mostly believable - yet there are parts that seem to progress much faster than one would expect in real life. Things like that threw the balance off a bit for me, though some do get explained later in the story.

Characters are well written, and it reads like a pretty fair representation of our world anytime from the mid-nineties on. There is some interesting 'recycling' of history as we currently understand it to be (until the next big discovery blows all prior theories out if the water that is).

Personally I am happy that this is the first in a series. Marino has done a nice job with telling this tale, but I feel that had it ended with this book it would have cut out right before the truly challenging part of the tale.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Isis Erb on Feb. 19, 2013 :
I was lucky enough to receive this as an ARC, and found it to be an enjoyable read. The story begins with absolutely zero indication of what is to come. And what is to come is a story of vast dimensions.

This book is challenging to review without including spoilers, which I try to avoid whenever possible. Interestingly, the longer I think about the story the more details I discover to have been hidden in plain sight. I was so focused on the 'here and now' of the story that I did not initially 'see' the not so hidden overarching parallels, even when directly mentioned.

For a large portion of the story things are mostly believable - yet there are parts that seem to progress much faster than one would expect in real life. Things like that threw the balance off a bit for me, though some do get explained later in the story.

Characters are well written, and it reads like a pretty fair representation of our world anytime from the mid-nineties on. There is some interesting 'recycling' of history as we currently understand it to be (until the next big discovery blows all prior theories out if the water that is).

Personally I am happy that this is the first in a series. Marino has done a nice job with telling this tale, but I feel that had it ended with this book it would have cut out right before the truly challenging part of the tale.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Beatriz Collazo on Feb. 19, 2013 :
I was really glad to win this book, my thanks to the author!

Dan is a socially aware character with a tendency toward honesty and frankness that translates to outspokenness in the workplace. He seems familiar and likeable. Once certain events happen in the exposition, it is surprising that the family did not react more emotionally to the stresses around them, but I detected a strong sense of bemusement and detachment as the events unfolded.

Ironically the main character links his survival skills to things he has learned from Hollywood, at the same time that I found myself thinking this would make a good film; the author has a very visual narrative style that nonetheless allows the reader to fill in the blanks. I found myself thinking I would make different provisional decisions but that did not detract from my enjoyment of the story.

At first contact with other survivors it seems hopeful that Annah will have a future to look forward to, but hope quickly dies and I found myself breathlessly reading late into the evening to see what happens next. The ending did feel a bit rushed but as I understand it there will be more books set in the Daimones world, which I hope will flesh out the last chapter in more detail. This is a great start to the trilogy. Without ruining the plot, I will say that I have added Massimo Marino to my list of authors to watch and look forward to his future work.


************* Spoiler Alert**************

I know writers have often explored the idea of polyamorous relationships. As a woman, it would never happen in my house. I know the author was laying the foundation for the premise of rebuilding society, but I would have preferred more weight placed on the discussion, on the decision and explanation to Annah. This raised a lot of unanswered questions that I hope will be covered in the coming books, including why Dan was chosen.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Lisa Williamson on Feb. 03, 2013 :
With the large range of post-apocalyptic novels out there right now you find the world ending in a bloody mess. Disasters and other nasty things that we are to read through. Most are darker than a tomb underground. Massimo has taken us through a different post-apocalyptic. The end of the world came to most of the 7 billion humans suddenly. I won't say it was neat and clean but it was startlingly quick and odd.

This novel takes you through the days and months after the end with a family. A man, his wife and daughter somehow survive and go through their days coming to grips with what happened and finding ways to survive. Whether it is that they were in the Geneva area of not it is almost idyllic except for the lack of other survivors. When they finally make contact with a man on the still working internet and then find a young woman the story takes off.

This treatment of the end of our world, the introduction of a benevolent alien species and all it entails had me reading this book in one sitting. For the post-apocalyptic style story this was almost light and a read I think would be fine for the YA audience. Yes there is one sex scene but it is incredibly mild, touching and appropriate. A highly recommend this to those who want to read end of the world but are just not up to the blood, gore and danger of other works.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Ch'kara SilverWolf on Jan. 24, 2013 :
This post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel is brilliant. It captured me from the beginning and I could barely put it down.

Dan and his wife and daughter wake to seemingly be the only ones left alive in the world. It is a testimony to how one family strives to keep their humanity intact, and yet adapt to their changing world. I felt their joy when they discovered they were not alone.

The descriptions were so well presented I found myself `there' with Dan and his family. The incorporation of the aliens was well written and descriptive as to make you wanting more. I look forward with anticipation to the next book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Danielle Nicole Bienvenu on Jan. 22, 2013 :
To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect with Marino's book. I've read a few apocalyptic novels before but this one was very different. I liked how Marino made me feel like I was actually there. The beginning took a while to get into but once I got past the statistics of birds dying (which later helped build the story), I was hooked. I was left wondering 'What would I do?' and found myself sympathizing with Dan and the plight he was thrown into. Although as a reader I was able to grasp what Dan was dealing with I enjoyed how Marino also made the characters sound inconsequential. They were one small piece in a gigantic world. "It did not matter, we did not matter. We had become inconsequential matters to the rest of the world." I could see this book becoming a movie. And contrary to a statement below, I did not find Dan insensitive with women and love.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Richard Bunning on Jan. 19, 2013 :
I loved reading this book. Some parts of it held my attention like a vice. I can still hear the roar of roller blades, the shatter of glass, the cawing of circling crows.
Some passages needed a touch more editing. However, the little stutters in the flow, the very occasional clumsy phrase, certainly didn't spoil the book. I guess it might if you happen to be the sort of grammarian that suffers pain from every linguistic deviation, but then you must often be short of reading.
I had the constant nag at the back of my mind that the electricity supply for Geneva should have died, along with 99.9% of the population. Though this continuing availability was never explicitly explained the implicit assumption I eventually made tied the threads together satisfactorily. Another strand that I felt needed earlier enforcement was the childhood experience of Dan, which led to his life of chronic tinnitus. The early avoidance of these issues was I'm sure in part due to a determination to hold the surprise of the ending. I, though, like to see all the main circles of direction earlier in a plot build.
We start with reports of animal population crashes that might have come from the culturally shifting writing of Rachel Carson, move through a quiet apocalypse, then delve into the individualistic process of survival. Finally, Marino pulls together an episodic and dystopian past history of mankind, and the promise of a new galactic spirituality for our species. Erich Von Däniken, Philip K Dick and Arthur C Clarke might all have been sitting around a table collectively weaving together the elements of the new start instigated by the Daimones. I can see Marino sitting at the end of the table rapidly scribbling notes. Then finally, he selected a touch of each to colour his vision. Though each of these great authors probably inspired a few sentences, I feel that there is a lot of novel speculation to come in the rest of the planned trilogy.
I really found this to be a very enjoyable read. I am sure this is partly because I'm a writer of speculative science fiction of a similar nature. But also it's because this is, even with science fiction discounted, a very entertaining book. The differing psychological profiles and difficulties of the main characters are well drawn, giving very real feeling grist to Marino's speculative ideas.
Not every aspect of the book deserves 5 stars, but we are required to use this crude classification. As you will have noted, I gave 5. I thank you for having taken the trouble to read my review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Paty on Dec. 12, 2012 :
An addendum to my review...

I can tell you without hesitation is that the world that Mr. Marino created intrigued me and I do look forward to the next book in the series. Yes, despite the complaints that I have, I feel compelled to see this new world through to either the end of the series or to the point that I am so angry that it outweighs my interest.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Paty on Dec. 10, 2012 :
I honestly would prefer to give this 2 1/2 stars if I could.....

I can't decide if I would reccommend this book or not. There were many things that I liked about it and yet many that I didn't as well.

Though while it did start out very slowly and had numerous grammatical errors and the vocabulary at times was terrible it also contained some thought provoking statements interspersed throughout. I must admit that on and off through the book I did skim because it would get so bogged down with details that were quite frankly, in my opinion, not neccessary to the story. I am already educated and didn't feel the need to be re-educated. Furthermore, I much prefer to be shown the story not just told and yet way too often I was only being told.

.....SPOILER ALERT.....SPOILER ALERT.......


I understand that the situation isn't normal and I am intellegent enough to understand the reasons Mr. Marino had for writing it this way and how he wants readers to feel about it. However, an author cannot control how a reader will feel and though he told me that he viewed Mary's choice as being made in order to hopefully make a better life for her daughter I do not see it that way at all. As a wife and mother I can state unequivocally that if I was in Mary's place I would have killed the manipulative bitch long before she horned in on my husband. When she gave Mary the ultimatum to share or she would go I would have told her not to let the door hit her in the ass on her wait out. Quite frankly the position Mary's in now would lead me to suicide. I could not and would not live like that. Nor would I teach my daughter to accept a life like that. How could she believe that he loves her so much when he made the decision that he made without discussing it with her first?!

While I agree that a story must provoke feelings and strong reactions an author walks a fine line.For me that line was crossed. What I've been told in this book is that sex with the suppossedly much loved wife isn't even interesting enough to show us yet sex with the new, young beautiful college student warranted detail. Doesn't seem much different from all the real life cheaters running around in the world. Furthermore, while we are then told that he loves them both we see almost no contact, let alone intimacy with the wife. We are told numerous times how beautiful Laura is and yet I can't even remember what the supposedly loved wife looks like. UGH! He was obviously thinking with the wrong head and just as obviously didn't love his wife as much as he'd told us that he did.

In closing I would like to say that I have seen a few reviews that compare this to Stephen King's "The Stand" and must disagree. While yes they are both post apocalyptic stories with some paranormal leanings that is the only thing they have in common. One is good vs. evil while the other ultimately leans more towards religious.

I want to acknowledge that I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Larry B. Gray on Nov. 30, 2012 :
Daimones by Massimo Marino is a post-apocalyptic book with a slightly different take on the storyline. It was a great read and I found it hard to put down once I started reading the book.

The author is an excellent story teller, weaving a tail of survival which was well thought-out and developed. The story was deep but it was also easy to follow. I often found myself pondering what he said and thinking wow.

I really enjoyed the characters. They were very believable and easy to relate to. Massimo Marino did a great job of developing them and relating them to the storyline.

This was a great read and I really enjoyed it.

I highly recommend Daimones by Massimo Marino.


[Please note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.]
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Ida Jansson on Nov. 19, 2012 :
Daimones is a beautiful book about hope and despair in a world that is changed forever. The story feels very real and captures the reader from the first chapter. It is not difficult to put yourself in the main characters shoes, even when his world is turned upside down. You can truly feel his pain and hope. For me, this story was very capturing (I actually dreamed I was in the story myself two nights in a row). I can`t wait to read the next book in the trilogy to find out what happens with Dan and his family.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Jeff Bailey on Oct. 08, 2012 :
A very pleasant read by a new author! The first half of the book walks you through a modern apocalypse. You get to know Dan, the protagonist, and his family. If you are reading based on the sci-fi description, don't give up. The second half of the book will reward your patience!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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