Tracey's Reviews > Amped

Amped by Daniel H. Wilson
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Sep 06, 12

bookshelves: libraryread-idm
Read from September 02 to 04, 2012

I enjoyed Wilson's debut novel, Robopocalypse, so I checked out this e-book from the local library when I saw it in the catalog.

Once again - Wilson explores the plot of technology vs humanity, this time in the form of "amped" people - those who have received neural implants (often augmented with retinal displays and even exoskeletons and/or prosthetics) that make them smarter, faster and/or stronger. After trial runs (including the one our protagonist, Owen Gray is involved in), the government implements an Uplift program, where the disadvantaged receive implants. Not surprisingly, there is a backlash, with the non-augmented starting a movement, which is co-opted by a charismatic politician, Joseph Vaughn. The minority "amps" are soon the objects of discrimination, fear and hate.

While the basic concept is intriguing, especially as we learn more about the capabilities of Owen's implant, the story itself is a bit clunky. The exploration of who the "good guys" are could be a bit less heavy-handed, and Owen himself is not that well drawn a character -reacting to his situation vs taking action. Lyle Crosby was an interesting character, and I really liked the kid, Nick. The last third of the book feels rushed, and the resolution unsatisfying.

It's worth a library read if you're into the more techy side of SF and enjoy action-oriented stories with a bit of preachiness on the side.
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