Nexus by Ramez Naam


This is one of those books where the more I think about it, the more I think I liked it.

Nexus is about a drug called – guess what? – Nexus. It’s an illegal nano-drug that exists in 2040, that humans can use to connect; mind-to-mind, brain-to-brain. A young scientist named Kade finds a way to improve Nexus – to make it’s effects permanent. When he’s caught by the government, he’s forced into an international fight between those to want to eradicate Nexus and those who want to unleash it.

My thoughts about this book are so MIXED, but ultimately positive. The book starts off kind of slow – the software lingo was hard to get in to, and I was thiiiiiissss close to DNF-ing it. But then around page 200 BAM! It picked up and I read the next 250 pages in one sitting. I’m glad I stuck with it.

Basically in this near-future, nano-drugs and biological enhancement are a thing. Some humans have gotten things done to them to make them faster, stronger, more durable, etc. Nexus is something considered dangerous by the government, because it gives people the ability to connect their minds – to see memories, read thoughts, communicate telepathically. There are official terms in this world such as “transhuman” and “posthuman”, distinguishing just how many changes a person can make to his or her self before they are no longer considered human, and therefore no longer protected by basic human rights.

The story wasn’t exactly the best. Like I said, it started off slow. I liked the characters Kade and Wats, but felt like we didn’t get to learn quite enough about them. Sam was the other main character, and I think I liked her but she was so messed up that her actions didn’t always make sense to me. But the action definitely picks up in the second half of the book, and I was biting my fingernails while reading because things were getting intense. And it gave me a lot of food for thought – Are we on our way to this kind of future, where bioengineering is so common? When and how will the lines between humans and software machines start to blur? Would I take Nexus if I was in this world?

It made for some really interesting discussions with my honeyman when I was done reading, and I am more curious about some of the nanotechnology presented in the book. I want to check out one of Naam’s other books, a non-fiction book called More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. Oh yeah, Ramez Naam isn’t just some new sci-fi author! He apparently helped invent Internet Explorer and Outlook, and he was the CEO of a nanotechnology company, so he obviously knows his subject matter! I dig that.

OH, and there’s a sequel to Nexus coming out in August! It’s called Crux, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Sarah Says: 4 stars



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