My wife and I became huge fans of Richards when we fell in love with 'Wired', having read it last year. We waited eagerly for the sequel to come out,My wife and I became huge fans of Richards when we fell in love with 'Wired', having read it last year. We waited eagerly for the sequel to come out, and now, after having just finished reading it, I can say that it was a great read! 'Amped', like 'Wired', belongs to the genre of Sci-Fi, but to me it is the kind that's a touch different from the mainstream variety. One that is rooted in humanity's pressing conditions. It deals with matters that are at the heart of serious planetary issues that we have just begun to acknowledge now - barely, actually.
There is, of course, Kira Miller (the protagonist, in a manner of speaking) and her group that, in the story, must overcome insurmountable resistance from various forces. She, along with her carefully chosen group, are discoverers and inventors of some truly amazing facts and things, but there is a price for each of their discovery/invention, and if those discoveries and inventions fall in the wrong hands, then even God can't save the planet. With great power comes great responsibility, as they say, and Kira with her astounding intelligence and depth and breath of perception is all too aware of that adage. She must help her group navigate some very dangerous waters before she can put her discoveries to good use for humanity. Whether she is successful in this, you must read the novel to find out.
But, of course, there is more to 'Amped' than the above. In many ways, the author uses the story of Kira Miller and her remarkable group of scientists/individuals to invite the reader to ponder on many of the deeper philosophical, ethical, religious, moral and scientific issues concerning our modern lives and the direction we as a species are headed toward. For me, some of the most memorable passages from the novel were the ones that engaged me as a thinker. Many of the stances held and expressed by the different characters, I agreed with, but there were others that made me think harder about my own positions apropos several aspects of my existence as a member of my species. Some of the debates in the novel were highly engaging, intellectually that is. But they also touch you in a visceral manner. Visceral and intellectual engagement, if you will!
I loved reading the enlightening conversations among/between some of the very smart individuals in the novel. Some of the cases for self-deception were truly astounding. As also the habit for self-destructive behavior. This was aptly highlighted by Matt Griffin, the computer genius, who narrates the story of the scorpion and the frog toward the end of the novel. Well, if you wish to engage your mind in some fun, exciting and thrilling read for a few hours, then by all means get a copy of 'Amped' and start reading. I would of course highly recommend 'Wired' as well!
My feeling is that there is much more that Richards will offer in the future. There should be another novel in the future to make this series into a wonderful trilogy....more