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am 4. Juni 1999
In 1998, a talented hacker Bloodaxe gained vengeance on the officials of Washington DC for firing him by wrecking their computer-based transportation system code. His sabotage left Susan Garnett in a coma and her spouse and daughter dead. It was almost two years before cybercop Susan caught Bloodaxe, who now resides in prison.
Depressed and thinking she has nothing further to live for, Susan contemplates suicide. However, Troy Reid, head of the FBI's high tech crime unit, interrupts her thoughts by telling her that with twenty days to the millennium, all computers around the world froze for twenty seconds at the same time. The next day, computers freeze for nineteen seconds as if they keep pace with the countdown to the millennium. As the computer clock counts down to potential doom, Susan turns to her worst nightmare Bloodaxe for help as she investigates this strange virus. Soon they trace its origin to the ruins of Tikal, which is an ancient Mayan city located in the Guatemalan jungle. Susan accompanied by Mayan anthropologist Cameron Slater head to the jungle to learn the truth and to shut down a most deadly virus.
01-01-00 is a well-designed millennium high tech thriller. The story line is unique, fast-paced, and never buries the reader in scientific jargon. One of the charms of R.J. Pineiro's novel is those understandable explanations that always completely flow within the plot. Thus, asides to the audience or simply ignoring the reader never occurs. The complex sub-plots merge into an interesting climax where the modern world converges with the ancient world in a wondrous novel that deserves much acclaim.

Harriet Klausner
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am 26. Juli 1999
Starts out interestingly enough, espcially with the Mayan angle and coincidental calendars, but gets bogged down with trying to unravel number codes based on their numbering system. It may be clever, but it gets old fast. Many number grids throughout the book, Crichton-style, but of no use, especially the many binary grids, which seem more like filler - all you can do with them is wait till the computer figures it out at the end.
Other annoyances: Constant "Mayans good, Europeans bad" theme (it's hard to reconcile the book's almost nauseating fawning over the supposed advanced civilization of the Mayas with their barbaric, bloodthirsty rituals); the simplistic, heavy-handed characterization and stereotyping, which ultimately makes the characters seem one-dimensional and cartoonish; the overuse of pet phrases ("He was angry"; "blood pooled on the ground/between his legs"). Of course, the usual (required) "tough" heroine, who quickly falls head over heels for ... you get the idea. Reading the "thought processes" of the two hero(ine)s as they fall for each other was quite sickening for its cookie-cutteredness. See, I've had to invent a word.
Oh, and does "Antonio" sound like a KGB name?
And, unfortunately, the Mayan angle ultimately flops, climaxing to a whimper, sort of like the ending to "Highlander."
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am 15. Dezember 1999
I've enjoyed watching Pineiro improve his craft as his novels have lost their stiffness and tightened their focus.
Unfortunately, 01-01-00 reads more like a beginner's novel than that of an experienced craftsman.
The problem isn't with the writing, per se, but with the plotting. There simply is no consistent, logical struction to this book. The first "part" is primarily science-fiction, a la Contact. The second part is primarily an archeological novel - lost civilizations and that sort of thing.
Sprinkled throughout is a fantasy of Mayan gods, extraterrestrial broadcasts, and "clear" dreams. I was never quite able to follow the leaps of logic that tried to tie the parts together.
Any part of the novel could probably have stood on its own merits. Together, they form what you might have expected had you put three novels in a blender and attempted to make a whole out of them.
It didn't work. After the first half, I became increasingly frustrated as Pineiro tried to integrate the strands of his story. When I finished the book, I realized I had just spent several hours that could have been better spent re-reading Contact - or watching the movie.
I'll try Pineiro again. He shows real promise. But I hope he learns to focus his next novel better. If not, I suspect he'll lose more than this reader.
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am 27. Dezember 1999
Mr. Pineiro approaches the "millenium question" from the fascinating perspective of a merging of computer science, anthropology, and astronomy.
To avoid giving away too much information, I offer the following.
The book opens with a computer virus suddenly locking up computers worldwide for 20 seconds. To search for the source and a cure for the virus, the FBI turns their top cybercrime investigator, Dr. Susan Garnett, loose on the problem.
Meanwhile, a pair of married astronomers, a Japanese husband and Japanese-American wife, conducting SETI research with a radio telescope in Chile, note unusual activity from the constellation Centaur.
Also meanwhile, a French bureaucrat, facing unemployment and disgrace, hires a team of mercenaries to steal a cure for the virus in the hopes that he can salvage his career by selling the cure to the rest of the world.
Dr. Garnett, isolating the virus, traces its source back to a spot on the Yucatan peninsula. At this point she contacts Dr. Cameron Slater, an anthropologist and expert on Mayan culture.
The story evolves from there.
The book is an excellent read, with two qualifiers. The ending is a bit anticlimactic and Mr. Pineiro needs to spend just a tad more time researching the zoology of the areas he is writing about.
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am 3. November 1999
Great idea, just poorly executed. I thought I was hooked from the first page, but by the time Susan was going to...(for those who haven't read it yet, I won't say what she was going to do), I had lost interest.
Then when Ishuguro popped up with all that techno mumbo jumbo (Pinerio gives way too much information and way too many characters) I forced myself to read on. The next time he popped up, I skipped. Concentrated on where Susan was in the book only. Only up to page 160 (after having the book since August), but I can read it faster and enjoy it more by skipping to the Susan parts. (I agree with the NY Times review).
The real shame here is that Pineiro had a great idea here but he weighed it down with trying to come off as 'smart'? I don't know the word but I do know what the average reader wants is a good old fashion read, with not too much narrative and a real focus on one individual, not a bunch of people crowding the pages with plots and sub plots, making me care less and less about them as I go along.
A re-edited version of just Susan as the focus would made a great book. I know where you were going Pineiro, but you just failed in getting me there so far.
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am 12. September 1999
I was attracted to this book after reading a review that mentioned its "countdown" hook and eclectic Y2K/SETI/archeological components. But the book itself was tedious. Once it became clear that the characters were no more than cartoonish stereotypes, I lost all interest in what was happening. And what was happening wasn't much: the plot was formulaic and in great need of subtlety and humor. The author is also no wordsmith. Among other annoying habits, he is addicted to packing his nouns with stiff or hackeyed adjectives ("the tall and stocky operative") that make the prose a constant uphill read. And did you notice? -- everyone in this book is "seasoned." Everyone. And I do mean everyone. This adjective is so overused, one of my few joys in the book was to play the game of waiting for its next appearance. (If you're going to read this book, it might be fun to do an actual "seasoned" count. Better yet, if you haven't read the book, my advice is: don't.)
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am 19. Dezember 1999
I enjoyed the code in the book, the matrices and the puzzles. I was really interested in the Mayan cultural history and found the connection to be invigorating to a topic that might get bogged down in digerati details. The jungle warfare, the astrphysics, and the main character's handling of mourning and loss was all very perceptive parts. It was definitely a romp, but I wasn't disappointed - I ended up reading it straight through - a definite page-turner. At one point the computer scientist heroine turns to her arhcheologist boyfriend and says that she appreciates the perspective that he gives her - I felt this to be a good encapsulation of the entire project. RJ really crosses the boundaries between sciences and humanities to pull in general themes and it was not a flailing attempt at all. Good read!
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am 20. Juni 1999
What is this book? A mystery? Harlequin style romance? Science fiction? Suspense? Who knows... Certainly the author doesn't appear to know. There is nothing that the main characters appear to be incapable of. They "outsmart" the Mayan culture and in the process reduce the intellectual abilities of the people to that of a computer addicted ten year old. Unrealistic emotional reactions to events (sorry I'm not going to elaborate since you might actually want to read it.) predominate.
The first half of the book is the best. Before you read it, open it 2/3rds the way through and write..."and they all lived happily ever after"... Stop when you reach that point. Only then will it be worth your time to read... I did enjoy the first 2/3rds.
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am 23. Dezember 1999
R.J. Pinero caught my attention with Y2K. I really enjoyed the "down-to-earth" way he crafted a technology based concept into a really good book.
So, I bought 01-01-00 with high expectations.
At first, perhaps because I'm in the network security business and actually know one of the key characters, I was intrigued, even a bit excited. It really promised to be a great read.
Even when he began to inject the Mayan angle I was fascinated. Hey..."Chariots of the Gods" made the premise almost believable.
However, I suspect he just got tired of writing and took the easy way out with a surreal ending that left me cold. Too bad. He really has a knack.
O.K. R.J...let's see what you've got!
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am 30. Oktober 1999
After reading the evaluations of this book, I was reluctant to start it. Ratings at this site were either "I loved it" or "I hated it". Well guess what, I liked it.
Nothing written is loved by everyone, so I typically disregard anything by anyone who states that something is Terrible or Worthless. The secret is to look for that nugget without blasting someone else's effort at writing.
This book was enjoyable, I read it at one sitting - 4 hours. I was entertained; I liked the main characters, and almost everyone underwent a journey both physically and spiritually. In my opinion, that counts for something.
Some books are just meant to be fun to read. This is one of them.
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