Saturday, 24 November 2012


Twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray always believed the miraculous device in his brain had been implanted for purely medical reasons, as a way of controlling the debilitating seizures he suffered in his youth.  But when the Supreme Court rules that 'amplified' humans like Owen are not protected by the same basic laws as pure humans, his world instantly fractures.  As society begins to unravel and a new class war is ignited by fear, Owen's father, a doctor who originally implanted the 'amp', confides something that will send him on a harrowing journey - and he is now in grave danger.
  All roads lead to a dusty community in rural Oklahoma, where Owen must find the one man who can explain what is really in his head.  There he also meets Lyle Crosby, a dangerous and unpredictable leader of the fast-growing 'amp' movement, someone whose stunning physical abilities and ruthless ideas show Owen how to harness his own startling gifts - but threaten to draw him into a world from which there may be no moral return.

The blurb for Amped sounds so good doesn't it? I haven't read Daniel H. Wilson's other novel Robopocalypse, but have been tempted many times to purchase it.  However; after reading Amped that compulsion has completely died.
The first few pages start off great, and I was devouring the story at a fast pace, but after Owen ends up on the lamb my interest in this book soon disintegrated and I couldn't for ages figure out why.  It's not that Amped isn't based on a great idea, or that any of the technical jargon went overboard - I do think that Wilson's primary strength is incorporating his vast knowledge of robotics into the text - however; the whole thing is just soulless.

My main problem was that Wilson's lead character Owen reads as being completely 2-dimensional and only existing for the purpose of this stand-alone story.  Was this Wilson's intent?  To make 'Amped' characters seem less human because they have been altered?  Well, if that is the case, then I think he succeeded.  It's a shame, as with some tweaking, Amped could have become something completely different, something a lot more thrilling and attention grabbing but unfortunately it's just a generic, bland piece of speculative fiction.    

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