Amped by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is full of interesting ideas and interesting characters. A runaway plot powers everything along with reckless abandon. Underneath it all are the big questions of what it means to be human and what happens to a society definitively split between haves and have-nots. The writing is good enough that I went along for the ride. But the whole is less satisfying than all the parts led me to expect.
The biggest problem is that the main character spends most of his time reacting and recovering, rather than acting. We don't know what drives him, other than he has a chip in his brain and this puts him in peril from those who deem such 'amps' as a danger. He's too much of a blank slate for someone in their twenties that's made it through school and is a teacher.
For their part, the antagonists were not much better. For most of the book it appears that they are opposed to amps and want to round them up because they don't like them. That seems overly simple and so they all come across as dastardly villains, rather than real threats. Even the most developed antagonist is complex mostly because he is inconsistent, other than his consistent efforts to work against his own interests.
Bottom line is this is another fantastic concept of a book from Daniel Wilson, but once more he disappoints in the execution. Even so, I look forward to his next effort.
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